Sunday, November 29, 2009

Scripture On Sundays - The Christ Child, Tiger Woods & the movie 2012

What could these three possibly have in common?  If you read below, you will see how I've tied these all in with each of this Sunday's readings.  But first here's another added verse from 1 Chronicles 28:9b....

....for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.   

Yikes!  Who wants to be rejected, especially by God?!  This is where it is a good thing to have a proper fear of the Lord.  My husband always said about raising our kids, "Fear is the biggest motivator".  We must realize there are consequences for our actions.  Well, just like God says He is everyone's Father, He would be lacking in responsibility if He didn't teach us well.  So, instead of speaking through prophets, like He did in the Old Testament, He sent us a living and breathing Messiah in Jesus Christ, not just to preach about having fear of the Lord, but to show us how we should be conducting ourselves during our life here on earth.

We are now starting the Advent season, preparing for the commemoration of the birth of the Christ Child.  The first reading from the Old Testament's prophet Jeremiah, chapter 33, verses 14-16 predicts....

14 " 'The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.

15 " 'In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; He will do what is just and right in the land.
16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Justice.'

I've often said that whatever the Scripture readings were on any given Sunday, it seemed like they were always relevant to what was going on in either my life or in the news.  I will expand upon one of today's  readings slightly because this one seems to relate to all the controversy over Tiger Woods car crash and his alleged affair, which if true, may very well have prompted all the turmoil in his life right now.

From the first book of letters from St. Paul to the Thessalonians
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

3 It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;
4 that each of you should learn to control his (or her) own body in a way that is holy and honorable,
5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;
6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother (or sister) or take advantage of him (her).
The Lord will punish men (women) for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.
7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you His Holy Spirit.

In the gospel from Luke today, there are more warnings about the end of time, such as in this new movie 2012.  However, I imagine the movie will not mention all that is said here....

From Luke 21:25-36

25 "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.
26 Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
29 He (Jesus) told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees.
30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.
31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.
34 "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.
35 For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth.
36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."

Satire On Saturdays - Sen. Harry Reid's quote

After getting the 60 votes needed to keep the healthcare
bill 'alive', which included some 'pork' to sweeten the deal
for Sen. Mary Landrieu's vote, (which some are describing
as the 'Louisiana purchase'), Sen. Harry Reid held a press
conference and stated....

"Our plan saves lives, saves money and saves Medicare,"
said Reid.

Is he serious?!  I don't really know how he could say that
with a straight face!  Oh, I forgot....he's a politician!  They'll
promise you anything you want to hear.  With all the predictions
we've heard of rationing, all you have to do is look at last week's
announcement of the suggested changes to the mammogram
guidelines, as a perfect example.  This came from the government
'panel' appointed by Kathleen Sebelius of Health and Human
Services, and in my opinion is a hint of some of the many cut
backs to come, if this bill passes.  But then there was the ensuing
uproar from women who depend on these tests to SAVE THEIR
LIVES.  But that's why the government 'panel' has to make these
cut order to SAVE THE MONEY!  Look, there's no
way I can see how they can do it all, and have it all and save
money too.  It doesn't add up.   

Then there's the 500 billion dollars in cuts to Medicare, which
they've stated will help pay for this bill.  I guess Harry Reid thinks
he'll be 'saving Medicare' by cutting out 500 billion dollars worth
of 'waste and fraud'.  Yeah right, if you believe that, I've got
some swamp land in Florida to sell ya! 

You must remember, our government DOES NOT HAVE THE
MONEY for this!  They are borrowing and printing money as
we speak.  I would like to suggest that all of the Democrats in
Congress who voted for this bill, go to MANDATORY credit

They can have all the good intentions in the world, but if it will
put our fragile economy in another downward tailspin, like the
mortgage meltdown did, then we can't, or shouldn't do it.  And
the government can't just blame it on the banks and Wall St. 
Many know it was those 'well intentioned' Democratic policies
that started it all.  Pushing for more radical and risky changes,
was not the MANDATE they think they have.  The 'yes we can'
is coming from the ones who are deluding themselves.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Family & Friends on Fridays - Who's In Charge?

Proverbs 16:1-9

1 To man belong the plans of the heart,
but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue.

2 All a man's ways seem innocent to him,
but motives are weighed by the LORD.

3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed.

4 The LORD works out everything for His own ends—
even the wicked for a day of disaster.

5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart.
Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil.

7 When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD,
he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.

8 Better a little with righteousness,
than much gain with injustice.

9 In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.

Psalms 127:1-3

1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.

Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.

2 In vain you rise early and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for He grants sleep to those He loves.

3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from Him.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Trivia On Thursdays - Black Friday

I guess the name has different meanings for different people....either from the police and security people dealing with the enormous crowds, or if your looking at it from the retailers and their employees perspective.

