Thursday, April 30, 2009

OUR BELOVED, AUDIE

Our beloved, Audie, with my daughter, Christie
at a Christmas Family Reunion given
By Audie and his wife, Kat, and Son Joshua,
December 2007

Our beloved, Audie went Home with Jesus leading him on tonight around 7:30 p.m., CDST. I have developed a slideshow on my sidebar of the last big family get-together which was hosted by Audie and his gracious wife, Kat, in Trussville, Alabama in December 2007.

Audie was a devout Christian. You could find him every Sunday morning in the vestibule of Trussville Baptist Church handing out the day's programs, and directing visitors to seating and children to the nursery. His son, Joshua, was always by his side, helping him to serve his church family.

Audie and I were 9 months apart in age. His birthday was March 26, and mine January 21. There were several of "us cousins" who grew up together playing outside games of the 1950's like cowboys and Indians, and me, ironically the tomboy, playing one of two fair maidens in need of rescue from the Indians, my sister being the other.

Audie was an extremely sensitive boy and we teased him about not ever wanting to spend the night away from home. We might talk him into it, but not long after my Uncle Carlos and Aunt Mil left, he would begin to cry, "I want my Daddy", and thus, we would call them back to get him. He had a gentle soul, and a kindness that was so calm, always knowing the perfect words to say for any occasion. He always called me, "darlin'" in his southern accent, giving me a big hug.

When my sister married in February 1974, I came to Birmingham all the way from Los Angeles to be at the wedding. I had not seen Audie or my other cousins, including his baby sister Tina in a while. What I saw was long hair and a hilariously funny guy who loved to shoot pool and tell jokes. The young ones like us stayed in the basement shooting pool and being just downright silly, laughing all the time that we were together. He took me to the airport that day and sent me on my way back across the country.

I moved here in 1980. Audie was now a man, yet still single. He showed up at a family bar-b-que with a petite brunette on his arm, her name was Kathy. Kathy fit right in and we all fell in love with her, as Audie had already given his heart over to her. They married and were married some years before they were able to conceive a child. Audie jokingly called it, "an immaculate conception". With the birth of Joshua, their lives were complete. From that day forward, Audie was a committed husband and father.

Audie and Kathy devoted the entire 25 years of their marriage to raising an extremely intelligent, sensitive and beautiful young man who will graduate from high school the end of May with honors. He was bestowed the honor of a single scholarship, of which there is only one of this named scholarship, which pays full tuition, housing, books, the works, plus a monthly stipend for living expenses. He will continue his education with a double major and has already completed all but two of his freshman core classes. He is a devout Christian, a young man that is exceptional to find in this day and time.

Unfortunately, Joshua's dad didn't make it to his graduation, nor to the plans of traveling together as a family for a fantastic graduation vacation. Kathy wisely counseled him, "We must look at the beautiful life that we had because of Dad. I have had the happiest 25 years of marriage that I could have ever hoped for, and for that, I am eternally grateful."

I was uneasy today, and in years past have had a "sixth sense" about death. My grandson had a ballgame, but my mind was far away. I came home alone and I fell to my knees next to my bed. I lifted my hands to the heavens and cried. "His is yours, I know that we cannot keep him. It is time for You to take him back with You. Please Jesus, come and lead him home to meet Your Father." After a time of grief, I gathered myself and felt such peace. This was about 7:30-7:45 p.m.

Tina, Audie's sister, called me around 9:30 and told me that Audie was gone, that he had left us between 7:30 and 8:00 tonight. Naturally, I have shed many tears over mostly my fondest memories of Audie. For the last several years, he, my sister and I have met regularly for lunch. It has always be comfortable, like old times, and the part that is hard to accept is that the three of us vowed to grow old together. We vowed that when the Mamas and Daddys were gone, the three of us would hold the family together. I don't know if we can do it without you, Audie. I will need your prayers and your rallying for me from up above.

If there was anyone that I have known, and I can probably count them on one hand, who I felt without any doubt deserved to be led to heaven by Jesus Christ, accompanied by a choir of angels, directly to meet his Maker, it is Audie. I never, ever heard a harsh word or unkind word slip from his tongue about anyone. He was an exceptional boy, teenager, son, father, husband, and brother. This is a big one. This will be a long time healing. But we will heal, and this shall pass, by the Grace of God, we will work harder in His name to make our own way to heaven, where we will see Audie again.

Go with God, go in Peace, and pray for us, until we meet again. I love you with all of my heart, my sweet Audie.

I AM

SAD


and I feel

LOST



LORD, BE MY REFUGE

MY NEWEST GRANDCHILD

Her name is Bonnie and she is a Papillon. The kids think they are going to pick her up after school, but mom already has her. She brought her by my office to meet me and she is absolutely adorable and so loving. I'm really excited for them. This is not actually her, but a couple of photographs that I obtained from the web. Very petite animals, and extremely beautiful.




THE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Audie, My Special Cousin

I had a doctor appointment this afternoon - seems I have fibromyalgia ... of no significance under the circumstances. I arrived at Audie's house and they were about to bathe him. We waited on the patio and his sister, my cousin Tina arrived. My Aunt Mil, his mother was there. We had some good and solemn conversation as relatives do. It felt good to reconnect - already a positive from this dreadul situation. My cousin, Tina, is a very spiratual woman. It was good to talk with her. I love talking with people who have the same spiritual nature as I do.

Bath over, I went inside and guardedly walked around the foot of Audie's bed. He smelled of fresh linens and sweet lotions. A sign of loving care. His exposed hand lied there and I tenderly took it into my own hands. I moved to prayer for him and his loved ones. The tears were gentle, but they came. I tried to be stoic, and all things considered, I did well. I kissed his face over and over, and I leaned to his ear and I whispered sweet sentiments of my own to him, one last one sided conversation between he and I. I wondered as I whispered into his ear "are you hearing me? I want to believe that you are." I lingered for several minutes, not wanting to walk away from the man I've known all of my life, a man who as a boy was so close and special to me, a man with whom I shared crazy teenage antics, and a deep love that was unusual for cousins. In recent years, Audie, my sister and I were meeting about every 6 weeks for lunch at Nikki's or Paw Paw Patch. He always left me with a hug and had the most southern way of calling me "Darlin". I am going to misse that. We had, the three of us, made a vow to keep the family going by keeping in touch. Now he is leaving us. What will we do. Nobody can replace him; none of my other cousins seem interested in "family".

