Wednesday, September 28, 2005
WHEN I AM OLD
When I am old...
I will wear soft gray sweatshirts...
and a bandana over my silver hair...
and I will spend my social security checks on wine and my dogs.
I will sit in my house on my well-worn chair
and listen to my dogs breathing.
I will sneak out in the middle of a warm summer night
and take my dogs for a run, if my old bones will allow...
When people come to call, I will smile and nod
as I show them my dogs...
and talk of them and about them...
...the ones so beloved of the past
and the ones so beloved of today...
I will still work hard cleaning after them,
mopping and feeding them and whispering their names
in a soft loving way.
I will wear the gleaming sweat on my throat,
like a jewel, and I will be an embarrassment to all...
especially my family...
who have not yet found the peace in being free
to have dogs as your best friends...
These friends who always wait, at any hour, for your footfall...
and eagerly jump to their feet out of a sound sleep,
to greet you as if you are a God,
with warm eyes full of adoring love and hope
that you will always stay,
I'll hug their big strong necks...
I'll kiss their dear sweet heads...
and whisper in their very special company....
I look in the mirror... and see I am getting old....
this is the kind of person I am...
and have always been.
Loving dogs is easy, they are part of me.
Please accept me for who I am.
My dogs appreciate my presence in their lives...
they love my presence in their lives...
When I am old this will be important to me...
you will understand when you are old,
if you have dogs to love too.
-- author unknown
PETITION TO KEEP PETS WITH THEIR OWNERS DURING DISASTERS:
Saturday, September 24, 2005
A funny story a friend of mine from Beaverton, Oregon sent me!
A couple from Minneapolis decided to go to Florida to thaw out during one particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the very same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier.
Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day.
The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an e-mail to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address, and without realizing his error, he sent the e-mail.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned Home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister of many years who was called home to glory following a sudden heart attack. The widow decided to check her e-mail expecting messages of condolence from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she fainted.
The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:
To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've Arrived
Date: 16 January 2004
I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send e-mails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.
P.S. Sure is hot down here.
Love to all,
Friday, September 23, 2005
I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.
Reporters interviewing a 104 year-old woman: "And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?" the reporter asked.
She simply replied, "No peer pressure."
Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, "How old was your husband?"
"98," she replied. "Two years older than me."
"So you're 96," the undertaker commented.
She responded, "Hardly worth going home is it?"
I've sure gotten old. I've had 2 by-pass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees. Fought prostate cancer, and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation, hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But.....Thank God, I still have my driver's license!
An elderly woman from Brooklyn decided to prepare her will and make her final requests. She told her rabbi she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Bloomingdales.
"Bloomingdales?" the rabbi exclaimed. "Why Bloomingdales?"
"Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week."
Three old guys are golfing.
First one says, "Windy, isn't it?"
Second one says, "No, its Thursday!"
Third one says, "So am I. Let's go get a beer."
A man was telling his neighbor, "I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but it's state of the art. It's perfect."
"Really," answered the neighbor. "What kind is it?"
Hope you all are safe, out of the way of harms way of the hurricane. I read this exert that was on Beliefnet.com, written by Alan Alda. I just had to share it.
A Lesson in Change Wishing you all a beautiful fall weekend. Love ya, Merry
It took a major health scare for me to learn that I needed to start paying attention to my life. By Alan Alda I was in an ambulance, bumping down a mountain road for an hour and a half. Someone on a gurney was moaning at the top of his voice. It was me.
I was gripped by something that comes upon us from time to time, whether we like it or not: change. It wasn't something I felt I really needed.
I was aware of being tripped up by change for the first time when I was seven years old. One day I was playing with my friends and the next I was in bed with a case of polio. I got over that, but a year later, my dog died from eating leftover Chinese food and I got introduced to the biggest change there is. I suddenly realized that death is permanent. It won't go away; nothing you do can bring your dog back.Then in my teens, I chose a profession that has change at its very core; I became an actor. People in other lines of work sometimes don't change jobs until years have gone by. Actors change them every few weeks. M*A*S*H, of course, went on for eleven years, but that was an oasis that only made a desert of change seem even hotter. Every new job is another set of challenges, with new skills to master, or fail at in a public way. And every few years the kind of part you were once right for is only right for the generation behind you.