From Wikipedia....
Black Friday as a term has been used in multiple contexts, going back to the nineteenth century, where it was associated with a financial crisis in 1869. The earliest uses of "Black Friday" to mean the day after Thanksgiving come from or reference Philadelphia and refer to the heavy traffic on that day. The earliest known reference to "Black Friday" (in this sense), found by Bonnie Taylor-Blake of the American Dialect Society, refers to Black Friday 1965 and makes the Philadelphia origin explicit:

JANUARY 1966 -- " 'Black Friday' is the name which the Philadelphia Police Department has given to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. It is not a term of endearment to them. 'Black Friday' officially opens the Christmas shopping season in center city, and it usually brings massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to closing."

But if this day is the year's biggest for retailers, why do they like calling it 'Black Friday'?  Recently, merchants and the media have used it instead to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers go from being 'in the red' (i.e., posting a loss on the books) to being 'in the black' (i.e., turning a profit). "It is a day retailers make profits -- 'black ink', said Grace McFeeley of Cherry Hill Mall.
"I think it came from the media," said William Timmons of Strawbridge & Clothier. "It's the employees, we're the ones who call it 'Black Friday'," said Belle Stephens of Moorestown Mall. "We work extra hard. It's a long, hard day for the employees."

So I say to all my friends and family....Good luck and stay safe, if you're planning on shopping tomorrow.  I hope you can get in on all the bargains, without too much of a hassle!  Take care  :-) 

Work On Wednesdays - Reality Check from Bill Gates

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not, and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tips On Tuesdays - A Tip for Adam Lambert

Normally, I try to find some helpful tips to post that can benefit everyone.  But today, I couldn't resist commenting on one particular person and giving him a tip.

I did not personally watch the American Music Awards show.  But since I am a news junkie, I couldn't help but notice the reporting done on the reaction to the Adam Lambert performance on the show.  For those not familiar with him, he is an openly gay singer, who became famous from being on American Idol. 

The news clips showed parts of his performance, which included (as copied from an article).....
'dragging a female dancer around by the ankles, pushing a male dancer's head into his crotch and simulating oral sex, walking a pair of male (dancers crawling on their knees) hoofers around like dogs on a leash, and furiously thrusting his hips at every opportunity, Lambert took a moment mid-song to fervently make out with (an allegedly straight) male keyboard player. After the jaw-dropping performance, Lambert told CNN that the forceful smooch was "in the moment" and was not a planned part of his routine.'

I was also relieved and delighted to see on this MTV website a fan poll, along with some reactions, which were predominatly negative.  In the polling, 78% said they weren't "feeling it".  Thank God that a vast majority of our youth was turned off.  I guess there's still hope that many are not onboard with this 'in your face' type of promotion of homosexual and S&M type of behavior.

So my tip to Adam Lambert is....whatever God given talent you may have, you're not using it in the right way, according to the reaction of your fans!  You might want to rethink how you're going about reaching fame and fortune.

Money On Mondays - Why some things cost so much

If you ever wondered why businesses, doctor's fees and insurance rates keep increasing, you have to consider all the shop lifting and frivolous lawsuit claims that can drive prices up.  More often than not, it's these things that eventually effect everyone.  Consider some examples below, which are called the Stella Awards.

Stella Awards

It's time again for the annual 'Stella Awards'! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico, where she purchased coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? That's right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

Here are the Stella's for the past year:

Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

Start scratching!

Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

Scratch some more....

Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish.

Keep scratching. There are more...

Double hand scratching after this one..

Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

Pick a new spot to scratch, you're getting a bald spot..

Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania wins the 3rd Place spot because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tail bone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?

Only two more so ease up on the scratching....

Kara Walton, of Claymont , Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000....oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.

OK. Here we go!!

This year's runaway 1st Place Stella Award winner was: Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down?

$1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Are we, as a society, getting more stupid....or are more members of Congress serving on juries these days?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Scripture On Sundays - Christ Is King, the Alpha & the Omega

From Daniel 7:13-14  This was a vision Daniel the prophet had on what the Messiah would be like.
13 "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was One like a Son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

From Revelation 1:4-8  The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
4John,  To the seven churches in the province of Asia:
Grace and peace to you from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before His throne, 5and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, 6and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father—to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
7Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him;
and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen.
8"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

From John 18:33-37  Listen to the King of Truth
33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked Him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" 
34 "Is that your own idea," Jesus asked, "or did others talk to you about Me?"
35"Am I a Jew?" Pilate replied. "It was Your people and Your chief priests who handed You over to me. What is it You have done?"
36Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, My servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jews. But now My kingdom is from another place."
37"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.
Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to Me."

