Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SERIES - THE INCORRUPTIBLE

As a pentecostal convert to Catholicism, I have embraced hundreds of teachings and practices of the Church. One of the most mystical and interesting facets of this beautiful faith is that of the Incorruptibles. I want to run a series of posts on some of the 250 incurruptible saints. I hope you will enjoy this series of posts. Let's begin with a brief introduction taken from the Catholic Apologetics.
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The incorrupt bodies of these saints are simply a living witness or proof to the truth of the Catholic religion as the one true faith from God, who has confirmed the testimony of the Church in the great miracles he has worked through it's saints.

The Council of Trent:
"The bodies of holy martyrs and others now living with Christ, bodies which were His members and temples of the Holy Spirit, which one day are to be raised up by Him and made glorious in everlasting life, are to be venerated by the faithful; God gives men many benefits through them."
The Bodies of the saints for us are like great and holy relics, which move us to honor the saints who God has chosen to honor by preserving them incorrupt.

In scripture we read that the use of the bones of Elisha brought a dead man to life:

"So Elisha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Elisha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood on his feet." (2 Kgs. 13:20-21).
A woman was cured of a hemorrhage by touching the hem of Christ's cloak (Matt. 9:20-22). The sick were healed when Peter's shadow passed over them (Acts 5:15-16).

"And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them" (Acts 19:11-12).
The Power of the relics to work miracles doesn't come from the object itself but from God, who confirms the faith of the person who is healed by means of them as to testify to the holiness of His saints.

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Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Bernadette, born in 1844 of very poor parents in the town of Lourdes, France, spent most of her childhood in poor health. As she grew older, she was very slow at her studies and lost much school time due to severe asthma attacks. On February 11, 1858, when Bernadette was sent with her younger sister and a friend to gather firewood, she saw a very beautiful Lady standing above a rose bush in a grotto at Massabielle. The lovely Lady, dressed in blue and white, smiled at Bernadette and then made the sign of the cross with a rosary of ivory and gold. Bernadette fell on her knees, took out her own rosary, and began to pray. The beautiful Lady was God’s Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. She appeared to Bernadette during seventeen other apparitions; and during one of the last of these appearances, she instructed Bernadette to go further into the grotto and begin digging in the dirt with her hands. At first nothing happened; but soon the miraculous fountain, now known as the “Fountain of Lourdes,” began to flow forth from the ground where Bernadette had dug.

At the age of twenty-two, Bernadette became a Sister of Charity at Nevers, France. Although besieged by many of the faithful, she sought God in the silence of the cloister, serving Him in humility under the vows of her profession as a Sister of Charity. She lived in the convent for thirteen years, spending a large portion of this time ill in the infirmary. When a fellow nun accused her of being a “lazybones,” Bernadette said, “My job is to be ill.”

Sister Bernadette died on the 16th of April in 1879. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1933, Bernadette was canonized, thus fulfilling the promise that the Blessed Mother had made to her in 1858: “I do not promise to bring you happiness in this world, but in the next.”
St. Bernadette’s body, which to this day has never corrupted, lies in St. Gildard Convent in Nevers, France. After having been exhumed three times, her body was discovered to have slightly discolored in places; and in l925 an extremely light wax covering was made for her face and hands.




Heartlight


VERSE: The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

~ Psalm 1:4


THOUGHT: No matter the temporary apparent benefits of wicked schemes and evil power, all these efforts end at the grave. They are swept away, leaving the wicked with nothing to show for their efforts and no Savior to plead their case as they stand before the righteousness and justice of the one true and holy God.

PRAYER: Dear Father, please help me resist the temptation to idolize or exalt those who succeed through evil devices, schemes, methods orplans. Help my heart seek your Kingdom and righteousness. In Jesus'name I pray. Amen.

Today's . . .

Every time we pray, our horizon is altered, our attitude to things is altered, not sometimes but every time, and the amazing thing is that we don't pray more.

~Oswald Chambers

Yea, thou art my rock and my fortress; for thy name’s sake lead me and guide me, take me out of the net which is hidden for me, for thou art my refuge.

~ Psalm 31:3-4, The Revised Standard Version

Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.

~ Will Rogers

Pepito and the English Language

1. *Cheese* The teacher told Pepito to use the word cheese in a sentence. Pepito replies: Maria likes me, but cheese fat.

2. *Mushroom* When all my family get in the car, there's not mushroom.

3. *Shoulder* My fren wanted 2 become a citizen but she didn't know how to readso I shoulder.

4. * Texas * My fren always Texas me when I'm not home wondering where I'm at!

5. *Herpes* Me and my fren ordered pizza. I got mine piece and she got herpes.

6. *July* Ju told me ju were going to tha store and July to me! Julyer!

7. *Rectum* I had 2 cars but my wife rectum!

8. *Chicken* I was going to go to the store with my wife but chicken go herself.

9. *Wheelchair* We only have one enchilada left, but don't worry wheelchair

10. *Chicken* *wing* My wife plays the lottery so chicken wing.

11. *Harassment* My wife caught me in bed with another women and I told her honey harassment nothing to me.

12. *Bishop* My wife fell down the stair so I had to pick the bishop.

13. *Body wash* I want to go to the club but no body wash my kids.