You'd think after forty years or so of a life like this that I'd be used to change. But it still could surprise me when it made its blunt and unforgiving entrance. I suddenly had to leave the familiar place I was in and go into the unknown. I did know that if I didn't accept change I couldn't grow, I couldn't learn. I couldn't make progress at anything unless I was willing to gothrough this dark tunnel of uncertainty. So I went through it, but usually I went through it warily, sometimes even a little suspiciously.
It took a lesson on top of a mountain in Chile to make me accept change in a way I never had before. I think I even began to like it.
I was in an observatory, in in a remote part of Chile, interviewing astronomers for a science program called Scientific American Frontiers. The show often called for me to do dangerous things in far-off places, and I was always a reluctant adventurer because I'm a cautious person. This wasn't dangerous; it was just talk, but suddenly something inside me literally started to die. My intestine had become crimped and its blood supply was choked off. Every few minutes more and more of it was going bad, and within a few hours, so would the rest of me.
The astronomers brought me down the mountain and hustled me to the closest town; not a very big one, but amazingly, there was a surgeon there who was expert in intestinal surgery. I had only a few hours. There was no chance to fly to a larger city.
It's not just that I'm cautious; I usually practice a form of caution almost indistinguishable from cowardice. And yet I wasn't frightened. It happened too quickly for fear to set in. Knowing I might not wake up from the surgery, I dictated a few words to my wife and children and grandchildren. And then I went under.
I woke up a few hours later with a deep understanding that this surgeon had given me my life. I was grateful to him in a way I had never been grateful to anyone before; I was grateful to the nurses and to the painkillers; I was grateful to the soft Chilean cheese they gave me to break my fast. The first bite of that bland cheese, because it was the first taste of food I had in my new life, was gloriously complex and delicious. Everything about life tasted good to me now. Everything was new and bright and shining.
I hadn't asked for this change and I certainly wouldn't have picked it if I had a choice, but it actually transformed and excited me.
When I got home, I saw that I was paying more attention to things. The way the cheese tasted when they finally let me eat again became the taste of life for me. And I began doing more of the things I care about and caring more about whatever things I did. It didn't matter if what I was doing was an official, important enterprise -- or a game on a computer screen. I gave it my attention. My sense of taste for everything had been heightened.
It's only been two years since that night in Chile. Maybe this will all go away, and maybe I'll take life more for granted again. But I hope not. I like the way it tastes.
Wishing you all a beautiful fall weekend.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
----- Original Message ----- Subject: Preacher man As a young minister, I was asked by a funeral director to hold a grave side service in a new cemetery for a derelict man (with no family or friends) who had died while traveling through the area. The funeral was to be held way back in the country at a new cemetery. This man would be the first to be laid to rest at this new cemetery. As I was not familiar with the backwoods area, I became lost. Being the typical man I didn't stop for directions. And when I finally arrived an hour late, I saw a crew and a backhoe, but the hearse was nowhere in sight. The workmen were eating lunch. I apologized for my tardiness, but the workers just looked puzzled. I stepped to the side of the open grave, to find the vault lid already in place. I assured the workers I would not hold them long, but this was the proper thing to do. As the workers gathered around, still eating their lunch. I poured out my heart and soul. As I preached, the workers began to say "Amen," "Praise the Lord" and "Glory," (they must have been Baptist). I preached, and I preached, like I'd never preached before. I began from Genesis and worked all the way through to Revelation. I preached for 45 minutes. It was a long service. Finally, I closed in prayer and it was finished. As I was walking to my car, I felt that I had done my duty and I would leave with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication, in spite of my tardiness. As I was opening the door and taking off my coat, I overheard one of the workers saying to another. "I've been puttin' in septic tanks for 20 years, and I ain't never seen nothing like 'at before."