I would like to say that Christians from the different denominations are uniting and many have signed an official declaration of that purposeful unity.  Click on to read more about it. 

On the basis of our religious freedoms, these Americans are the ones who believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, our King, and are taking a stand on matters of respect for life and marriage.  These beliefs are being threatened and trampled upon by our current culture of liberal thinkers and secular progressives who want to keep an unjust law (abortion) the way it is, and continue to promote changing our government's policies and laws on the definition of marriage.  The Christian believers are standing firm on what is the truth. 

Common sense would tell the practical person, who has not been desensitized into believing otherwise by the media and culture, that these Christian truths are obviously what's morally right.  There is such a thing as an unjust law.  There are those who have been successful, unfortunately, in convincing many Americans that it's a good and just law that a woman has the right to choose to end the life of her unborn child.  Even if it's conceived through rape....but is that the baby's fault?  Does it deserve to have it's life snuffed out because of that?  What do you think the percentage is of women who actually need an abortion to save her own life?  What do you think the percentage is of abortions that are done for reasons of inconvenience?  Wouldn't you think the latter's percentage is far greater? 

Now they are trying to redefine marriage, by convincing many that it is OK, even proper to give legal marriage rights to those who choose to have a sexual relationship with a person of the same sex.  Do we want to believe what has been taught by Christ the King, or should we believe what some mere humans or governmental officials want us to believe (and maybe they say they're for it just to win votes)?  Who would you really think has our best interest at heart?  Liberal politicians or God?  Who knows what's best for us?  Jesus knows we humans have a habit of getting ourselves into difficult situations.  Would Jesus think destroying life and changing the definition of marriage are acceptable and lawful....and good for us and our society? 

Sadly, we live in an imperfect world, with imperfect people, who many times make poor judgements.  But Jesus loved the sinners, according to all the Bible stories and He's always ready to forgive.  He knows they are the ones who need His help and guidance.       

But there are the stubborn ones and there comes to a point in time where push comes to shove, and we fellow humans are drawing a line in the sand with our progressive brethern, by this declaration.  It's actually long overdue, in my opinion.      

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Satire On Saturdays - Points To Ponder

Why is it that if you cross the North Korean border illegally you get thrown into prison and they want to give you 12 years of hard labor. 
If you cross the Iranian border while out supposedly leisurely hiking in the hills, you get arrested and imprisoned.
But if you cross the U.S. border illegally, you get a drivers license, a Social Security card and free healthcare.

Family & Friends On Friday - Red Fridays

This is from an e-mail that was forwarded to me ....

Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together. After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he was heading home. No, he responded. Heading out I asked? No, I'm escorting a soldier home. Going to pick him up? No, he is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq, I'm taking him home to his family.

The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that, although he didn'tknow the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and he felt as if he knew them after many conversationsin so few days. I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, "Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do, so my family and I can do what we do."

Upon landing in Chicago the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom."Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign." Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American. So here's a public "Thank You" to our military men and women for what you do, so we can live the way we do.

Soon you will see a great many people wearing red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority." We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing. Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect has been going on every Friday -- and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home.  We're sending a deafening message that every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something red. By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday, a sea of red, much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers.

If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED. It will let our troops know the once "silent" majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on. The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can we do to make things better for you?" is....
"We need your support and your prayers."

So let's get the word out and lead with class, dignity, and by example, by wearing something red every Friday, in support of our troops.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Trivia On Thursdays - Life In The 1500's

* LIFE IN THE 1500's *

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, 'Don't throw the baby out with the bath water'.

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, 'It's raining cats and dogs'.

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, 'Dirt poor'. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a 'threshhold'.

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, 'Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot, nine days old'.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show it off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, 'bring home the bacon'. They would cut off a little to share with guests, and all would sit around and 'chew the fat'.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the 'upper crust'.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait to see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a 'wake'.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, 'saved by the bell' or was considered a 'dead ringer'.

And that's the truth. Now, whoever said history was boring ! ! !

Educate someone. Share these facts with a friend.

Work On Wednesdays - Pay raises for some, not for others

Pres. Obama approved a 2% salary increase for all federal employees effective January 1, 2010.
Members of the executive, legislative and judicial branches are due for an automatic pay increase
in January as well. All this on the backs of seniors who will not incur any COLA (cost of living adjustment) increases for several years.

However, the per person monthly Medicare insurance premium will be increased from the 2009
premium of $96.40 to $104.20 in 2010 and to $120.20 for the year 2011.  However, I'm sure
this could be subject to change....and I bet it won't be for the better.

This is just the beginning of the plans they have for us. 

Tips On Tuesdays - Benefits Of Honey & Cinnamon

If half of these suggestions are true - they are certainly worth trying.  I cannot say that I would vouch for any of the results they claim, but you will never know if you don't try, right?