14. *Budweiser* That women over there has a nice body, budweiser face so ugly?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Heartlight


VERSE: And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

~ Psalm 1:3

THOUGHT: Some kinds of earthly delight can feed our hearts for a short time. However, when difficulties come, our hearts will wither in the drought of their false nourishment. On the other hand, delighting in the LORD and in his will for us provides us with ongoing and ever-fresh joy. Out of this God-seeking lifestyle come both short-term and long-term benefits as well as a resiliency that withstands life's worst droughts.

PRAYER: Dear God, the Holy One of heaven, I do find my delight in you and your ways. I find my refreshment in your abiding Spirit. Please give me the wisdom to seek your will every day of my life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Madam Speaker

Nancy Pelosi said last weekend that birth control should be a part of the stimulus package because children are a "burden". This from a wealthy mother of five and a Catholic! Sweet Jesus, Joseph and Holy Mary, Mother of God! This woman is a disgrace to her faith, first, and her country, second. She looked almost giddy sitting next to Obama in the cabinet meeting last week. I don't know how much of this regime I can stomach. Four years seems like forever right now. I'm afraid the only change we're going to see is change for the worse. Lord help us all.

In the words of Woodrow Wilson, “We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the world - no longer a Government of free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men.” [and women]

Monday, January 26, 2009

Heartlight and Wisdom


VERSE: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

~ Psalm 1:1


THOUGHT: So often sin and ungodly lifestyles are portrayed as glamorous. The way of blessing, however, is the way of God. His will is for our good, his commands spring from his mercy and protection, and his way is the path of life. We are blessed when we walk with God and do his will.

PRAYER: Forgive me, Father, for believing the lies of the world and being deceived and enticed by the temptations of Satan. I know that sin brings heartaches, complications, and problems. I also know that choosing the right things, standing up for truth, and living faithfully for you are sometimes very difficult. Please help my heart believe and my mind see that walking in your will brings me life. In Jesus' name I ask this. Amen.

WISDOM: He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

~ Proverbs 14:21, King James Version

The Cab Ride

This is an oldie, but it's a good one and well worth posting. In these times, it seems we need daily reminders of what is important in life, and what is not.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So I walked to the door and knocked. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated'.

'Oh, you're such a good boy', she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?'

'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly.

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.'

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued. 'The doctor says I don't have very long..' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired. Let's go now'

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico...

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?' she asked, reaching into her purse.

'Nothing,' I said

'You have to make a living,' she answered.

'There are other passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. 'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.'

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID, BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

You won't get any big surprise in 10 days if you send this to ten people. But, you might help make the world a little kinder and more compassionate by sending it on.

Thank you, my friend...

I Was Tagged!

I was tagged by GrandmaK in a meme that asks me to consider things about who I am. So these are her slightly altered rules taken from two tags that she received and condensed to save time and space.

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself and things that make you happy.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

I will tell you about things that bring happiness and joy in my life.

1. My faith. I am a convert of Catholicism, which has brought more spiritual joy and awareness into my life for the last twenty-plus years.

2. My family. There are too many to name and my collective family is something that I see the reflection of God's hand and love. My immediate family, husband, daughter, son, son-in-law, three grandchildren, mom and dad, step-son and daughter, sister and her family, are such an enormous blessing. When I think of how much love there is all around me, I know that I must pray for those less fortunate, and not complain about trivialities.

3. Reading my Bible and putting my faith into action, posting verses and prayer on my blog, giving thanks publicly and privately, and always asking myself, "what would Jesus do?".

4. My grandchildren are the greatest love that I have ever known (next to our heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ). In my twenties, I could not conceive of ever being a grandmother and admit that when the first one was anticipated, I asked myself if I was "ready" to be a grandmother. It was a selfish thing to ask myself, and there has not been a day since the birth of the first one that has not been a greater joy because of them.

5. My music. Since I was a toddler, music affected my senses and thoughts. I took piano and music theory from age 11 to 17. I have collected rock and roll albums (and now cd's) ever since my sister and I received our first "phonograph" for Christmas when I was 11 years old. Whatever comes my way, whether it is a joyous event or an event of sadness, music is the second place I turn for comfort, second to our Lord and Savior.

6. My Mama and Daddy. My parents adopted my sister and I when I was 3 and she was 4. They were never able to bare children of their own, but they loved us, and still do, as much as any natural parent could possibly love a child. They worked hard and gave us what they could, and what they felt was sufficient and deserved. We never saw them raise their voices between themselves. We were hugged and told how much we were loved every day. In my mind, I have always felt that I had the greatest mother and father in this world.

Man, it was much more difficult than I realized to try and pick just six things. I appreciate you taking the time to read them. Feel free to copy and paste into an email or on your own blog (if you're not one that I tagged!) and pass it on.

I choose to tag: Jen, Therese, Hewy, Bama Belle, Laura Beth and Soutenus.


Friday, January 23, 2009

This Day's . . .

We see heaven more clearly through the prism of tears.

~ Robertson McQuiken


It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.

~ Ephesians 2:10, The Living Bible

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.

~ John Christian


(Editor’s Note: But we do, indeed, have an eraser.)
Thank God for that eraser! I don't believe that there is or ever has been anyone who has not depended heavily on that trusty eraser!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This Day's . . .

It has been an extremely busy day at the office, but I can't leave without posting Today's message. With every passing day, these messages become more and more vital to our Faith and provide strength in the battles we are facing as Christians. Blessings, Abbey

Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.

~ C. S. Lewis


Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

~1 Peter 5:8-11, The New International Version

Abbey's listening to . . . .