I hope no one was offeneded. Merry
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I hope you all like this, I had to share it with you. (just in case you don't have time to read all this stuff like I do all day)
AFTER 10,000 YEARS
by Niki Behrikis Shanahan
Our family didn't have any pets when I was growing up, so I
didn't give much thought to having a companion animal. I suppose if
you never had it, you don't know what you're missing.
My husband, Jack, always had cats in his family growing up.
When Jack and I were first married, we lived on the second floor of a
condominium. Little did we know who was living on the first floor --
it was Pete!
One day we heard a cat meowing in the hallway outside our door.
Jack dashed to the door and let the cat in. It really didn't matter
much to me if he let him in or not. Pete kept visiting us, each time
meowing outside the door for admittance.
One day, I was writing at the kitchen table when Pete came in.
He got up on the chair beside me, and I looked into the most
beautiful green eyes I had ever seen! On other occasions he would
walk around, and rub up against my legs as I did the dishes at the
sink. Little by little, this short fluffy bundle of love stole my
Then it happened. I started looking for him -- I was hooked!
We started feeding Pete on a regular basis and he would stay for long
periods of time. One night he didn't leave, sleeping on a rocking
chair in the living room all night.
Finally, I discovered that he belonged to Judy on the first
floor. I explained to her Pete has been stopping by to visit and
that he had stayed overnight a couple of times. She told me if Pete
bothered us, just to throw him out!
Judy said that she was getting married in a couple of months and
she didn't know what she was going to do with Pete, because her
fiance had a dog that couldn't tolerate other animals.
That was the day that I decided I would definitely adopt him.
Jack was going to night school and was busy with that most of
his spare time, so Pete and I kept each other company. Pete would
get up with us in the morning and have breakfast -- he was always
veryvocal about being fed promptly! He would sleep on our bed,
usually laying on my legs all night, sit on my lap in the evening,
nap in my arms, and play toy and flashlight games with Jack. He'd
let you put a little rubber duck on his head and allow us to be
amused by it. He was a good sport.
He was very cooperative the year I put a Santa hat on his head
and asked him to pose for our Christmas cards. He loved to sit under
the Christmas tree. When I would bring the tree into the house and
lay it against the wall before setting it up, Pete would sit under
it, ready to start celebrating right away. He loved to open the toys
at Christmas, and exchange gifts and cards with his Grandma and
Auntie every year.
Fourteen wonderful years passed. It was a couple of weeks
before Pete passed away that he was sitting on the bay window in the
dining room. I went over to see him, and there I saw a beautiful
pure white cat outside directly in front of the window where he sat.
The white cat was staring up at Pete.
I called Jack to come over to see this white cat who seemed to
be in a trance as she gazed up at Pete. Jack came over to take a
look and within a couple of minutes she vanished from sight. I
immediately ran outside to leave her some food in case she came back,
but all the while I had an uneasy feeling inside me that this was no
ordinary cat. We never saw this white cat before, and we've never
seen her since.
I couldn't get it out of my mind that the beautiful feline was
an angel, ready to take Pete to heaven. I asked Jack if we could
pray for Pete a little later that night and we did. Within a couple
of weeks Pete did pass away from a heart attack.
Pete lived to be close to 22 years old, which is a long time for
a cat, but not enough when you love someone. He enjoyed a very
loving life with us, and was really only sick the last year of his
life. Even though it pains us deeply that he is gone, we know he's
with the Lord in heaven waiting for us to join him someday.
The great bond between Pete and I inspired me to research the
Bible to see what God had to say about the afterlife of animals. I
found many scriptures in myresearch and I felt the need to document
it in an organized way. Once I began to type everything in a file, I
said to Jack, "I think this is a book!" I was delighted with my
findings that proved scripturally that all the animals go to heaven.
I titled the book, There Is Eternal Life For Animals.
On December 15, 2002, it was exactly one year since Pete passed
away. I was feeling very depressed, and just moping around the
house. I looked out the window and noticed that it was snowing.
Later I looked out the back window at the place where Pete was
buried, right under the big rock.