Honey is the only food on the planet that will not spoil or rot. It will do what some call turning to sugar. In reality honey is always honey. However, when left in a cool dark place for a long time it will do what I rather call "crystallizing". When this happens I loosen the lid, boil some water, and sit the honey container in the hot water, off the heat and let it liquefy. It is then as good as it ever was.

However, never boil honey or put it in a microwave. To do so will kill the enzymes in the honey.

Facts on Honey and Cinnamon:

It is found that a mixture of honey and cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also accept honey as a 'Ram Ban' (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases.

Honey can be used without any side effects for any kind of diseases.

Today's science says that even though honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients.

Weekly World News, a magazine in Canada , in its issue dated 17 January,1995 has given the following list of diseases that can be cured by honey and cinnamon as researched by western scientists:

HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread, instead of jelly and jam, and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also, those who have already had an attack, if they do this process daily, they are kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada , various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as you age, the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and veins.

ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients may take daily, morning and night, one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. If taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University , it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week, out of the 200 people so treated, practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain, and within a month, mostly all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis started walking without pain.

BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder.

CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, given to a cholesterol patient, was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol is cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol. I'm going to start using a tub of Cinnamon Honey Butter a week.

COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and clear the sinuses.

UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears stomach ulcers from the root.

GAS: According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that if honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.

INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural 'Ingredient' which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Take four spoons of honey, one spoon of cinnamon powder, and add to three cups of heated water to make like tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans also increase and even a 100 year old, starts performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with warm water. If done daily for two weeks, it removes pimples from the root.

SKIN INFECTIONS: Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections.

WEIGHT LOSS: Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey added to cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. If taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

CANCER: Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month three times a day.

FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens, who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts, are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M. when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, increases the vitality of the body within a week.

BAD BREATH: People of South America, first thing in the morning, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water, so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing. Remember when we were kids? We had toast with real butter and cinnamon sprinkled on it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Money On Mondays - An Economics Experiment

An economics teacher made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that President Obama's socialist ideas would work because no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The teacher then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan".

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the teacher told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that.

Scripture On Sundays - A Short One

I was out of town to celebrate a grandson's christening, another's birthday, along with some other important family affairs, which have kept me away from the computer.  At this time, instead of sharing this Sunday's readings, I will just share one brief scripture verse which gives me my direction....

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
Philemon 1:6

I also saw an interview on TV tonight with a Catholic priest who spoke about where the Catholic Church stands on three different and highly political topics.  They are 1) their concerns regarding the abortion language in the healthcare bill, 2) gay marriage and adoption rights, and 3) helping immigrants, even if they are illegal. 

Some may think the stances the Church has are contradictory, as I briefly outline below.  Many also disagree with people interjecting any of their religious beliefs into public policy.  Separation of Church and State, they will say.  But they do intersect, whether we want to acknowledge it or not. 

The Church's views on abortion and gay marriage are normally opposite of the liberal/progressive point of view, which is pro choice and for gay rights.  But it's stance on the need to help immigrants, regardless of their legal status, is in opposition, more often than not, to the traditionally conservative point of view. 

Some may wonder why the Church would be sympathetic to life issues, like speaking up for the rights of the unborn and wanting to help immigrants, even if they are here illegally, yet not be supportive of the gay community concerning their demands to have full marriage rights and be able to adopt as a gay couple. 

I'd like to believe we hold no animosity towards any person, regardless of their race or sexual orientation.  The Church has been a leader in this country on education, providing healthcare facilities, orphanages and helping the poor, such as through Catholic Charities.  Much of this work has been self supporting, such as through the payment of tuition with education and other private charitable donations and fund raisers.  Yet with the healthcare and adoption services they provide, there is some unavoidable government involvement.  When we're all on the same page, there's not a problem.  But when governmental laws or mandates are interjected which do not coincide with the core teachings of the church, it becomes a problem. 

All I can say is that I hope the people of this country and it's politicians realize and more importantly, understand that under our country's right to religious freedom, the Church should have a say in how they choose to operate their own facilities within the healthcare system, the charities, and the adoption services, using guidelines that are in compliance with their Church doctrine.

Jesus taught us to 'render unto Caesar what is Caesar's'.  Paying taxes....yes, but I don't think He wanted the government to impose actual laws or practices that are in opposition to His core teachings.   

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Satire On Saturdays - Gifts That Will Keep On Giving?

Be prepared to hear about (if you're paying attention) how this current administration is planning to be sending out plenty of 'gifts' from our national treasury.  But no worries, we have overdraft protection.....we'll just continue to borrow from China, along with printing the money we don't have too!