I may have posted this one quite a while back, but I love it so much and brought it out to give it a listen today. If you love just good old live rock and roll, you will love this CD. It kicks and the live ambiance can be felt if you kick it up a knotch on the volume! Enjoy!


Live Monsters

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I AM MAD AS HELL!


In reflection on yesterday's inaugural events, the phrase "moving forward" comes to mind. It is an overly-used phrase in the political world, and where it concerns the swearing in ceremony at the Capitol, I must say that some Americans did not move forward, but instead, fell into the toilet!

I was appalled at the display of some Americans on the National Mall who actually booed outgoing President and Mrs. Bush. It was simply disgusting. How cruel and callous can an individual be? I think we all saw how yesterday. I was ashamed of each and every one of you, whoever you are. You do not represent the same country in which I live. My country has respect for its countrymen and its leaders, compassion in appropriate times of melancholic events, strength and support in times of hardship - but this? Surely there were thousands of people from some other country other than the United States of America who were on the National Mall viewing the ceremonies, for I find it unbelievable that these were bona fide Americans.

How quickly you have forgotten that a mere nine months into Mr. Bush's first term, the tragedy of 9/11 fell on America. Terrorism took off with a vengeance, and it was on Mr. Bush's watch. He lead America through this tragedy, this shock of a lifetime, and back into the light still whole. When has such an event befallen a President in your lifetime? Never.

I will not go into a lengthy diatribe of all the good that became of President Bush's terms in office, but there are many. Laura Bush is one of the most dignified and moral women to ever grace the White House. Mr. and Mrs. Bush were on their way out, and gladly I would imagine, but yet you fools, you who sit in judgment, you holier than thou's, you mean, cruel and tactless people saw fit to stoop as low as anyone can possibly go by shouting your "boos" in announcement of their presence.

And in the face of it all, from the months and months of finger-pointing, joke-making and downright awful public displays, Mr. and Mrs. Bush held their heads high and continued each day with dignity and strength. It takes the finest brand of people to be able to do this. George W. and Laura Bush have proven to me and to millions of others that they have true Americanism where it counts, deep down in the belly of morality, conscience, sense of justice, and spirituality.

I apologize to Mr. and Mrs. Bush for the most awful behavior I have ever witnessed from an American toward a leader. I know you will forgive them in time, as I also believe that time will prove your worth to this country. Of that, I am confident, as you surely must be as well.

Be well, be happy and enjoy your retirement. You have certainly earned it, and more.

God bless you and God bless those who were so thoughtless.

This Day's . . .

The man who knows his sins is greater than one who raises a dead man by his prayer. He who sighs and grieves within himself for an hour is greater than one who teaches the entire universe. He who follows Christ, alone and contrite, is greater than one who enjoys the favor of crowds in the churches.

~ Isaac the Syrian

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.

~ Ecclesiastes 5:1-3,
The New International Version

All the holy men seem to have gone off and died. There's no one left but us sinners to carry on the ministry.

~ Jamie Buckingham

Maxine on Satanists


Friday, January 16, 2009

Abbey is listening to . . . .


That Was Then, This Is Now








Boy George















LONDON, England (CNN) -- Karma caught up with former Culture Club singer Boy George on Friday when a court sentenced the star to 15 months for falsely imprisoning a male escort, a court spokeswoman said.




Read full story here.

This Day's . . .

Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger people! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.

~ Phillips Brooks

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

~ John 11:40, The New International Version


Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.

~ George Eliot

Heartlight


VERSE:

The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. ~ Proverbs 10:11

THOUGHT:

Want to know the difference between a righteous person and a wicked one? Simple. Check the fruit of their lives. One of the most obvious forms of fruit in a person's life is his or her speech. The righteous person finds a way to impart life with his or her speech. The wicked will nearly always reveal themselves by what their mouths say.

PRAYER:

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O God my Father, redeemer, and LORD. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Heartlight

A smile came to my face when I read the commentary on today's scripture, because this was stated almost verbatim as my mother said it to me last fall - "who begat who and who else begat who", and then I found it in Matthew and saw she wasn't kidding! An entire page, small lettered, of geneology. To read the list is one thing; to see it as the whole of an entire legacy is fascinating. Not to mention a prayer that is beautifully spoken. Blessings to all.


VERSE: For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truthendureth to all generations. ~ Psalm 100:5

THOUGHT: I usually "speed read" through the "begats" (you know, through the genealogies in the Bible). But, let's take time today to go back and read Matthew 1:1-17 and be reminded that God's love, mercy, and faithfulness not only continued through all of those generations, but also blessed and nurtured each of those generations. As he has done in the past, God will do so even more in the days ahead as we await the glorious return of his Son and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: In a world of change and undependability, thank you, dear Father, for being sure, steadfast, and faithful. In a time when everyone seems to want something from me or out of me, thank you, dear Father, for repeatedly and consistently blessing me. Thank you for being more enduring than the mountains and more glorious than the most beautiful sunrise. In the name of Jesus, your Son and my glory. Amen.

This Day's . . .

Faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.

~ Philip Yancey



For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.

~ Psalm 48:14, The New International Version

Obama's First Major Misstep

Here we are, less than one week away from the inaugural ceremonies of Barack Hussein Obama, America's first black president. In complete fairness and in case you didn't know, Obama is not black. He was born out of the union of a white woman and a black man, so I suppose you could say that is half-black, or half-white. That makes me want to say "is the glass half full or half empty?"