I had to look twice because there was a snow shaped cross on the
big rock right over Pete's grave! Why isn't there any snow on the
rest of the rock? There's snow everywhere else, on the trees, on the
grass, everywhere. But on the rock it was only in the shape of a
cross. After the snow was gone I went to see what the rock looked
like, and I noticed that there was a branch which formed the vertical
part of the cross, horizontally it looks like an indent in the rock.
We have photos of the rock fully covered with snow, and others with
the snow melting, and we have a photo of the rock with the Cross of
Snow. I know it's a sign from God that Pete is alive and well in
heaven! I believe that God wants us to share this story with all
those who are feeling the pain at the loss of their animal
companions. It's true that God preserves people and animals as is
stated in Psalm 36:6.
I often wonder what it's like in heaven, and what everybody is
doing. Sometimes I imagine Pete's playing with the other animals,
perhaps riding on a big elephant! I'm sure he's spending time with
my Dad, who passed away 40 days before him. He and his Uncle Johnny,
my brother who passed away at only three years old, are no doubt
enjoying each other's company.
Whenever I feel sad about my boy being gone, I stop and think.
I'm going home to Pete someday and we're going to live forever in
heaven! Then after 10,000 years go by, I'm going to turn to Pete and
say, "Well son, what do you want to do today?"
-- Niki Behrikis Shanahan <eternalanimals @ comcast.net>
Niki is from Massachusetts. Her book, There Is Eternal Life For
Animals, has been reviewed 43 times by readers at Amazon.com and has
received the highest 5 star rating.
Monday, September 19, 2005
I realize I have been blessed by having Patty for a friend for 48 years. God joined our paths when my parents moved to the town she lived in. We were adolescents. She has been one of the biggest influences of my life, even though there have been some fairly long periods of time that we weren't in contact. She is one of the very stongest persons that I know, and too independent in some ways. But I realize this illness, the decisions she makes for treatment or no treatment are HERS, no one else's. What she does will be for her son, her daughter, her grandchildren, her mom, and to a lesser extent her brother and sisters. I talked to her on the phone this morning, and she said that she will have tests starting the end of the week. She will see the Oncologist again the end of September. If her options inlude any hope of true recovery (Not surgery then 6 to 12 months of treatments and illness followed by death) she will have them. Right now they do not kinow the extent of her condition. I will keep you posted on it. For me. I have to tell someone this. I can't just sit her stoicly (sp) and be strong. I am crying, I am weak, I am losing a best friend. In a way, I am being selfish, I am losing my childhood heroine, it's my loss, she will be in a better place. But I need all the support I can get, from any of you who read this and are willing to help me, and from God himself. Her concern (other than her family) is that I take care of my medical needs!) Can you believe this angel my freinds?
Prayer for Friendship
You have blessed us, O God,
with the gift of friendship,
the bonding of persons
in a circle of love.
We thank you for such a blessing:
for friends who love us,
who share our sorrows,
who laugh with us in celebration,
who bear our pain,
who need us as we need them,
who weep as we weep,
who hold us when words fail,
and who give us the freedom
to be ourselves.
Bless our friends with health,
wholeness, life, and love.
Vienna Cobb Anderson | Source: Adapted from "Prayers of Our Hearts" © 1991 Vienna Cobb Anderson. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
I wish the prayer below said, "Fix Pat Jesus!"
Fix Me Jesus
Oh yes, fix me, Jesus, fix me.(HER)
Fix me so that I can walk on
a little while longer.
Fix me so that I can pray on
just a little bit harder.
Fix me so that I can sing on
just a little bit louder.
Fix me so that I can go on despite the pain,
the fear, the doubt, and yes, the anger,
I ask not that you take this cross from me,
only that you give me the strength to continue carrying it onward 'til my dying day.
Oh, fix me, Jesus, fix me.
Thank you dear friends who have read this, stick with me now, I pray, but even more important pray for Patty.
I love you all, even though I many not know your faces, I know your hearts. Thanks for your praryers and your understanding.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
We take a risk when we open our hearts because the truth is, if we open our hearts, we will get hurt. You can’t open your heart and not have some hurt because you’re in a human experience. Even if it’s the love of your life and you have many wonderful, deepening, growing, powerful years together, it’s a human experience and that person will pass over. Love takes courage. Be courageous."