Our Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi is basking in the glory of the passage of this healthcare bill in the House of Representatives.  As we all know, it's not a done deal yet, as it has to go through more conferences and the Senate.  But she's hoping by Christmas, the passage of, what will probably be a totally new and reconfigured bill, will be our "gift" for Christmas.  Ironically, it will be a "gift" that you and I will be charged for.

I don't know how this will all play out, but get ready for new attempts at legislation that may not set well with many of us.  I feel like I am in a boxing match, where I'm on the receiving end of one body blow after another.  So get ready for climate change "cap and trade" taxation next, along with this Copenhagen treaty "climate debt" they think we supposedly owe 3rd world nations, if that's signed in early December.  This treaty is more about giving away our sovereign authority.  As I understand it, it will be the U.S. submitting to a 'one world' rule.  If signed, we will be agreeing to these 'gift' giveaways, which we will send out to other countries that have been 'damaged' by the 'bad' American polluters.  Meanwhile, we'll have our electric rates going up from the cap and trade, all while many of us are out of work!  Let's see if our president can get China to sign onto this too, as they are much worse at having pollution restrictions, than us.

Then it will be pushing for all of the illegals to be included in our goody bag of 'gifts' along with an extra gift of immigration amnesty.  Let's not forget the "debt" we owe to our native American Indians too.  On a day of a national travesty at Ft. Hood, our president asked the networks for time to make his comments.  He took, what seemed to be an eternity, to get to the point.  While addressing native Americans at this conference, he first took his sweet time thanking this one and that one and giving 'shout outs' to all of the dignitaries at the conference, before he even began speaking about Ft. Hood.  Then he was quick to say that we should not jump to conclusions about the obvious perpetrator.  Yet, if you rewind the clock back to the 'beer summit', his early reaction to that particular incident was that the police acted stupidly.  Was that not jumping to conclusions before knowing all the facts?  He seemed quick to judge the police, but not a Muslim in the Army, who allegedly made a jihadist 'shout out' to Allah before he began shooting his defenseless Army comrades.

So the Democrats will continue to tax and spend us into oblivion.  And they don't want to give these "gifts" we're paying for just to Americans, like I stated above.  This ideology of giving these certain Guantanamo detainees a trial where they will receive our civilian rights, just to prove to the world how great we treat our enemy combatants, is absurd.  It is a slap in the face to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11.  It will also cost the American taxpayer dearly.  We can only imagine how much the court costs and security will be.  This will also give a platform in the courtroom for the accused to spout their jihadist hatred for America, which will no doubt be played on the evening newscasts.  We know there will not be any guilt or remorse coming from these individuals.  Also, the lawyers defending them will, in a roundabout way, be putting our past administration and CIA operatives on trial instead.  This is a victory for the leftists, and will enable them to highlight all that they hated about our interrogation policies, and will have that testimony thrown out or considered inadmissable in court.  In my opinion, giving these individuals this civilian trial, in New York no less, is a 'gift' to all those who hate America.....and at the American taxpayer's expense!  And isn't it ironic too, that this announcement was made by Atty. General Eric Holder on a Friday afternoon, while the President was out of the country?  It's like dropping a bomb, when you hope no one will notice, and when the one who 'gave the order' was far, far away.  I guess that was our Friday the thirteenth 'gift'!

So the struggling American taxpayer will be footing the bill for all of these 'gifts' that this current administration deems necessary.  What's amazing to me is that all of this is being pushed through while we're still experiencing continued job losses.  Who's going to pay for all of this, when there are so many out of work?  What's even more amazing is that these liberal progressives are reaching out for sugguestions from Republicans now on how to restart the economy!  I guess that proves the Dems know how to spend, but they don't know how to 'stimulate' job growth in our teetering economy.    We must remember these wise words from a former President that our current President claims to admire....

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.

You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

~Abraham Lincoln

And another quote where the author is unknown....

The object of the game is to destroy American capitalism

by having the government take over everything!

Wanna play?  No?  Well, too bad, you're already playing.

And quite frankly, in this game, they don't yet seem to realize,
 nobody wins.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Family & Friends On Fridays - Out of the mouth's of babes

My young grandson called the other day to wish me a Happy
Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him, 62.  My
grandson was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, "Did you
start at 1?"

After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed
into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her
hair. As she heard the children getting more and more
rambunctious, her patience grew thin. Finally, she threw a towel
around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back
to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard the
three-year-old say with a trembling voice, "Who was THAT?"

A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her
own childhood was like: "We used to skate outside on a pond.
 I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front
yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the
woods." The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this all in. At
last she said, "I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"

My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do
you know how you and God are alike?" I mentally polished my
halo and I said, "No, how are we alike?''
"You're both old," he replied.