Nevertheless, millions upon millions of Americans have seized this opportunity to play up the race issue and declare Obama as "THE first black American president." So, I want to be perfectly clear, right now, that this is not an accurate statement. He is the first half-white, half-black individual to hold the office of President of the United States.

The endless rhetoric of such an enormously critical election was worse than it has ever been. The mudslinging, personal jabs, false promises, patronization and continued fleecing of America - all of it was just much more than I could possibly stomach. I was so ready for this to end that I didn't care who won, just end it!

In the course of the campaign, a tremendous amount of time, debate and "promises" surrounded the topic of the U.S. economy. Have you figured out yet where I am going with this? Where I am going is to the Inauguration Ceremonies and Balls. This event is being touted as the most unique in American history, under the guise as the first "black man" to hold the office of the Presidency is being sworn in and therefore, deserves double the festivities and celebrations. False, see above. Obama is but a man, not really unique except for his color. I don't get it.

Four years ago, the second inauguration of George W. Bush was tagged at approximately $40 million to U.S. taxpayers. The Office of Management and Budget says the federal government has allotted $49 million for Obama's inauguration, and that along with the donations to Mr. Obama's campaign for the benefit of his inaugural events tallies at approximately $140 million. Even our outgoing and much ostracized George W. is making every effort to accommodate the next presidency by declaring an "emergency" in D.C., asking Congress to free up another $15 million needed to cover expenses for the inauguration. Will America chastise George W. for making a wasteful and ill-thought decision regarding this expenditure? I think not. Nor will they ingratiate themselves to him for making such a generous gesture, albeit at our expense. Poor George has become moot. But you know, I have a feeling he is happy for it to come and it can't come soon enough for him.

The American taxpayers, all of us, are footing the bill. Whether it is government money or donated money, it is coming from individual and corporate taxpayers, by taxation or donation.

For such a high-profile event, the present D.C. police force of 4,100 is being doubled; hundreds of buses to accommodate tourists and attendees have been lined up; over 5,000 portable sanitation facilities are in place; the National Mall has been opened and is lined with several jumbo television sets so everyone can see Mr. Obama take his oath of office (lasting about one minute) and his speech (about another 15 minutes), and for all practical purposes, as far as the common man and woman, it's over. Incidentally, you can stay home and see it in the comfort of your own home and save some money and frustration. Me, I'll be working, earning money and paying my share of taxes so Mr. Obama can celebrate in style. Not to forget, there are ten - repeat - TEN formal balls in the evening to celebrate this momentous occasion.

There is an enormous thorn in my side and it hurts so badly that I feel I might explode if it penetrates. That thorn is the fact that this country is suffering the worst economical crisis it has faced since the Depression. And Barack Obama has promised this country that he will lead them out of [the gates of hell] and into a new era. With this promise still moist on his lips, he is embarking on the most lavish inauguration to have ever taken place in this country. I am disgusted to the inth degree. Where are you, ye Democrats who can do no wrong, and whose favorite place is sitting comfortably in your chair of judgment high above everyone else? We know where you are. You are giddy with excitement as you prepare yourselves by spending lots of your own money in preparation to look your very, in case you might have a chance to actually shake the hand of the man that you've chosen to lead you out of economic woe, a woe that you so arrogantly pointed your finger of blame to one lone man, about 6 feet tall, who hails from the great State of Texas. A man who never did anything good in his life, by your standards. Well, I don't personally think much of your standards. Think Ted Kennedy and the wreck on the bridge. Think Bill Clinton and Monica in the White House, shaming sacred ground with their lust. But that was not just acceptable behavior, but also completely forgivable.

For a $10,000 donation, one can acquire two tickets to the inauguration/swearing in ceremony. For a donation of $50,000, you can receive four tickets to the ceremony with better seating guaranteed. That's a steal! Apparently, the Obama campaign has sent literally hundreds of emails soliciting donations so that he can “organize the most open and accessible inauguration in our nation’s history.” How dare you, Mr. Obama. How dare you ask people in this economy to donate their money so you can have a lavish ceremony, complete with ten gala balls. I know that YOU know how many people to date have lost their jobs in this economy. You have let us down already, and you have not yet taken the Oath of Office.

All of the elite will be there. They are flying in by private or commercial jet, staying in lavish accommodations all over Washington, D.C., spending thousands on attire, food, beverages and limousines. And the "common man" who has been sucked into this wash of vermin is doing his best to get his family of 4.5 to D.C. the best way he can, hoping that they can walk the long distance from their cheap motel to the venue, and then just maybe get a peep at Obama on one of the jumbo televisions at his swearing-in ceremony and say afterward, "We were there." Afterward, they will make the long trek back the way that they came, in the midst of shoving and pushing in an unimaginable mass of people, holding tight to the little hands of their offspring who are whining and crying and ill at having been dragged into this in the first place; back to their cars, buses and motels, readying for the long trip back home.

Coming down to a state of some sensibility, yes, this is a historical event and it is one of which much where the battle for pride was fought and earned, and payment is now due. But with this country in the economic crisis that it now faces, and with no certain end in sight, I ask you, Mr. Obama: Why are you spending a hundred times more than any of us earn in a lifetime for such a lavish and expensive inauguration? It is in your power, after all, to "just say no."

Perhaps Mr. Obama is not fully versed in American history.

Fact: In other historic times of economic hardships, elected presidents like Franklin D. Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge did not have official inaugural balls. Instead, they chose to hold nontraditional charity events. I love the sound of that word, "charity." It has the most satisfying and honorable sound. Presidents Woodrow Wilson and William Harding canceled their balls altogether because of the great expense that they saw as unnecessary. I suppose they don't make them selfless like that anymore.