"Courageous risks are life-giving, they help you grow, make you brave, and better than you think you are.
Bpth frpm Collection of Courageous Quotations
Saturday, September 17, 2005
I have a favor to ask of all of you who read journals. I received a note today from my soul-mate, high-school, best friend. (So you know we have been friends for a long time.) She told me that she had to have colon surgery. She has a large tumor and a lot of blood. She was to see the surgeon to make final arrangements Thursday. I am so worried about her. She lost her husand at 23, raised a daughter and a son by herself. She is a wonderful daughter to her mother, wonderful friend to freinds, and really lives for her family. Her son has a serious medical depression problem, so much so that he is on disability, but Patty still "watches out" for him, like you do when kids are at home, even though Bob does have his own house. Laura, her daughter has 2 kids, a boy and a girl and Pat lives for them. Most of her time is spent with them.
Although she's had the chance many times, she never remarried. She's never done anything bad to any human being and I am so so sad that she is having to go through this all alone. Her mom is in her 80"s and she has a bad heart. Pat's plans were to tell her only minimal information at the last minute. Pat's biggest worry was that Laura (her daughter) will not keep her colonoscopy appointment and be checked out. And that Bob would be okay with her not "stopping in and checking on him every day."
I am asking, no, I am begging: Will each of you say a special prayer for Pat, or Patty for me? PLEASE?. I triend to call tonight but got no answer, she could be with her grandchildren, or already in the hospital. She told me she'd be in touch as soon as she was able to. She doesn't have a computer
In this life we only get a few really close (best) friends. We tend to carry them our whole lives in our hearts. Pat and I made a soul-mate pack togeth ere on our confirmation day...we were 14 or 15 then. We took our first communion together. We have always been able to "take up right where we left off in conversations, whether it has been a year or 5 years later.
If you decide to pray for Pat, it would really mean the world to me. Thank you all!
A very worried Merry
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Home Community Christianity Spirituality Inspiration Soulmatch 9/15/2005
Daily Christian Wisdom
Let go of your plans. The first hour of your morning belongs to God. Tackle the day's work that he charges you with, and he will give you the power to accomplish it.
-Edith Stein, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Today's reading is I Corinthians 2:14-3:15
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Considering your dharma, you should not vacillate. For a warrior, nothing is higher than a war against evil. The warrior confronted with such a war should be pleased, Arjuna, for it comes as an open gate to heaven. But if you do not participate in this battle against evil, you will incur sin, violating your dharma and your honor.
-Bhagavad Gita 2:31-33
Excerpted from The Bhagavad Gita, translated by Eknath Easwaran, copyright 1985. Reprinted with permission from Nilgiri Press, www.nilgiri.org.
Somethings to think about.
Friday, September 9, 2005
This is so neat. I had never heard this before...
This is beautiful - and it is surely
worth making the 5 finger prayer
a part of our lives. 1.
Your thumb is nearest you. So begin your
prayers by praying for those closest to you.
They are the easiest to remember. To pray for
our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said,
a "sweet duty."
The next finger is the pointing finger.
Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal.
This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers.
They need support and wisdom in pointing others in
the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.
The next finger is the tallest finger. It
reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the
president, military, leaders in business and industry,
and administrators. These people shape our
nation and guide public opinion.
They need God's guidance.
The fourth finger is our ring finger.
Surprising to many is the fact that this is
our weakest finger; as any piano teacher will testify.
It should remind us to pray for those
who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need
your prayers day and night. You cannot pray
too much for them.
And lastly comes our little finger;
the smallest finger of all which is where we should
place ourselves in relation to God and others.
As the Bible says, "The least shall be the
greatest among you." Your pinkie should remind
you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed
for the other four groups, your own needs will be put
into proper perspective and you will
be able to pray for yourself more effectively.
If you decide to send this to a friend,
you might brighten someone's day!
Pass this on to someone special... I did.
Best regards [Author Unknown]
Thursday, September 8, 2005
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You Know You Have Been
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Have Had A Problem.