I wanted to stay forever, but I knew I had to leave. My time was up. All that could be said, all that could be said to our Loving Father, had been said. I had to leave him knowing that the next time I would see him, he would be the shell of the man I have known, and that his spirit will have flown. For that, I am joyful.

I went on to my Uncle Carlos' house and he was there in his chair as always. He did not have on his glasses, his eyes were watery and obviously, he had been crying probably off and on all of this day. I held him and kissed him over and over and told him how very much I love him.

Audie's son, Joshua, came by to show his "Pa" a belt (kind of a joke) that he won in his debate yesterday. Joshua is an honors student and leader of his debate team at Hewitt-Trussville High School. He has won a full scholarship to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, all expenses paid. He will live in an honors dorm, books, tuition and any other school fees being fully paid, plus a sizeable stipend for living expenses. Joshua already has over half of his core classes for his first year under his belt. He is stoic, as congenial as if it was just another day. But I am aware, he is being a man, for the first time in his young life, he is called to behave as a strong man, not revealing emotion or sadness.

Joshua touched on the "after" of his dad's passing, as in the slide show that he and his mother are preparing for the funeral. I know his heart is breaking; his best buddy is leaving him. I am so proud of him, and yet my heart breaks.


I am home now and I am sitting on my patio, listening to the sounds of nature and praying. I am reflecting on years gone by and many happy times. This is not how this is supposed to be. But I must accept with confidence the will of our Father.

Please continue praying for our family. Never stop praying ... whether it be for your own family, or for others, the Lord loves to talk with you. He will always be there and is never too busy to hear your plea.

God bless you all,
Abbey

WILL YOU PLEASE PRAY FOR US?

I believe I have posted before about my cousin, Audie, and his battle against a malignant brain tumor. Audie was diagnosed in February 2008. He underwent surgery where most of the tumor was removed. He was put on a pill form of chemotherapy and did well. As of last July, his MRI showed no changes and he was doing quite well.

About two months ago, Audie suffered a severe seizure, thank God it did not occur until he had gotten home. He had been driving. He was hospitalized for a few days, then went home. He had another seizure about one week later, was hospitalized again and transferred to Spain Rehab, where he went through about 10 days of OT and PT.

Audie came home one week ago yesterday to a hospice hospital bed situated in their enormous great/game room. There is a BIG screen television, sofa and chairs, pool table, ping-pong table, all the comforts for a good time. Audie and his son, Joshua spent many hours together in this room, which was built for Joshua to entertain his friends as he was going through his teens. Audie smiled slightly as he was wheeled in and saw a brand new Lay-Z-Boy chair.

My dearest Aunt called me this morning to tell me that the doctors say her beloved son will not last the week. She was stoic, but mentioned she wanted to call last night but had waited. I'm sure they were too upset to speak to anyone.

It took ten minutes or so for the shock of it to hit home for me. I've made the calls that I needed to make, and I have had a release of sorts by crying in the restroom. I know that God is great, merciful and loving. I accept His Will with confidence and faith. But I am so very sad to lose my cousin, and for his family's loss.

Audie has his entire life been a solidly calm, friendly and peace-filled individual. I cannot recall ever in my life hearing Audie speak ill of anyone. He was always a Daddy's boy and would never spend the night away from home without crying "I want my Daddy", which we used to tease him for this. I smile as I think of all the good times we had growing up, from early childhood play as cowboys and indians and the fair maiden who needed to be rescued, to growing into adolescence and teenage years when we shared musical interests, shot pool on the pool table in my Aunt and Uncle's basement, and all the family reunions where we frolicked, swam and had picnics.

My sister, his sister, Tina, Audie and I used to have to sleep on a pallet whenever we stayed with them. We were very small and thought it was the funniest thing to "pass gas". We would lie there after we'd been worn time and again to go to sleep and the two of us would strain and grunt to see who could manage just one more. The time would come when our parents were fed up and we might be spanked, which we would cry a little and then just face each other and giggle.

Probably not the most mannerly thing to discuss, but heck, we were kids under the age of 5 years. Childsplay. The point is, Audie was and will always be my "favorite cuz". I am deeply saddened to think of him leaving us. I am going over to see him today and I do not know what to expect. I need prayers, and lots of them. I need strength. They all need someone to lean on and I don't want to let them down. Afterward, I am going by to see my Uncle Carlos, Audie's dad. He is disabled and has not been to see Audie; I don't ask questions, but I assume he wants to remember him as he was and the pain is too great. So, he needs my support, too. It's a hard day, and there will be a harder one yet very soon.

My dear friends in Christ, please pray to the Lord, Our God, for my loved ones and please pray for me as well.


God bless you all.
What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life, to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories of the moment of the last parting?

~ George Eliot


Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands.


~ Psalm 112:1, The New International Version


Some of the roads most used lead nowhere.

~ Jewish proverb

HEARTLIGHT


VERSE: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

~ Philippians 4:8

THOUGHT: Let's get our minds out of the gutter and our hearts set on God's glory.

PRAYER: Righteous and Holy God, you are marvelous and glorious, perfect in every way and beyond my comprehension. Please awaken the character of your holiness within me by your Holy Spirit. Please help me see and focus upon the good and glorious things you place
in my path today and each day that you give me life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Can you cry under water?
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How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?
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Why do you have to 'put your two cents in'... but it's only a 'penny for your thoughts'? Where's that extra penny going to?
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Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?
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Why does a round pizza come in a square box?
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What disease did cured ham actually have?
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How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
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Why is it that people say they 'slept like a baby' when babies wake up like every two hours?
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If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?
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Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?
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Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?
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Why do doctors leave the room while you change?
They're going to see you naked anyway.
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Why is 'bra' singular and 'panties' plural?
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Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?
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If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?
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Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane ?
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If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?
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Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours?
They're both dogs!
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If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?
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If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?
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If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
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Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?
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Why did you just try singing the two songs above?
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Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere, but call it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?
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Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
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Hey, isn't that the same tune as Baa Baa Black sheep too?
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NOT COOL, NOT FUNNY!

Yesterday I was upset at your (or somebody else's President; he certainly isn't mine) as a result of his smug disrespect for America in being apologetic for our nation's history. That was apalling enough. But then, he topped himself by having one of "our" presidential airplanes fly over Manhattan, of all places. The horror that I saw on the faces of people outside office buildings was something that I never wanted to witness again in my lifetime.

So far, he's batting a very negative 100 (i.e., first 100 days). I am beside myself and the words to describe my feelings about the distaste, the lack of consideration and compassion for this country, but especially the people of New York and victims of 9/11, is what I call "skinning your ignorance."