A little girl was diligently pounding away on her
grandfather's word processor. She told him she was writing a
story. "What's it about?" he asked. "I don't know," she replied.
"I can't read."

I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet,
so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask
what color it was. She would tell me and was always correct. It
was fun for me, so I continued. At last, she headed for the
door, saying, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out
some of these, yourself!"

When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we
kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting
pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in.. Noticing
them before I did, Billy whispered, "It's no use Grandpa. Now
the mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights."

When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied,
"I'm not sure."  He then advised me, "Look in your underwear,
Grandpa. Mine says I'm 4 to 6."

Children's Logic: "Give me a sentence about a public
servant," said the teacher. The small boy wrote: "The fireman came
down the ladder pregnant." The teacher took the lad aside to
correct him. "Don't you know what pregnant means?" she asked.
"Sure," said the young boy confidently. "It means carrying a child."

A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren to their home
one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat
of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started
discussing the dog's duties. "They use him to keep crowds back,"
said one child. "No," said another.. "He's just for good luck."
A third child brought the argument to a close. "They use the
dogs," she said firmly, "to find the fire hydrants."

A 6-year-old was asked where his grandma lived. "Oh," he
said, "she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just
go get her. Then, when we're done having her visit, we take
her back to the airport."

My Grandparents are funny, when they bend over; you hear gas
leaks, and they blame their dog.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Trivia On Thursdays - Most Common Last Names

My husband had told me he was watching a game show on TV and heard the most common last name in the US is Rodriguez.  Now I realize our Hispanic population is growing at a rapid pace, as compared to all of the other ethnic groups, but I was rather surprised to hear it may have over taken the top spot.  It's rather unusual, because for decades names like Smith and Johnson have held the highest spots.  So I did a little research and found that the name Rodriguez does, in fact hold top honors, but in just one particular segment of our country....that is, in National League Baseball.  So my husband may have missed that part of the question on the game show, which I assume they must have included in their question. 
Below is an article titled 'Baseball's Biggest Clan - Thy Name is Rodriguez'
by Joel Millman from the Wall St. Journal ....

Among the more than 8,500 players who were under contract to Major League Baseball teams at the beginning of April, there are thousands of different surnames.

They range from the lone Tabachnik on the jersey of a Single-A pitcher in the San Diego Padres farm system to 95 players with the name Rodriguez—the most for any extended clan in baseball.

Considering that a remarkable 32% of all players (2,726) come either from the Dominican Republic or Venezuela, it's not exactly startling that nine of the top 10 most common surnames have Latino origins. Following Rodriguez it's Martinez (68), Gonzalez (65), Perez (63), Garcia (62), Hernandez (57) and Ramirez (53). Lyman D. Platt, a genealogical studies expert who specializes in Latin America, says a mere 11 Spanish surnames account for a quarter of the population in this hemisphere.

Indeed, the only non-Latino surname to crack the top 10 was Smith, which was represented by 40 Americans and one Canadian.

So which top baseball clan is the best? When it comes to batting average, the winner—as of last Friday—was the Ramirez clan. Led by Hanley of the Florida Marlins (.351) and Manny of the Los Angeles Dodgers (.319), the Ramirez boys have a .275 average. (There's a kid named Alvaro Ramirez who's hitting .372 for a Chicago Cubs farm team in the Dominican Republic.)

While the Rodriguez clan is the largest by far, its overall .257 batting average leaves something to be desired. The extended family isn't getting much help from its most famous member, Alex of the New York Yankees. He was hitting .254 as of Friday.

—Joel Millman

Here are the cumulative batting averages for hitters with the most common surnames in baseball.

NAME Batting Average No. of Hitters

Ramirez .275 23

Smith .266 15

Martinez .263 31

Perez .259 30

Rodriguez .257 45

Hernandez .256 22

Garcia .244 28

Gonzalez .234 31


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Work On Wednesdays - Salute To Our Vets

I can't start without first acknowledging our veterans today.  I would like to thank all those who are currently serving in our military too and the work they do on our behalf.  I hope they all know we are grateful for all of their service, past and present.  But there are those in this country who disagree with our foreign policy and like to portray us as unwanted occupiers.  But most of us know, if it wasn't for the sacrifices of our military, these countries would continue to be under seige by oppressors, and those unstable governments are fertile grounds for being overrun and abused by, shall I say "undesirables".  I'm being sarcastically politically correct by calling them that!   

On the homefront, we have to believe the economy will improve, but there's a point where wishing and hoping won't necessarily make it happen. I believe the government and the banks have to create a better climate for businesses to flourish where owners feel comfortable enough to be able to expand and hire more workers. They need access to loans and less, not more taxation from the government. Their priority should be reviving the job market right now, in my opinion. Everything else will fall into place once that gets back on track. I've also got two sons out of work and one is married with two small children. We do what we can to help them. But this is why I'm so interested with what's happening in Washington DC. Their votes will impact our future, along with our children's and grandchildren's futures as well.