I am applauding all of you who voted for Mr. Obama (actually, I'm thumbing my nose). I don't know if you will ever admit it, but you've bought a bill of goods, and you have sold your souls to pay for it. This is only the beginning. God help us all.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Heartlight


VERSE: Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. ~ Psalm 100:4

THOUGHT: This is a psalm about entering into God's presence with thanksgiving and praise. For God's New Covenant people, his Temple is the church (1 Cor. 3:16) and our own bodies (1 Cor. 6:19). Let'svalue and celebrate with joy our church family. Let's also glorify God with our bodies! Let's give thanks and praise God's name in public, in private, and in community.

PRAYER: Father, I enter into the most holy place and approach you because of the sacrifice of Jesus. I am thrilled to know you listen. I am overjoyed to know you welcome me. I am glad to be with you and to let you know how much I appreciate all that you have done for me. Thank you for meeting me in this place of prayer until I can come home to you and meet you face to face. In Jesus' name. Amen.

This Day's . . .

If there are a thousand steps between us and God, he will take all but one. He will leave the final one for us. The choice is ours.

~ Max Lucado


He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.

~ Proverbs 10:9, The Revised Standard Version

Do Not Call Registry

I just called this number and I believe that you can register your home phones also.

REMEMBER: Cell Phone Numbers Go Public next month.

REMINDER.... all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies andyou will start to receive sale calls.... YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS

To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222. (Do not put a "1" in front of the number when calling from your cell phone.)

It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.

HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Today's Maxine





I keep a set of chains in my car in winter because you never know when you'll need to make a citizen's arrest!

Angry America

As if a bright light suddenly appeared, illuminating the dark, narrow crevasses of my mind where unexplored thoughts lie dormant, the dropping of the New Year’s Eve ball was more than turning the page of the calendar for me. I do not have “resolutions”, per se, but ideas and goals that have come to me in this quasi epiphany of sorts.

As my first diatribe, I want to address the state of mind of most Americans. I call them “Angry Americans”, or AA’s.Have you slowed your daily routines, your selfish wants and disappointments, long enough to ponder the state of mind of the American people? Certainly, you will see harshness and anger to a lessor/greater degree depending on what part of the country you visit or inhabit. But, there is no question in my mind. America is extremely angry. Why is this? Why are we so mad and quick to judge, rebuke and spew venom when the smallest to the greatest thing in our lives does not go as we would like?

Why, we are spoiled, for one thing. I am a baby boomer, so I can only speak from that point of view, as we are all products of our environments. In my upbringing, I was loved deeply, but I was also ruled with a big stick. I was taught respect for others, working and earning what you wanted, saying “the blessing” before every meal, chores every Saturday and no other plans until they were finished to my mother’s satisfaction, a dollar week allowance, being grounded (and it stuck) for weeks at a time depending on the offense, and I would never, ever even dream of talking back to either my mother or my dad. My mother bought me six outfits at the beginning of the school year and one pair of shoes, besides my tennis shoes. Those had to get me through until at least Christmas, and my shoes wore out way before that. I walked very hard and duck-like with my feet turned outward, coming down hard on the outside corners of my shoes. Thus, they wore down in no time, not to mention the shoes tearing or the stitching coming out of them. My mother would sometimes be so irritated that she would make me wear them for a while longer to try and instill in me a consciousness of what I was doing and to try and change “my style”. Trust me, I almost believe one’s style is bred into them and it cannot be changed!

In our home, there was no racism nor was the “N” word ever used in my family. We had a “negro” maid, Mary, when I was small, and we loved immensely. She commanded respect from my sister and I, and you can bet your bottom dollar that she told my mother all of our indiscretions when she came home from work each day. Mary was one of the hardest working women I have ever known. She would take down every curtain in the house, wash them, starch them, iron them and have them re-hung by the time my mother got home in the afternoon. She cooked lunch and supper for us. As a matter of fact, back then (and this was in Selma, Alabama, believe it or not), people paid their maids $5 a week. Can you believe this? Mary arrived early, stayed all day away from her own children, and returned home after 5:00 each day by bus. My parents chose to pay her $15 per week, but the only way she would accept it is if we didn’t tell anyone how much we were paying her because she would be ostracized in her own element.

Today, children are given lavish birthday parties each year and it seems electronics of every kind is the gift of the day. Pre-teen have their own cell phones and are text-messaging constantly. The vendors exacerbate this by providing great “unlimited” provisions in their calling plans so we can allow our children to text as much as they like. We give them iPods so they can tune out and drop out. We give them electronics so they can sit in front of a screen and play games day in and day out. What ever happened to reading books to learn about other peoples and other countries, much less our own? The parents are overloaded, mentally slammed with worries over debt, primarily. Their children are selfishly accommodated by the the "toys" they are given which puts them "out of sight and out of mind." There are a LOT of Americans who have absolutely no clue what is going on in their children's minds or lives.