I am disgusted and I cannot wait for 2013 when this man will be ridden out on a rail, if he is not impeached first! Imagine, a man who is known Muslim connection, but somehow made it to the highest job in the land, flying Air Force One over Manhattan. It wreaks of thumbing of his nose to the citizens of New York and this country. "Look at me, see what I can do!" Not cool, not funny. It almost seemed like a warning of how much power he has and reminding us of "what could happen". It was sickening.

I choke to address him properly, but I am an American and I must, so here goes, "Mr. President," "please tell us all, how much did it cost the American people for this stunt of yours?"

THIS DAY'S . . .

You will never be an inwardly religious and devout man, unless you pass over in silence the shortcomings of your fellow men, and diligently examine your own weaknesses.

~Thomas Kempis


Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

~2 Corinthians 4:16-17, The New International Version

Monday, April 27, 2009

DON'T ASSUME TO APOLOGIZE FOR ME!

Arrogant Americans, Mr. President?
Peter Heck - Guest Columnist - 4/14/2009 7:50:00 AM

As I was sitting in church waiting for the start of the service, my grandpa came walking towards me pointing his finger. No matter how old I get, and no matter how long he's been out of the U.S. Navy, that's still an intimidating sight. As he approached me, his voice quivered as he said, "We saved that continent twice...how dare my president apologize for this country's arrogance." My grandpa is right. Americans need not apologize to the world for their arrogance; rather, Americans should apologize to their forefathers for the arrogance of their president.

Barack Obama's first foreign trip as President of the United States has confirmed the naiveté so many of us feared during the election cycle. But worse than that, it has also demonstrated that our president suffers from either a complete misunderstanding of our heritage and history, or an utter contempt for it. Neither is excusable.

Garnering cheers from the French of all people, President Obama declared, "In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." Consider that Obama spoke these words just 500 miles from the beaches of Normandy, where the sand is still stained with 65-year-old blood of "arrogant Americans."

Indeed, columnist Mark Whittington observes, "One should remind Mr. Obama and the Europeans how America has 'shown arrogance' by saving Europe from itself innumerable times in the 20th Century. World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and the wars in the Balkans were largely resolved by American blood, treasure, and leadership." But all that appears lost on the president's seemingly insatiable quest to mend fences he imagines have been tarnished by the bullish George W. Bush.

If Obama wishes to continue trampling the presidential tradition of showing class to former office holders and publicly trash Bush for his own personal gain, so be it. But all Americans should make clear that no man – even if he is the president – will tarnish the legacy of those Americans who have gone before us. Ours is not a history of arrogance. It is a history of courage, self-sacrifice, and honor.

When abusive monarchs repressed the masses, Americans resisted and overthrew them. When misguided policies led to the unjust oppression of fellow citizens, Americans rebelled and overturned them. When millions of impoverished and destitute wretches sought a new beginning, Americans threw open the door and welcomed them. When imperial dictators were on the march, Americans surrendered their lives to stop them. When communist thugs threatened world peace, Americans bled to defeat them. When an entire continent was overwhelmed with famine and hunger, Americans gave of themselves to sustain it. When terrorist madmen killed the innocent and subjugated millions, Americans led the fight to topple them.

This is the legacy that generations of Americans have left. If President Obama seeks stronger relations with the world community, perhaps he should begin by reminding them of these very truths, rather than condemning his own countrymen on foreign shores.

This "obsessive need to put down his own country," has caused blogger James Lewis to call President Obama a "stunningly ignorant man" who has evidently never spoken to a concentration camp survivor, a Cuban refugee, a boat person from Vietnam, a Soviet dissident, or a survivor of Mao's purges.

Unfortunately, I can no longer bring myself to give Mr. Obama that benefit of the doubt. Not after looking at the pain in my grandpa's eyes... a man who still carries shrapnel in his body from his service to this country.

As a student and teacher of history, I recognize that America has made mistakes... plenty of them, in fact. But one of the great things about our people has been their courage and humility in admitting and correcting those mistakes. God willing, they will prove that willingness again in four years and correct the mistake that is the presidency of Barack Obama.

THIS DAY'S . . .


I believe the author of This Day's Smile is talking about me!


All created things are living in the Hand of God. The senses see only the action of the creatures; but faith sees in everything the action of God

~ J. P. De Caussade


“Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me. There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with me where I am. If this weren’t so, I would tell you plainly. And you know where I am going and how to get there.”

John 14:1-4, The Living Bible


I speak truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little the more, as I grow older.

~ Michel de Montaigne

THE SIMPLE WOMAN'S DAYBOOK



Simple Women's Daybook is hosted by Peggy. Pop over to her site and see what other simple women do. The members of this unique club grows every week!



For Monday, April 27, 2009

Outside my window...
It is a beautiful and seasonal morning for the southeastern United States. I already have a yellow rose on my vine and it is beautiful. It's breezy, but very comfortable and pleasant.

I am thinking ... How much I need to accomplish, which is personal, and that I have to also keep up my paid job.

I am thankful for... Prayers answered. With every passing moment, I draw nearer to my God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

From the kitchen... We will have leftovers from last evening, which are pretty darn good. There is filet mignon, potato salad, fried corn in real butter (yum!), baked beans and salad.

I am praying ... That the Lord will heal those whose names are on my lips and in my heart.

I am wearing... A lime green, square neck linen top, brown pants, and believe it or not, I actually have some lime green sandals that match perfectly. Now what possessed me to buy these, I know not, and I don't wear them much, but today I was glad that I had them.

I am creating... A beautiful setting on the covered patio and on the upper deck. Potted flowers, palm trees, comfy seating with tables and chairs, umbrella (upper) and a boom box for cds or radio music. It's very serene and I have looked forward to this all winter!

I am reading... I'm still on "The Kincade Brothers" by Nora Roberts. I don't have a lot of time to devote to reading with ball season in full swing, work and other obligations, but I'm half-way through and I'll get there. It really got good yesterday, just as company arrived .... WHAAA.

Around the house ... We worked this weekend on getting new pine straw on all the gardens, cleaning and re-filling the spa, potting outdoor flowers, and a good cleaning of the house which was in dire need!

I am hearing... that the swine flu is very dangerous and my son and his fiance just returned from a cruise that made stops at four coastal cities in Mexico .... I need to check with them because Amber didn't feel well when they got home.

One of my favorite things... Don't call me a redneck, I'm not! But I love NASCAR as of about 8 years ago when my husband and I were dating. I NEVER thought I would like this sport, but I can hold my own in a conversation with the best of them on this topic. I especially love the Talladega race, which was yesterday and near where live, but we watched it (in between cleaning house) on the big screen. It was an exciting race.