I would love to see some relief for those who fall between the cracks (those who earn too much to be on Medicaid, but don't have any employer based healthcare coverage either). No doubt, we need to reform our healthcare system, but if only they could do it without bankrupting the whole country in the process, since they are trying to push this legislation through when we are already in a recession. I also do not want to see, (what I believe to be true, but they say no), is our government dismantling another huge segment of the private sector (those awful insurance companies the liberals love to hate, but I'm sure those companies pay plenty of taxes, which our government coffers desperately need right now!). Plus, we owe China too much already. 

So let's encourage our political leaders to do a gut check and focus on what should be their priority.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tips On Tuesdays - Life Lessons

A sharp tongue can cut your own throat.

If you want your dreams to come true, you mustn't oversleep.

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

The best vitamin for making friends..... B1.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge.

One thing you can give and still your word.

You lie the loudest when you lie to yourself.

If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time. Ideas won't work unless you do.

Your mind is like a functions only when open.

The 10 commandments are not a multiple choice.

The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime!  It is never too late to become what you might have been.....unless you are denied the chance at life and liberty.

The video below is about miracles.  Are these scientific facts or fantasy?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Money On Mondays - Depositing In Your Bank Account

Thanks Rol, for this story....

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully
dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably
combed and who is perfectly shaven, even though he is legally
blind, moved in to a nursing home today.
His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.
After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing
home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.
As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual
description of his tiny room, including the eyelet curtains that had
been hung on his window.
"I love it," he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year old
having just been presented with a new puppy.
"Mr. Jones, you haven't even seen the room yet; just wait."
"That doesn't have anything to do with it," he replied.
"Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I
like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is
arranged. It's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it.
It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a
choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have
with the parts of my body that no longer work, or I can get out of
bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and
as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the
happy memories I've stored away."

Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from it, what
you've put in.

So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in
your bank account of memories!

Thank everyone for being a part of giving you "deposits" for your
"Memory" Bank.

I am still depositing.

Remember the five simple rules to being happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.

2. Free your mind from worries.

3. Live simply.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less.

Have a nice day....unless you already have plans to do otherwise.

Scripture On Sundays - Giving 'Till It Hurts

This Sunday's theme from the first reading and the gospel, in my mind, is about "giving 'till it hurts".  It's easy to give away the leftovers or excess from your abundance.  But when you give from your basic necessities, it will not go unnoticed by God, and you will be rewarded. 
Especially during these critical times in our economy, there are a lot more of us who are not in the 'abundance' category.  But we must remember, God has a special place for the lowly and downtrodden.  Here's the story from the first reading about the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 17:10-16, who was traveling through a region which had been suffering from drought....

10 So Elijah the prophet went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?" 11 As she was going to get it, he called, "And bring me, please, a piece of bread."

12 "As surely as the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don't have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die."
13 Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.'
15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.

This woman, who had barely enough to eat for herself and her son, ended up deciding to go ahead and share what little she had with this prophet Elijah; and the promise he made to her through God came true. 
Now in the second reading, we are reminded we only have one life and one death.  What we do during our life here on earth will impact our eternity.  This reading is from Hebrews 9:24-28....

24For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; He entered heaven itself, now to appear in God's presence, on our behalf. 25Nor did He enter heaven to offer Himself again and again, the way the high priest enters into the sanctuary every year with blood that is not his own. 26Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28so also Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to take away sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

And the following gospel from Mark 12:38-44 also speaks similarly to the first reading from the Old Testament.  God takes into account how much of a sacrifice we make by our charitiable giving, according to our financial standing.  It does makes a difference to Him.

38As He taught, Jesus said, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, 39and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."

The Widow's Offering
41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
43Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."



Satire On Saturdays - The Mechanic & the Doctor

A mechanic was removing a cylinder-head from the motor of a Harley Davidson when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop.
The cardiologist was there waiting for the service manager to come and take a look at his bike when the mechanic shouted across the garage, "Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?"
The cardiologist, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on the motorcycle.
The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, "So Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take da valves out, repair any damage, and then put them back in, and when I finish, it works just like new.  So how come I make $39,675 a year and you get the really big bucks when you and I are doing basically the same work?"
The cardiologist paused, smiled and leaned over, then whispered to the mechanic. . .
"Try doing it with the engine running."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Family & Friends On Fridays - Images of Mother

The Images of Mother

4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!

8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!

12 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.

14 YEARS OF AGE - Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either.

16 YEARS OF AGE - Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned.

18 YEARS OF AGE - That old woman? She's way out of date!

25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, she might know a little bit about it!