Americans incur debt with not a second thought as to the fact that, back in my day, when you received a loan, you were expected to repay it when it came due. But now, we have mounds and mounds of what is commonly called "junk mail" every day in our mailboxes. Someone pays to have this crap sent to us all. Want to guess who is paying for it? Why, you are, of course. You are paying it in the high interest that the credit card companies are charging you. You are paying salaries, overhead, research and development, flamboyant lifestyles for executives, and for these massive mailings that perhaps 80% of which end up in the round file. I received what I felt was a very clever idea a couple of years ago. I wish I could get everyone to spread the word and follow suit. That is, for each and every solicitation you receive in the mail, along with that “postage paid” envelope enclosed for your reply, just lick that envelope, and mail it back to them empty. Gee, that sounds good, but won’t they just increase their interest or annual fees to make up for all of us trying to get back at them? Probably. You see, you are not going to win this war. It is only you against millions and millions.

America is tired of being lied to, given promises that are forever broken, government spending being out of control with the finger always pointed at us as if we are at fault, and therefore, we must pay more taxes to get ourselves straight, of course. It never ends. I believe I have heard this song and dance for the better part, if not all of my adult life. It’s not going to happen, folks.

We’re tired of high prices – at the grocery store, at the drug store, at the gas pumps, for services, health insurance, utilities, education, and a host of other necessities. I was at WalMart the other day and the check clerk slung my merchandise across the scanner and threw it in bags as if she could give a rat’s patootie about me or the fact that I was paying for these items, and HER salary. She looked like she was absolutely miserable. I wanted so badly to tell her, “if you don’t like what you’re doing, you should not be here. You should go where you will be happy.”

I go to the Post Office to purchase Duck stamps. There are two clerks and two lines of patrons waiting for assistance. All the while, the two clerks are going at it, one smart remark after the other, back and forth, tit for tat, "I didn't take one minute over an hour"; "Well, I appreciate that for a change", and on and on. When I finally get up to the counter, the girl puts up a sign that reads “Next Window Please”. I guess my mouth fell open; I know I didn't say anything. I just moved over to the other line. What could I do? She was already livid and I wasn’t about to tangle with her.

Why are we so mad and angry and vile toward everyone, especially perfect strangers? What gives any of us the right to be tactless and hateful toward others when things do not go as we would have them? Nothing, that's what. We have no right, no right at all to behave in such a way.

People in other countries want to come to America. Why? One reason is that they see America as a lavish country with lavish lifestyles. Not only do we have a lot of personal freedoms, but we have beautiful, expensive vehicles that are bought on credit. We have big, beautiful homes filled with fine furniture that are bought on credit. We have beautiful clothes bought on credit. We have tons of sports – just about anything you might find interesting, whether it be basketball, soccer, football, baseball or NASCAR. We pay mightily for seats to these venues. Why are they so expensive? For one thing, athletics is grossly, and I mean GROSSLY out of control with multi-million dollar contracts for individuals playing in these sports. I must ask you, does one man who plays baseball, something he loves to do, by the way, deserve a $65 million dollar contract spread out over five years? That means he is earning $13 million per year, for playing baseball! And how are owners able to offer such lavish contracts to these people? They can do it because the cost is passed on to you, the fan. Because you allow it by patronizing it, they get away with it. See, like I said, you’re not going to win, America.

You are going to pay for it, all of if, whether you like it or not. Because you have perpetuated it. You continue to buy the cars, the homes, the clothes, the jewelry, the electronics, and the sports tickets – spend spend spend, spend until you choke on it. And that’s what we’re all doing now. We are choking ourselves to death. Some people have no control over what has happened, and are innocent victims of others greed. Some of us choose to live debt free – which means, in case you’re wondering how it’s done, when you buy something, you either pay for it in cash, or if you use a credit card, you do not charge it unless you know that when the bill comes at the end of the month, you can pay for it in full. That is how it’s done. You say, “but, if I don’t charge it, I can’t have it because I can’t pay for it.” My friends, if you cannot pay for it, then you don’t need it and you certainly should not buy it.

So America is stressed to the max. The rubber band holding us together is about to break and it’s cutting off the life blood to where it needs to go and something must give or we’ll die. We take it out on the kids, the husband or wife, the co-worker, the friends, perfect strangers who wait on us at restaurants, in stores, cashiers, telemarketers, customer services reps, etc. We inflict our vile attitudes on each other with not any forethought whatsoever. And it makes us feel good, doesn’t it? Don’t you just feel really good when you give a piece of your mind to somebody that you think deserves your wrath and venom? Oh my, how fulfilling! Sarcasm, of course.

Personally, I’m tired of AA’s. I’ve been a victim and you probably have, too. I say “I give up, I can’t change it, the beast is too big.” And when I say it, I mean it, but yet, I can’t NOT try to change it within my own realm. I am living a life paying it forward. I believe in it. And if I don’t receive payment of this debt before I die, I will still feel a lot better than most of you for having done so. What goes around truly does come around. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is the most basic concept of civility. Can you not try to be civil to one another, and pray and hope that it’s like a good germ that spreads like wildfire and this country will eventually lean further to the side of greatness that has been lost over the last few decades? You can, and you should. It started with us and it will end with us.

Being responsible for your actions is the first step. And after you have decided to take back the responsibility for yourself, then you pray every day to our heavenly Father that He will help you on this quest, help you to rise when you fall, help you to begin again and to keep trying until you get it right, help you to maintain your humility at all times. And I can tell you, without any reservation whatsoever, He will help you and you will succeed.

The end? If nothing else, you might feel some pride in yourself, your life, and your accomplishments, instead of choking on your own venom. It’s sort of like choosing life or death. Who wants to live life in misery when one can have a happy existence. It’s not free; you must earn it, and therefore, you will certainly appreciate it.