A few plans for the rest of the week: This grandies have some ballgames, and we will leave on Friday to visit Lee's mom in Byron, Georgia. There is an air show this weekend in Macon so we are all going to take that in on Saturday.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...


HEARTLIGHT


VERSE: The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

~Psalm 121:8


THOUGHT: Does it matter to anyone that I'm here? Does anyone notice when I'm gone? Does anybody care if I make it home or never leave the house? The answers: "Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!" The LORD, the Savior of Israel and the Father of Jesus knows all about us and our comings and goings. He will watch over us, now and forever more.

PRAYER: Father, thank you that when I rise up, you are not only there, but even more than that you are watching over me. Almighty God, thank you that when I return home at the end of my day, you are there, escorting me home and welcoming me. I thank you most of all, dear Father, that when I leave this life and go to the next, you are there to escort me out of this life and welcome me home to life with you, forever! In Jesus' name I praise you. Amen.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

HEARTLIGHT

I so love today's Heartlight. But first, I want to witness to you about the power of prayer. A situation came upon me and my daughter not long ago. It involved another individual and it became very hurtful and far from Christian-like behavior. My daughter has been so hurt and upset, and me, being the mama tiger, became angry and determined to save her. I received an email from my Prayer Warrior leader this morning asking me to pray for two people. I always read each request, stop and pray and then move on to the next one if there is more than one. There were two today. I read the first, bowed my head and prayed. I then read the second, bowed my head and prayed. But, as I was finishing my prayer, something touched me and I suddenly thought "I have not prayed about this situation! Why haven't I prayed about it?"

It was something that I think we all do by nature. We become so wrapped and torn by our emotional reactions to events in our lives that we forget who can take our worry from us. I immediately smiled, as I often do when I am talking with God, and I began to talk with him about this situation. First, I had to acknowledge how silly I had been for not coming to Him sooner, and then I had my heart-to-heart with Him.

It wasn't 45 minutes later that my daughter called me. She said, "Mom, you are not going to belief this. [The person] just called me and completely humbled herself with apologies for [all the specifics]." I already had tears in my eyes, but didn't want to interrupt her. She sounded so relieved and last night, she was worn out from crying so much over the hurt inflicted by someone she loved so much. When she finished, I told her she sounded good and she acknowledged her great relief.

I then told her what I told you above, about suddenly realizing that I had not prayed. When I finished telling her that it was not 45 minutes prior that I had asked God to take care of this problem, and then the person called and apologized, well, we were bowled over. We both cried and talked about how great and loving our Father in Heaven is, and how amazing it was that He answered this prayer so quickly! He knew how much suffering was coming from this, He was so merciful. We cried together on the phone, tears of joy and relief, and LOVE for God. Isn't this Amazing Grace? I am so, so happy. I love God so very much and I give him all the Glory.

Now, I want you to read today's Heartlight. It is sometimes the shortest and simplest ones that have such deep meaning. I love them all, but I really loved receiving this one. Have a blessed day, all my Christian friends and bloggers!


VERSE: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

~ Philippians 4:23


THOUGHT: Some prayers are so simple and so precious. To pray grace "on" someone is a great blessing. To pray that this grace be more than physical, external things is greater still. So why not pray this prayer for those you love?

PRAYER: God, please pour out your grace on the following people that I deeply love and want to know your grace, mercy, and power. I pray for (List peronal names of friends and family who need your prayers.) ... in Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Week Without God



Without GOD, our week would be: Sinday, Mournday, Tearsday, Wasteday, Thirstday, Fightday & Shatterday.

Helpful Information for the Chef

I found this wonderful website called "Still Tasty" that has a mound of information as to the shelf life of fresh foods and other food items, along with a search bar and helpful hints posted every day. Give it a look by clicking on the site icon above.

This Day's . . .

It is to be recognized that sex is holy as well as wholesome. It is the means by which we may cooperate with God in bringing into the world children of his own destined for eternal life. Anyone, who has once understood that will be quite as careful as any Puritan to avoid making jokes about sex; not because it is nasty, but because it is sacred. He would no more joke about sex than he would joke about the Holy Communion- and for exactly the same reason. To joke about it is to treat with lightness something that deserves reverence.

~William Temple

When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.

~Deuteronomy 24:19, The King James Version

I love this day's Smile; it is a prayer I can relate to!

Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older. Keep me from getting too talkative, and thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible that I may be mistaken. Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy; thou knowest, Lord, that what I want most is a few friends at the end.

~Unknown

PRO-Life - Precious Feet

My granddaughter had a softball game last night. Hannah is an awesome ball player. Her fielding is at the top of her peers, and she hit two maginificent slammers for triples on both. Hannah is also a very good student, making straight A's in Catholic School, has served as lector at Mass, and is now a dedicated altar server. She arrives at Mass early and goes to the Sacristy to wait and see if any assigned server doesn't show up, so she can fill in. Thus, she serves almost every weekend. She was my first grandchild and she is the only girl. We have a very special bond; we call her "Big Sis". She's a beautiful girl with soft, curly reddish brown hair and dark brown eyes, skin as smooth as silk and a few little freckles across her nose. You can see her team picture from last year on my sidebar.

All this is leading to the fact that she asked me on the telephone yesterday afternoon if I was coming to her game last evening. "Of course I am!" She said, "Good, because I have something for you!" When I was watching the game, I heard my name being called from the dugout, "Mimi, Mimi!" I looked an Hannah said, "don't leave after the game because I have something for you!" What she gave me was something I had been wanting for over a year, but had not been able to get to the church when the church store was open to buy it. She gave me not one, but THREE Precious Feet, a blue, a pink, and a gold.

If you don't already know what the Precious Feet pins and pendants mean, they are the exact size of an unborn baby's feet 10 weeks after conception. Following is from the back of the card containing the pendant:


At no time in your life does more growth and change occur than in the first ine months before birth. Here are the amazing milestone of that time in your life:

~ 1st Day: Comception: Of the 200,000,000 sperm that try to penetrate the mother's egg cell, only one succeeds. At that very moment, a new a unique individual is formed. All of the inherited features of this new person are already determined.

~ 18-20 Days: The foundations of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system are laid.

~ 21 Days: The heart begins to beat. A day later the eyes begin to develop. The earliest stages of the ears are now present.

~ 28-32 Days: Two tiny arms make their appearance and budding legs follow two days later. The beginnings of the mouth take shape. The nose starts to develop.