35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.

45 YEARS OF AGE - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?

65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could talk it over with Mom.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears,
the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen from deep within her eyes,
because that's the doorway to her heart; the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole,
but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.

It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows,
and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

And on a lighter note, I heard a great saying recently (I can't remember
where I heard it now) that I thought was pretty realistic about family life....
It is, "We know how to put the 'fun' in dysfunctional"!
Now that's what you call putting a positive 'spin' on things! 
Let's face it, we're all, in some way or another, a bit dysfunctional, right?!

Trivia On Thursdays - History of 'Don't Tread On Me'

Most of you have seen a flag recently with a coiled rattlesnake on a yellow background, with the words "Don't Tread On Me" written below it.  This flag is also referred to as the Gadsden flag.

The origins of the Gadsden flag, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps

By 1775, the snake symbol wasn't just being printed in newspapers. It was appearing all over the colonies: on uniform buttons, on paper money, and of course, on banners and flags.

The snake symbol morphed quite a bit during its rapid, widespread adoption. It wasn't cut up into pieces anymore. And it was usually shown as an American timber rattlesnake, not a generic serpent.

We don't know for certain where, when, or by whom the familiar coiled rattlesnake was first used with the warning "Don't Tread on Me."  We do know when it first entered the history books.

In the fall of 1775, the British were occupying Boston and the young Continental Army was holed up in Cambridge, woefully short on arms and ammunition. At the Battle of Bunker Hill, Washington's troops had been so low on gunpowder that they were ordered "not to fire until you see the whites of their eyes."

In October, a merchant ship called The Black Prince returned to Philadelphia from a voyage to England. On board were private letters to the Second Continental Congress that informed them that the British government was sending two ships to America loaded with arms and gunpowder for the British troops.

Congress decided that General Washington needed those arms more than the British. A plan was hatched to capture the cargo ships. They authorized the creation of a Continental Navy, starting with four ships. The frigate that carried the information from England, the Black Prince, was one of the four. It was purchased, converted to a man-of-war, and renamed the Alfred.

To accompany the Navy on their first mission, Congress also authorized the mustering of five companies of Marines. The Alfred and its sailors and marines went on to achieve some of the most notable victories of the American Revolution. But that's not the story we're interested in here.

What's particularly interesting for us is that some of the Marines that enlisted that month in Philadelphia were carrying drums painted yellow, emblazoned with a fierce rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike, with thirteen rattles, and sporting the motto "Don't Tread on Me."

In December 1775, "An American Guesser" anonymously wrote to the Pennsylvania Journal:

"I observed on one of the drums belonging to the marines now raising, there was painted a Rattle-Snake, with this modest motto under it, 'Don't tread on me.' As I know it is the custom to have some device on the arms of every country, I supposed this may have been intended for the arms of America."

This anonymous writer, having "nothing to do with public affairs" and "in order to divert an idle hour," speculated on why a snake might be chosen as a symbol for America.

First, it occurred to him that "the Rattle-Snake is found in no other quarter of the world besides America."

The rattlesnake also has sharp eyes, and "may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance." Furthermore, "She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. ... she never wounds 'till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her."

Finally, "I confess I was wholly at a loss what to make of the rattles, 'till I went back and counted them and found them just thirteen, exactly the number of the Colonies united in America; and I recollected too that this was the only part of the Snake which increased in numbers.

'Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together, so as never to be separated but by breaking them to pieces. One of those rattles singly, is incapable of producing sound, but the ringing of thirteen together, is sufficient to alarm the boldest man living."

Many scholars now agree that this "American Guesser" was Benjamin Franklin.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Work On Wednesdays - Goofy business signs

Did I read this sign right?

In a Laundromat:

In a London department store:

In an office:

In an office:

Outside a secondhand shop:

Notice in health food shop window:

Spotted in a safari park: (I sure hope so)

Seen during a conference:

Notice in a farmer's field:

Message on a leaflet:

On a repair shop door:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tips On Tuesdays - Experiences of Life

Experience is what you get, when you didn’t get what you wanted.

Never argue with an idiot. They’ll try to drag you down to their level of experience.

A pat on the back is only a few inches from a kick in the butt.

When you don’t know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

If you're sittin’ under a dead pine tree and eatin’ candy outta’ your sock, it’d better be Christmas.

Experience is something you don't get, until just after you need it.

You only need two tools for life: WD-40 and duct tape.
 If it doesn’t move and it should, use the WD-40.
If it moves and it shouldn’t, use the duct tape.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Money On Mondays - How Many Zeros In A Billion?

The answer is 9, so one billion is 1,000,000,000.

This is too true to be funny. The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A.  A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
B.  A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
C.  A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
D.  A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
E.  A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.