You Could Hear A Pin Drop

You could have heard a pin drop when in England, at a fairly large conference, Condi Rice was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of the empire building' by George Bush. She answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.' You could have heard a pin drop.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?' A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?' You could have heard a pin drop.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.' He then asked, 'Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?' Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied 'Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.' You could have heard a pin drop.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AND THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE...

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on. 'You have been to France before, monsieur?' the customs officer asked sarcastically. Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously. Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.' The American said, ''The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it. 'Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!' The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.'

Who said that?

Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, 'Lillian, you should have remained a virgin.'
- Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)
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I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog: - 'No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.'
- Eleanor Roosevelt
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Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement.
- Mark Twain
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The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.
- George Burns
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Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
- Victor Borge
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Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
- Mark Twain
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By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
- Socrates
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I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
- Groucho Marx
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My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.
- Jimmy Durante
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I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back..
- Zsa Zsa Gabor
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Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.
- Alex Levine
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My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying.
- Rodney Dangerfield
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Money can't buy you happiness. But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.
- Spike Milligan
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Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was SHUT UP.
- Joe Namath
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I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap.
- Bob Hope
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I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
- W. C. Fields
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We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.
- Will Rogers
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Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
- Winston Churchill
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Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.
- Phyllis Diller
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By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere.
- Billy Crystal
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And the cardiologist's diet: - If it tastes good spit it out.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Abbey's listening to . . . .


This Day's . . .

I prayed for faith, and thought that someday faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, "Now faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." I had closed my Bible, and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible, and began to study, and faith has been growing ever since.

~ D. L. Moody

Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

~ James 5:10-11, New International Version

Friday, January 09, 2009

Playlist

I'm happy to announce the addition of a playlist to Abbey's Road today. I have downloaded fifteen songs thus far, but there are more to come. The playlist (at the bottom of the blog) is set on "shuffle" and will auto-play when you open my URL. If you like what you hear, you can minimize the window and go on with your work while listening. I hope you enjoy my choices, and suggested music is encouraged.

Have a blessed weekend, everyone!

Today's Maxine



My favorite thing about winter? Probably eating lunch and then watching the sun set.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Christian One-Liners

God bless you, Sid!

Don't let your worries get thebest of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case.

Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited until you try to sit in their pews.

Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors.

It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.

The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close.

When you get to your wit's end, you'll find God lives there.

People are funny; they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.

Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.

Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you couldn't belong.

If the church wants a better pastor, it only needs to pray for the one it has.

God Himself does not propose to judge people until they are dead. So why should you?

Some minds are like concrete - thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

Peace starts with a smile.

I don't know why some people change churches; what difference does it make which one you stay home from?

A lot of church members who are singing 'Standing on the Promises' are just sitting on the premises.

We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.

Be ye fishers of men. You catch them - He'll clean them.

Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

Don't put a question mark where God put a period.

Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.

Forbidden fruits create many jams.

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

God grades on the cross, not the curve.

God loves everyone, but probably prefers 'fruits of the spirit' over 'religious nuts!'

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

He who angers you, controls you!

If God is your Co-pilot - swap seats!

Prayer: Don't give God instructions -- just report for duty!

The task ahead of us is never asgreat as the Power behind us.

The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.

We don't change the message, the message changes us.

You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage the person.

The best mathematical equation I have ever seen: 1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.

Today's Maxine



"After a long holiday, the only thing that makes me glad to see the people I work with is having just seen the people I'm related to."

I'll Be Long Gone

From http://www.foxnews.com/


WASHINGTON — Take that, Andromeda!

For decades, astronomers thought when it came to the major galaxies in Earth's cosmic neighborhood, our Milky Way was a weak sister to the larger Andromeda. Not anymore.
The Milky Way is considerably larger, bulkier and spinning faster than astronomers once thought, Andromeda's equal.

Scientists mapped the Milky Way in a more detailed, three-dimensional way and found that it's 15 percent larger in breadth. More important, it's denser, with 50 percent more mass, which is like weight.

The new findings were presented Monday at the American Astronomical Society's convention in Long Beach, Calif.

That difference means a lot, said study author Mark Reid of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. The slight 5-foot-5, 140-pound astrophysicist said it's the cosmic equivalent of him suddenly bulking up to the size of a 6-foot-3, 210-pound NFL linebacker.

"Previously we thought Andromeda was dominant, and that we were the little sister of Andromeda," Reid said. "But now it's more like we're fraternal twins."

That's not necessarily good news. A bigger Milky Way means that it could be crashing violently into the neighboring Andromeda galaxy sooner than predicted — though still billions of years from now.

Reid and his colleagues used a large system of 10 radio telescope antennas to measure the brightest newborn stars in the galaxy at different times in Earth's orbit around the sun.
They made a map of those stars, not just in the locations where they were first seen, but in the third dimension of time — something Reid said hasn't been done before.

With that, Reid was able to determine the speed at which the spiral-shaped Milky Way is spinning around its center. That speed — about 568,000 miles per hour — is faster than the 492,000 mph that scientists had been using for decades. That's about a 15 percent jump in spiral speed. The old number was based on less accurate measurements and this is based on actual observations, Reid said. Once the speed of the galaxy's spin was determined, complex formulas that end up cubing the speed determined the mass of all the dark matter in the Milky Way. And the dark matter — the stuff we can't see — is by far the heaviest stuff in the universe.
So that means the Milky Way is about one-and-a-half times the mass had astronomers previously calculated.