~ 42 Days: The brain is now divided into 3 parts - one to experience emotion and understand language, for for hearing and one for seeing.

~ 44 Days: Facial muscles develop. 99% of muscles are present.

~ 7 Weeks: Spontaneous movement begins. The baby then develops a whole collection of moves over the next 4 weeks including hicupping, frowning, squinting, furrowing of the brow, and sucking.

~ 8 Weeks: The baby is now well-proportioned, and about the size of a thumb. Every organ is present. The liver is making blood, the kidneys function, and the heart beats steadily.

~ 10 Weeks: The number of connections between nerves and muscles has tripled since last week.

~ 12 Weeks: The baby swallows and responds to skin stimulation.

~ 4 Months: The baby can grip with hands, make a fist, swim and turn somersaults.

~ 7 Months: The eyelids begin to reopen, preparing to see the outside world.

~ 9 1/2 Months: The child triggers labor and birth occurs, an average of 264-270 days after conception.

Around 1970, physician Dr. Russel Sacco took a striking photo of the perfectly formed feet of a 10-week unborn child and it was published worldwide. In 1974, it inspired Mrs. Virginia Evers to create the "Precious Feet" lapel pin, identical in size and shape to an unborn baby's feet at just 10 weeks after conception. They are used by literally millions of people worldwide to demonstrate the humanity of the
unborn.

I love Hannah for so many reasons, and I am blessed beyond imagination to have her in my life. Thank you, Hannah, for a gift of such important significance. I love you with all my heart.

Lord, please help us to protect the innocent and the unborn. Amen.
Abbey

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook




Simple Women's Daybook is hosted by Peggy. Pop over to her site and see what other simple women do.






For Monday, April 20, 2009

Outside my window...
The leaves have sprouted on the trees and the bulbs are popping above the ground with new growth. Ahhh, it inspires me. I love this time of year! The house is newly painted and one neighbor is using my painter and has asked my permission to use my colors! Imitation is the best form of flattery.

I am thankful for... My relationship with my family. I have lost a family friend to cancer this past week, and my cousin's brain tumor has won the battle. It will only be a matter of time. I am thankful that I am healthy and that I have such a loving family and great relationships with all of them. I am thankful that my baby boy has found the love of his life.

From the kitchen... Alas, it is baseball season, so our diets suffer tremendously! I had Vanilla & Almond Special K last night, but had bought friend chicken tenders and salad makings, so I hope we can manage a salad sometime this evening. We have THREE ballgames and looks to be after 9:00pm before we will be home .... rethinking, it may be cereal again. HOWEVER, I had a wonderfully divine shrimp with tomatoes over angel hair pasta at Brio to celebrate a co-worker's birthday, and I have a bit of that left.

I am wearing... Denim slacks and a ruffled multi-color blouse, black strappy sandals.

I am creating... I am still working on items for the new biz, finishing some order forms and readying merchandise for the display that goes up today! WOO HOO!

I am reading... "The Kincade Brothers" by Nora Roberts, and my Bible.

I am hearing... that gas prices are only half of what they were a year ago. People are complaining; how quickly they forget. We should feel blessed they are not worse. At least I can afford to pay the current prices.

One of my favorite things... Seeing my grandchildren play base/softball, which I will see two of three games tonight. I was kissing my youngest all over the place on Friday evening and I suddenly asked him, "would you rather Mimi stop kissing you in front of the guys?" And he said, "well, actually, yeah!" I just had to laugh!

A few plans for the rest of the week: We are still playing catch-up from our vacation, so the house has suffered. In between the ballpark and working, we will rest and do a few domestic chores, and head to Georgia early Saturday morning to see Lee's mother. She is doing really great healing since her fall and surgery, thanks be to God!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Attitude of Gratitude Award


From my heart, THANK YOU, Lady Breland at Thoughts of a Bama Belle for thinking of me when awarding this very thoughtful gift.

The Rules of Accepting and Sharing this Award are:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show an attitude of gratitude
3. Link to your nominees within your post
4. Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award
5. Share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award.
6. Tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude

My journey to having an Attitude of Gratitude has been a very long one, and it's details are numerous. A few years ago, I was very sick and I prayed every day for the Lord to heal me and take the pain away. When the pain only worsened, I became forlorn and I would cry out to Him, "why won't you help me?" I now know that I had to go through that experience in order to go to Him on my knees, and to give myself over to Him completely. Since that time, my spiritual journey has taken many winds and turns and has gained momentum and strength that even I never imagined was possible. I have come to know Him like I could never in my life imagine. It is the most amazing and indescribable feeling of KNOWING, BELIEVING and TRUSTING Him every day, every moment, that He is with me always and that whatever befalls me, He is guiding me in the direction of Home, the one that He is preparing for me to live one day. Praise God and Praise His Son, Our Savior Jesus Christ!

My ten Nominees are:

Jennifer at Conversion Diary
Peggy Hostetler at A Simple Woman's Daybook
Brother Charles at A Minor Friar
Melissa at Shabby Blue Bungalow
Charlotte at Cheeky Pink Girl

Have a blessed day!

MAXINE

Friday, April 17, 2009

Memorial

It seems only yesterday that I posted a prayer request for a family friend, Johnny Dodson, who had been diagnosed with cancer. Johnny went to his heavenly reward on Wednesday, April 15, 2009. His children set up an online memorial to Johnny, and I wanted to post this brief biography and Johnny's photo as my own memorial.

I ask that you hold Johnny and his family in your prayers. His father, John was left with four small sons many years ago. His wife, and Johnny's second mother, Bonnie was widowed when her husband was tragically killed in an automobile accident and was left with three small children, two girls and a boy. When John and Bonnie met and married, they proceeded to sucessfully raise seven children together. They are two of the most kind, decent and gracious people that I have ever met in my life. They have been life-long friends with my Mama and Daddy, and therefor, I have known them and their large family most of my life as well. Johnny is the third son of the four between John and his former wife to pass before him. Bryan was tragically killed in 1979, and Bruce suffered a fatal heart attack three years ago. To lose one child has to be grievous enough for anyone couple to bare; but my dear friends have now lost three. Surely the Lord has a purpose and a plan, and I remain Faithfilled and confident in His Word, my foundation and my rock. God bless you, Johnny. And may the Lord in His mercy lift up the family left behind as they continue to mourn his loss.


Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord, and may his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

This memorial website was created in the memory of our beloved father, John Dodson.