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Feeling Down And You
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Wednesday, September 7, 2005
From my Austalian buddy,
Why am I so tired???
For a couple years I've been blaming it on lack of sleep, not enough
sunshine, too much pressure from my job, earwax build-up, poor blood or
anything else I could think of. But now I found out the real reason.
I'm tired because I'm overworked.
The population of this country is 20 million. [Australia!]
9 million are retired.
That leaves 11 million to do the work.
There are 7 million in school, which leaves 4 million to do the work.
Of this there are 2 million employed by the federal government, leaving
2 million to do the work.
0.5 Million are in the armed forces preoccupied with finding Osama bin
Laden which leaves 1.5 million to do the work.
Take from the total the 1 million people who work for state and local
governments, and that leaves 500,000 people to do the work.
At any given time there are 280,000 people in hospitals, leaving 220,000
people to do the work.
Now, there are 219,998 people in prisons.
That leaves just two people to do the work.
You and me.
And there you are sitting on your backside, at your computer, reading jokes.
Nice, real nice! :o)
Tuesday, September 6, 2005
Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer believed that work was love in action.
By John Rollefson
Ninety-nine years ago a brilliant young theologian published his four-hundred-page study of how scholars of the preceding century and a half had variously attempted to understand Jesus. More often than not, he found, they had discovered in their research into the "real Jesus" a mirror image of themselves and their own ideals. The young scholar concluded his study with these memorable words: "As one unknown and nameless He comes to us, just as on the shores of the lake he approached those men who knew not who he was. His words are the same: 'Follow me!' and He puts us to the tasks which He has to carry out in our age."
This thirty-one-year-old professor and principal of the theological seminary in Strasbourg, an ordained Lutheran pastor in the Evangelical Church in Alsace, already the holder of degrees in the fields of theology and philosophy, had just the previous year published in his spare time a well-received study in French of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Moreover, he was himself a celebrated organist and recitalist, as well as an expert on organ building.
The previous fall, this philosopher, theologian, pastor, musicologist, and musician had begun medical studies leading to yet a third doctorate. Nearly a decade earlier, at his home in his father's parsonage in a little Alsatian village during the summer vacation of his twenty-first year, he had suddenly been struck by the thought of how incomprehensible it was that he should be allowed to lead such a happy, carefree student's life while around him so many people were contending with care and suffering.
One brilliant summer morning, he later wrote in his autobiography, "there came to me as I awoke, the thought that I must not accept this happiness as a matter of course, but must give something in return for it .... While the birds were singing outside, I settled with myself before I got up, that I would consider myself justified in living till I was thirty for science and art, in order to devote myself from that time forward to the direct service of humanity." He concluded: "Now the answer was found. In addition to the outward, I now had inward happiness."
And so, at age thirty, the young double doctor resolved to become a doctor of medicine, as he explained it, in order "that I might be able to work without having to talk. For years I had been giving myself out in words and it was with joy that I had followed the calling of theological teacher and of preacher. But this new form of activity I could not represent to myself as being talking about the religion of love, but only as an actual putting it into practice."
Albert Schweitzer long has served for me as a supreme exemplar of Christian vocation, and I've often invoked him as a saint of the church peculiarly appropriate to remember on the Sunday of our secular Labor Day holiday, when our nation pauses to honor the work we do as a part of our life's calling. Coincidentally, Schweitzer's death day commemoration falls on September 4, which is usually the Sunday closest to Labor Day, and this year happens to fall on the fortieth anniversary of his death in 1965.
Coming as it does on the heels of the recent Live 8 concerts held to raise the consciousness of the world's population and its leaders regarding aid to Africa, Schweitzer's call and commitment to Africa as his special vocation deserves to be remembered and celebrated. He was, some claimed, patriarchal and autocratic, and even a bit primitive in the medical practice he personally conducted among the Gabonese people for the last two-thirds of his ninety-one years of life. His theology and reverence-for-life ethic were too spacious for some, especially many of his fellow Lutherans.