The paper makes sense, but isn't the final word on the size of the Milky Way, said Mark Morris, an astrophysicist at the University of California Los Angeles, who wasn't part of the study. Being bigger means the gravity between the Milky Way and Andromeda is stronger. So the long-forecast collision between the neighboring galaxies is likely to happen sooner and less likely to be a glancing blow, Reid said.

But don't worry — that's at least 2 to 3 billion years away, he said.

Another New Year

A friend said to me this morning, "I feel like I've had a blonde month!" I replied, "I feel like 2008 was a blonde YEAR for me!" And so, the first change I am making is to think brunette!

Seriously though, holidays are depressing for some and it's something they are unable to control. I have had years when my life was in disarray and the holidays were not as joyful as they should have been for me. It saddens me to the inth degree to hear of the many tragedies that occurred on Christ's birthday. All I can do is pray for the lives lost and those who found themselves so irretrievably broken that they could see no other way to show their feelings but through violence and tragedy.

On a lighter note, I find each New Year exciting. I used to think of it as a sorrowful end to another year of my life, and with each one, I was growing closer to my grave. In growing older, I have found my thought process changing without effort to where I now see the New Year as a great new beginning. It represents, to me, a chance to close the door on all of the things that didn't go well, the hurts that happened and the loves that were lost, and to start all over again. Think of being in high school and you made an F for the year in Algebra. Your teacher comes to you and she says, "you made some awful mistakes, but you also made some good choices. Why don't we just throw this one out, and I'll let you begin a new test? Hold onto the good choices, and make wiser choices where you erred before" Wouldn't you just jump at the chance? Of course you would!

I am not depressed by the beginning of another year, but renewed; in my faith, in my hopes and dreams, in my love for my family and friends, and forever being the optimist, in the world, that there will be less violence and more peace, love and compassion between neighbors, whether it be countries or the one living right next door. I get to start over! I get to keep all of the wonderful, happy memories of great things that I experienced in 2008 forever! But, I also get to start over with new goals, dreams and philosophies learned by trial and error. The slate is figuratively wiped clean. WOO HOO!

One of my goals for the new year is to read the Bible, cover-to-cover. My mother instilled this desire in me last Fall. When I had jaw surgery, she came to stay with me for a week. It was the most pleasant time of year and we spent many long mornings lazing on the covered patio, listening to the birds, gazing at the beautiful sunshine, trees and surroundings, and having deep and meaningful heart-to-heart talks. My mother is 77. I found myself thinking about how little time I may have left with her; how I have wasted so much of my time with her. And I began conversations, asking about her childhood, her family, things she used to do, and so on. If we do not ask and listen to our ancestors when they are with us, how are we to pass on to our legacies, and their legacies, the history of our family?

We talked at length about God, Jesus, religion and the Bible. I opened my heart to her, as daughters do with their mothers, and poured out my hurts and it seemed to be a flood. My dear, precious Mother. She is so wise and strong, and she has such dignity and grace. I can only long to be like her. She knew with every story I related exactly which book of the Bible, which verse, befit that situation. Before long, I found out that she had read the Bible in its entirety once, and was almost finished reading it a second time (and has since completed that second reading)! By this time, she had me hook, line and sinker! She never has ceased to amaze me, but this, this huge endeavor of reading the greatest book ever written, I don't believe I had ever met a layman (someone other than a man of the cloth) who said "I've read it all", much more, twice.

I had purchased several years ago a Catholic Living Bible, but like most people, it lay in my nightstand drawer, unopened but for a few times, and forgotten. I felt ashamed. But moreover, I felt inspired beyond everything to get it out, open it, read it and use its wisdom in my life. My mother suggested that I begin with the New Testament. She said she found the most inspiration and interest in it. So, I began with Matthew. God as my witness, when I started reading, I could not put it down. Verse after verse, chapter after chapter, I was seeing my life unfolding, why things happened, where there were errs and how to make them right, and what needed to be done in order to live the Word of God. And, I was able to quote several scriptures in some very precarious situations with others, and you know what? I found that NO ONE can argue with scripture. It is what it is; it is The Truth. The Bible is the greatest weapon of all mankind, and armored with my Bible and my faith, I now know that no matter what befalls me, I am on a spiritual journey, one that I pray will lead me to my heavenly home. Nothing else matters so greatly as one's spiritual journey and the end of it, making it to the crest of the mountain.

My dear friends, begin anew. Begin your new year with excitement and inspiration. Life is good and it was meant to be happy, for everyone! Look around you. Look at the turmoil in lives that are so very near to you and see the wonders and blessings that you have. You have so many; but, life is also short.

I remember a quote from John Lennon, and I won't get this verbatim, but he said something to the effect of: "I woke up this morning, I had a wonderful breakfast, and I JUST CAN'T WAIT to see what's for dinner!" [sic] In other words, he was excited about life, about each day and he couldn't wait to see what was coming next! That is exactly how I feel! I just can't wait to see what's for dinner!

Blessings,
Abbey

This Day's . . .

Tolstoy is always good . . .

It seems to us that the most important work in the world is the work which is visible, which we can see: building a house, plowing the land, feeding cattle, gathering fruits; and that the work which is invisible, the work done by our soul, is not important. But our invisible work at the improvement of our soul is the most important work in the world, and all other visible kinds of work are useful only when we do this major work.

~ Leo Tolstoy


The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for him, to those who seek for him. It is good both to hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

~ Lamentations 3:25-26, The Living Bible