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
~ Revelation 21:4

John Edward Dodson was born to John M. Dodson and Nancy Powell. He grew up in Amarilo Texas and graduated from Canyon High School with the class of 1970. He served our country in the navy and graduated with his bachelors in accounting from West Texas University. John spent most of his life married to Mary Lynn Dodson and took her two daughters Michelle and Tonya as his own. He also had two sons of his own John Edward II and Jacob Ryan. In March 2009, John married Debbie Smith.

John was a wonderful and devoted father and a great friend. He was also a loving "Pepa" to his 8 grandchildren. John was a very honest and giving man. He had a big heart and loved everyone. John was a believer in Jesus Christ and attended Paramount Terrace Christian Church for 25 years. John is no longer in any pain and is in a place that his Savior prepared for him. John loved the Lord and he knew that God had blessed him with great friends, a wonderful family, and great success. His favorite saying was "Life is good."

John is survived by his current wife Debbie Dodson, his four children Michelle Graham married to Gary Graham, Tonya Pigulski married to Glen Pigulski, John Edward Dodson II married to Elise Dodson, and Jacob Ryan Dodson; his parents John and Bonnie Dodson and Bob and Nancy Dingman; his 8 grandchildren (his pride and joy) Matthew, Mason, Gabriella, Gracelynn, Mavrick, Bailey, Ashton, and Charity. He is also survived by his brothers' Greg Dodson, Bobby Gregg, Scott and Chris Dinman and sisters Carrie Shankles and Gail Gregg as well as many nieces and nephews.

Las Vegas Slideshow

The slideshow of our vacation is atop the sidebar. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them! Enjoy!

Grand Lux Cafe, The Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas

I have much to tell you about our vacation to Las Vegas last week, so I won’t try to squeeze it all in on one post, but divvy it up a bit. I want to begin at the end, where we had dinner the last evening of our vacation. We had spent the entire day at The Venetian Hotel and Casino, which is truly a magnificent structure inside and out. I must note that upon entering the hotel lobby, there was an aroma of flowers in the air, and that aroma followed us throughout this enormous hotel, which was not just a hotel, but a casino, shopping and dining extravaganza, as well. I had thought The Bellagio and Ceasar’s Palace were extravagant! For my own taste, The Venetian is the crème de la crème of Las Vegas hotels. Casinos are primarily smoke-filled and unpleasant, but this aroma was piped in all over the entire hotel (except for in places of dining) and made spending time there very enjoyable. We had the most wonderful dining in The Venetian at a placed called “Grand Lux Café”. Here is the story behind the Grand Lux:

Pure Inspiration. The idea for Grand Lux Cafe came to life when The Venetian Resort, Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas asked David Overton, Founder of The Cheesecake Factory Restaurants, to create an upscale casual restaurant concept for their property. Excited by the proposal and the opulent "Venetian" theme, Mr. Overton traveled to Europe to study Italian trattorias, French bistros, and the grand cafes and pastry shops of Vienna.

This culinary tour through Europe, focused on food, architecture, décor and design, provided the inspiration for what the restaurant was destined to become. Blending the grandeur and luxury of European cafes with the sensibilities and spirit of an all-American restaurant, "Grand Lux Cafe" was born. Today, with locations in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Houston, Grand Lux Cafe is proud to offer our guests unique, casual global cuisine in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere.

Pure Splendor.
Grand Lux Cafe defines a new category in dining, that of the super upscale casual restaurant. Taking design and style themes from the Old World cafes and bistros of Europe, Grand Lux Cafe provides our guests with an escape from the ordinary. The impact is immediate upon walking through the front doors - elaborate design, sumptuous fabrics and textures, and custom artisan-created details abound. Awash in a color scheme reminiscent of a Venetian carnival, Grand Lux Cafe is a feast for the eyes. All-marble floors and tabletops, hand-blown glass fixtures, and intricate mosaics add to the lavish interior. Motifs borrowing from the great artists of the "grand cafe" era envelop the dining area, bringing warmth and personality to the space.

Designed for grandeur but never forgetting comfort, the inviting dining rooms are perfect for a cozy party of two or a festive party of twenty.

We began our meal with wonderful, tall cocktails of Texas Tea, which were served in a beautiful, tall and sleek crystal glass, full of cubed ice and a sprig of mint. Our appetizers consisted of the fresh onion with deep brown broth soup for me and the Buffalo Chicken Rolls for Lee. The chicken rolls were beautifully presented and were equally delicious, piled in the form of a tee-pee atop crispy oriental noodles, with celery and a delightfully light dipping sauce on the side. The soup was not your run-of-the-mill French onion soup, but was thick and full of sweet, tender and fresh onions and just enough small croutons to make it filling enough for a meal. I could not finish it for fearing I would not be able to eat my chosen entrée.

Lee chose a Cajun Shrimp & Chicken Jumbalaya, with sautéed peppers, onion sand tasso in a delicious, spicy sauce. It was accompanied by a nice helping of light, white rice.I feasted on Sunday Night Pasta, which is made fresh every day. It consists of a slow, rich simmered meat sauce with chunks of beef short ribs, steak, fresh mushrooms, onions, garlic and parmesean cheese. It is presented over a heaping plate-full of spaghetti pasta and topped with fresh minced parsley. Truly a beautiful and delightful tasting dish.Both entrée’s were exquisite and more than we could eat. The Sunday Night Pasta was the most unusual and flavorful of the two. The beef short ribs and steak were simmered long enough to make them shred tenderly with a fork, and it had a rich taste of garlic and onion in the tomato sauce, which is right up my alley. I must learn how to cook this dish!

For dessert, we shared a Duo Crème Brulee, which was not one, but two small dishes of crème brulee, one chocolate and one vanilla, presented with a sliced fanned strawberry and puff of whipped cream in the middle. It was heavenly and I am speechless to say more!This lovely dinner for two was not as expensive as one might think, yet expensive enough and delicious enough to feel like you really got your money’s worth.Until next time, Au revoir!



IS THIS ME?


I know that I have passion, do I lack authority? No, no, that's not it. I have authority, too. I have both passion and authority, but not as much time as is necessary to have a truly sucessful blog . . . hopefully, that will change in time!
Live in such a way that those who know you but don't know God , will come to know God because they know you...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Everything About WD-40

Before you read to the end, does anybody know what the main ingredient of WD-40 is?

There was a man who had bought a new pickup. He got up very early one Sunday morning and saw that someone had spray painted red all around the sides of his brand new beige truck (for some unknown reason). He was very upset and was trying to figure out what to do probably nothing until Monday morning, since nothing was open.