But for his work for humanity and indeed all of life, Schweitzer was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize more than a decade before his death. He deserves to be remembered as an exemplar of the vocation of service to others for our day.
Reprinted with permission from Sightings. John Rollefson is Pastor of Lutheran Church of the Master in west Los Angeles, near UCLA.
Hope you all had a Happy Labor Day, and a good day today, too. Also, I hope no one put off by my "religious" article today. I just thought it was good and wanted to share it.
Love to all!
Thursday, September 1, 2005
This is not to say that what has happened to the people isn't the FIRST & Most important concern presently. (In my opinion,) The most heartbreaking thing is the poor people and the elderly, children, and people that are medically sick or retarded or have other serious mental problemsBut it is still VERY nice to read about those that take care of pets that would otherwise die. What is amazing about this whole critical situation, is the way people will come up with inventive ways to do hard work, almost miracles for the sake of our four legged friends. (I guess it should include birds, and animals like that as well.) I hope many of your enjoy reading this. I DID!! God Bless America! When one part of the USA has a crisis, other parts unite and give great parts of themselves-sometimes it's finacially, sometimes it's people who actually go to these poor areas. I think we live in a unique and special country! Never let it be said we don't take care of our own. Isn't this an amazing country? Glory be to all who have given in any way! Merry
by Keri Kirby
The Shreveport Times, August 29, 2005: Sitting safely in his
Shreveport home Sunday, Chris Riser flipped from channel to channel
listening to news of the disastrous and deadly potential of Hurricane Katrina.
"They were saying the shelters will not take pets and they're turning
people away with pets," he said. "I was ready to rent a U-Haul and head to
New Orleans to save the pets that cannot go to the shelter."
A pet owner himself, Riser said he could not imagine the additional
anguish of being forced to leave a pet behind.
"It makes me feel very sad," he said. "If a hurricane hit here and I
had a choice of leaving my home and being safe and letting my animals die,
I'd stay with my children, which are my animals. I'd have to die with them.
I would not go to a shelter that would not take my children."
Knowing that, Shreveport animal lovers are doing their part to
accommodate both two-and four-legged creatures displaced by the storm. The
Krewe of Barkus & Meoux, along with the Humane Society and several local
veterinarians organized a tent to shelter animals of those evacuees being
housed at the American Red Cross shelter in the LSUS Health and Physical
"This is the first time we've had an animal shelter available to us,"
said Michelle Davidson with the northwest Louisiana chapter of the Red
Cross. "They've been growing just as fast as we are." And that's a relief
for both Davidson and the people she and Red Cross volunteers want to help.
"That is often an obstacle for people to overcome when it comes to
getting them to evacuate," she said. "Unfortunately, we can't accept
animals (in Red Cross shelters)." Having their pets so close by has been a
great comfort for many evacuees, Davidson said.
"They have appreciated the opportunity," she said. "A lot go out and
play with the animals to make them feel a little better and I think it
probably soothes them as much as the animals."
Nancy Bardwell with the Northwest Louisiana Humane Society said the
community support of the evacuees and their pets has been tremendous.
"We can accommodate a lot more than what's here," she said of the 30
animals including a parrot and a canary they were housing Sunday evening.
"If we run over, there are local animal shelters and horse stables that are
ready to step in and help. We've gotten so many donations, we can hold out
as long as we need to."
The Caddo Commission's animal services division sent several cages to
the shelter at LSUS and also opened up its doors to help house evacuees'
pets. The parish began accepting dogs and cats free of charge about noon
Sunday and would continue to do so until they filled up the 60 vacancies
they had available, said Anita Mills, spokeswoman for the division.
"The last time there was a major hurricane there were about 350
animals that came into the area. They all did not come in to the shelter"
Mills said. "But they're expecting many more than that this time because of
the severity of this storm."
This is a message (ated 8/30/2005 8:56:18 PM Central Standard Time,) from firstname.lastname@example.org God's blessings on all of you who have helped in any way in this situation.
And Love to all your journal folks.
(Still another side of ) Merry
To all of us lucky ones out of harms way, "Today is enough just as it is." (Yearly daily calendar, author unknown.)