A neighbor came out and told him to get his WD-40 and clean it off. It removed the unwanted paint beautifully and did not harm his paint job that was on the truck. Boy, was he impressed! WD-40 who knew? 'Water Displacement #40' The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. Its name comes from the project that was to find a 'water displacement' compound. They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40. The Convair Company bought it in bulk to protect their atlas missile parts.

Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you.. When you read the 'shower door' part, try it. It's the first thing that has ever cleaned that spotty shower door. If yours is plastic, it works just as well as glass. It's a miracle! Then try it on your stove top ... Voila! It's now shinier than it's ever been. You'll be amazed.

Here are some other uses:

1. Protects silver from tarnishing.
2. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
4. Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making them slippery.
5. Keeps flies off cows.
6. Restores and cleans chalkboards.
7. Removes lipstick stains.
8. Loosens stubborn zippers.
9. Untangles jewelry chains.
10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
11. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
12. Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
13. Removes tomato stains from clothing.
14. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
15. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
16. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
17. Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
18. It removes black scuff marks from t he kitchen floor! Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring. It doesn't seem to harm the finish and you won't have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off. Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
19. Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly! Use WD-40!
20. Gives a children's playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
21. Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers.
22. Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
23. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
24. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
25. Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
26. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28. Lubricates wheel sprocket s on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
29. Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
30. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
31. Removes splattered grease on stove.
32. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
33. Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
34. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35. Removes all traces of duct tape.
36. Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.
37. Florida 's favorite use is: 'cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers.
38. The favorite use in the state of New York, WD-40 protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
39. WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a little on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it's a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose. Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.
40. Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
41. WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.
42. Also, if you've discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. Presto! The lipstick is gone!
43. If you sprayed WD-40 on the distributor cap, it would displace the moisture and allow the car to start.

P. S. The basic ingredient is
FISH OIL.
P.S.S. Found not to be good as a gun oiler or cleaner!

POSITIVE THOUGHTS

The mind cannot forgive. Only you can. That is why Jesus said: ''Before you enter the temple, forgive.''


Notre Dame Scandal

I received this email after signing the petition against Notre Dame's plan to honor to President Obama. Pass this information on to all of your friends in Christ.


Dear Friend:

Thank you for signing the petition at NotreDameScandal.com, opposing the University of Notre Dame’s planned honor to President Barack Obama, despite his dangerous record on life issues.

More than 264,000 Catholics have signed the petition at NotreDameScandal.com, including many priests, Notre Dame families, college presidents and even some bishops!

But The Cardinal Newman Society needs your help again… to recruit MORE signers!

Notre Dame still has not yielded, and we need more Catholics to stand up and be counted.

Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has urged faithful Catholics to “do what you are supposed to be doing: to call, to email, to write letters, to express what’s in your heart about this”!

Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, a champion of Catholic identity, has specifically urged Catholics to sign the petition at NotreDameScandal.com!

At this stage, and in addition to prayer, the single most important thing that the lay faithful can do THIS WEEK is to drive the number of signers on the petition even higher!

The petition has had a dramatic impact. Nearly every media article and broadcast about the Notre Dame scandal – at MSNBC, FOX News, EWTN, TIME magazine, U.S. News & World Report, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and more – has pointed to the LARGE NUMBER of protesters at NotreDameScandal.com!

And how often to we see nearly three dozen bishops so publicly decry scandal in the Church?

These bishops – including leading Cardinals and Archbishops – have declared Notre Dame’s planned honor a “travesty,” “unconscionable,” “indefensible,” “a public act of disobedience to the Bishops,” and “seemingly without regard for the mission of the Catholic Church in the United States”!

Please, take a few seconds to forward this e-mail to at least five friends and family, and encourage them to sign the petition at NotreDameScandal.com TODAY!

You see, at 7:00 a.m. Monday morning we are going to print the first wave of petitions, and what a statement it would make if Father Jenkins and the bishops (including some of our friends in Rome) saw that we had 300,000, 350,000 or even 400,000 Catholics demanding that Notre Dame live up to its Holy mission!

As much as pro-abortion Catholics want to make this a partisan issue, you and I know that at its core this scandal is about Catholics and Catholic institutions standing up as a witness for life and for our Holy, catholic and apostolic faith at this moment in history when it is under constant attack.

Please, it is critical that we get as many people as possible to sign the petition this week!

And you can do something else to help out: go to NotreDameScandal.com, click on the “Donate Now” button on the left, and send The Cardinal Newman Society even a small (tax-deductible) contribution. Or simply click here.

My entire staff and I have devoted nearly every hour to this protest since the moment the scandal broke, and to be honest with you this effort is breaking our budget. If necessary, The Cardinal Newman Society will go broke to help stop the Notre Dame scandal… but I hope that is not God’s plan for us.

Would you please consider a gift of $5, $15, $30, or even $100 or more to help us in our 16-year fight combating scandals on Catholic campuses and working to renew Catholic higher education? Thank you!

May God bless you for your faithful witness to the truth, and may He inspire Father Jenkins to withdraw this scandalous honor! Please keep watching NotreDameScandal.com for the latest breaking information on this story.

Yours in Christ,
Patrick J. Reilly
President, The Cardinal Newman Society

P.S. First priority: PLEASE HURRY, help us recruit more signers at NotreDameScandal.com TODAY! And if you can help us with even a small donation, we would gratefully welcome you as a member of The Cardinal Newman Society and a partner in one of the most exciting projects in the Catholic Church today – the renewal of faithful Catholic education!

HEARTLIGHT


VERSE: Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

~1 Corinthians 15:24

THOUGHT: Closing time! That's when everything is counted, the doors are locked, and the final tally is made. Jesus is Lord of closing time. Even though he won the victory over death and sin while he was here, we're still waiting to get swept up into his victory march. But, that day is coming. Every knee will bow! Every evil power will face destruction. The hearts that are yielded to God, however, will be placed into his loving and mighty hands forever. Our Lord reigns!

PRAYER: Almighty God, Father of grace and mercy, I appreciate your tenderness and patience with me. However, Father, I am also comforted to know your power and might. I am heartened to know that Jesus will assert his rule and destroy everything false, malicious, evil, and wicked. May that day come, soon! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

This Day's . . .

It's an awesome responsibility to own a Bible.

~Unknown



“Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our fathers; may he never leave us nor forsake us. May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep the commands, decrees and regulations he gave our fathers. And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. But your hearts must be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.”

~1 Kings 8:56-61, The New International Version

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This Day's . . .

The miracles of Jesus were the ordinary works of his Father, wrought small and swift that we might take them in.



~George Mac Donald


If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge. Don’t let the sun go down with you still angry- get over it quickly; for when you are angry you give a mighty foothold to the devil.

~Ephesians 4:26-27, The Living Bible


No man can break any of the Ten Commandments. He can only break himself against them.

~Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Christian One-liners

* 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!
* Don't give God instructions -- just report for duty!
* We don't change the message, the message changes us.
* You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.
* God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
* Some minds are like concrete: Thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

Home, Sweet Home

Hi Everyone! We survived Sin City and arrived home last night. I have so much to tell you about our vacation, and I have a lot of photographs to share, which I will post as a slide-show on the sidebar soon.

Back to the grind and will catch up and get back to my blog as quickly as possible! Don't give up on me . . . I feel so refreshed and rested, and I am ready to begin anew in many ways.

I hope each of you had a blessed Easter. I look forward to reading the posts of the last few days of my blog-friends and catching up on your news.

See you very soon,
Abbey

Saturday, April 11, 2009

From The Rio - A Quasi-Review

Greetings from The Rio! We survived our first night, but I didn't sleep well. Lee is verclept ... I brought a bag FULL of drugs and left my ONE med that helps me to sleep. So, my night was full of wake up, re-adjust, back to sleep, WEIRD DREAM, repeat! I had the absolute weirdest dreams ever. And I dream vividly. I have a couple of people who were in my dreams and the basic scenario was very strange, so strange that I can't get them off my mind.

The Rio. It's an odd-looking facade of a hotel. It's legend that Prince stays on the top floor. The floors go 1-39, then 50 and 51, which are key card access only. Two African American dudes accessed with their key card on our elevator yesterday. They were seriously blinged ... I wish I could have photographed the watch this guy was wearing! I thought, "should I know who they are, because I don't recognize either of them."

Again, our suite is very nice, but the Casino lacks in gaming variety. There are a LOT of slot machines, but they are all variations of the same three or four games. The two that paid off for me were Wheel of Fortune and some futuristic game that was just one of those with three wheels that roll and if you get three across, you win depending on the combination. I won because it hit on a "Triple" .... schweet!

I am sad to see that there are a LOT of hispanics in this hotel with children in tow. We figured that it was because there is a very large hispanic nightclub just off the Casino. This is new to us; we've always thought that it was a law that underage children could not be on the casino floor at all. May be that it is just that they cannot stand there while the parents gamble ... who knows. I'm disappointed, but I booked this hotel because of an extremely cheap special! The fourth night was FREE, and the other three were 1/2 regular cost, so basically, we are staying in a suite for about $70 a nite. You can't get Holiday Inn Express for that! We have decided that we won't do any more gaming here, but are going to some hotels that we haven't yet seen in past years.

We are going over to Paris this afternoon to play "tourist" and then some gaming. We'll have dinner somewhere on the strip - I made note of Morton's and a p.f. chang's on the way in yesterday, then to The Luxor to play until the stage show that begins at 10:30 p.m. That's a pretty full day.

I haven't taken a single photo, but I will and they will be posted here and on Facebook later.

Peace be with you all,
Abbey

Introduction to Christ

My precious granddaughter, Hannah Irelynn, emailed this to me. I had goose-bumps ALL OVER me as I listened and watched comedian, Steve Harvey. God bless you and Happy Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Safe and Sound

We arrived exactly four hours after taking off in Birmingham. The airport in Las Vegas as noticeably absent of as many travelers as in years past, a sign of the economic climate.

First irritation: We approach our taxi at the airport. I am peaked with excitement and I greet our cabbie, "number two! Here we are!" Groan and grumble inaudible words, but the accent is clearly detectable. We are in the back seat of the cab and I make note of the music playing, that is my husband's favorite. Cabbie: "It's just a radio station." Lee says quietly, "don't forget where you are!" Yes, Las Vegas lacks friendliness or even the slightest hint of cordiality. Poor fools.

Second irritation: Our cabbie takes the first exit off the freeway and we go through a series of hard braking and heavy acceleration. I grab Lee at least three times for fear that we're doomed for a collision. The cabbie goes up a few lights and makes a left. We travel down the main strip for several traffic signals, when he suddenly makes a left. If you're following me here, we have made a "U". As we approach a sign indicating the freeway that we just left and travel across the overpass above it, I look at Lee and tell him, again quietly, "that's the freeway we were on to start with!" He nods affirmation. This is their way of bilking their fares. Instead of taking the most direct way to the destination, the make turns and go out of the way so as to pump up the cab fare. I was being myself when I said out loud, "that's the freeway that we were on just a minute ago!" At which Lee hold up his hand to indicate that I needed to "shush". The cabbie received a tip of $2.50. I wouldn't have given him anything.

We are at The Rio. I wonder if Prince is on the 50th floor. We checked in and I requested a room on a high floor - we are on the 27th. The room is large, with wall to wall, floor to ceiling windows. We have the curtains open and are gazing at the lights all over the city.

We unpacked and then went for a burger in a sports grill. It was early afternoon, and thus it wasn't very busy in the Casino. In fact, it smelled rather nice. After eating, we started walking around, looking at the slot machines and I started off at Wheel of Fortune, where I won $80+ on a $20 input. I was on another slot and was down to my last $1.25 and ended up winning over $90, again with a $20 bet. I'm ahead. But I lost a few $20's and actually don't know how I ended up, but a few cocktails later, Lee and I are bushed!

We ended up at another deli in the Casino where I had a wonderful pastrami, corn beef and swiss triple-decker on REAL SOURDOUGH bread! They do not make real sourdough bread in Alabama. It was wonderful. Afterward, I told Lee, "if I don't get up and go to the room right now, I'm going to crash and burn!" It was still daylight and approximately 7:30 p.m. (or 9:30 p.m. at home) and we've been up since 6:00 a.m.

A good hot shower washed off all the dirt, grime, cigarette smoke and germs from traveling and being in less that stellar sanitary conditions. We did people watch - you see all kinds here! It's amazing. They let underage children in the casinos now! That blew my mind. You would not believe the minorities walking around with children 2 or 3 years old dragging one toy or another. People, this is NOT a place for children. It sorta makes me angry that people are so thoughtless that they would bring children to a place CLEARLY geared for adult entertainment.

Oh well, day one and we are in our suite, lying on the king size bed watching a nice 32" television. I'm T-A-R-D, so I'll see you later! God bless you all on this Good Friday. I will be holding my own Easter Vigil in my heart and mind tomorrow. Love to you all and to your families.