Category Archives: joy

Sunday World Topics of Interest

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When people question faiths, I am sometimes aghast. Families and traditions

are part of heritage from generations back. When someone asked me, of a

different faith, “Who ‘made up’ the idea of Palm Sunday?” I had to think back

upon all of my Bible readings and my childhood lessons.

 

Aha!  In, John 12:12-13

(New Testament, Bible):

“They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him (Jesus),

shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the

Lord – – the King of Israel!'”

 

No, this does not discuss or dictate a certain day to take palm

branches and walk through town, or in my family’s church’s case,

through church. It does mention this is a celebration and honoring

someone who we may have strong beliefs in.

 

I was especially proud then, to read that the church I attended with

my three children and my ex-husband, First Presbyterian, Delaware,

Ohio, is going to use “Eco-Palms.”

 

This is part of the Presbyterian Earth Care program joining with

the Presbyterian Hunger Project. These are branches which you

may feel are worth celebrating about. Usually palms are harvested

in rainforests where they make needed habitats for migrating birds.

 

Birds are one of my favorite part of the animal kingdom. The more

fronds or palm leaves taken and cut by the harvesters in the

rainforest, the more desperate a situation it becomes.

 

Eco-Palm harvesters, gather only quality palm fronds in a way that

allows the plants to keep growing. This program is considered a

community process and the way they are trained to promote saving

the plants and the homes of the rainforest birds, touched my heart.

 

The marketing program is what helps the Hunger Project, since it is

one where an agent is handling the sales and providing monies to

capture more of the profits to benefit the native population:  for shoes,

school uniforms, food and basic health care.

 

In addition, a portion of the profits is set aside for providing

scholarships, paying teachers and helping elderly members.

This truly is, ‘Cause for Jubilation’ in the highest form.

 

 

Timothy Merrill gives us his perspective on

always having to Wait in,

 

“The Waiting Game

Life involves lots of waiting. We wait in groups, in lines, in cars.

We wait for packages, for the bus, for the sun to rise.

We wait in doctor’s offices, at the post office, at the DMV

(waiting for license or plates renewals.)

Waiting implies we’re at someone else’s mercy.

 

It is also usually linked to Hope.

 

Perhaps that is why Paul Tillich called ‘waiting’ a “metaphor for

faith.”

 

Why would a person wait if there weren’t the firm belief that the

object of one’s wait will eventually materialize?

 

Waiting can be enervating, which is why in the Bible,

Isaiah 40:31 these words are so promising:

“They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”

 

Yet, waiting is tough if you have nothing to do while waiting.

 

That is why Jesus, when talking about waiting, also talked about

working – – “Work for the night is coming.”

 

Sometimes it is less tiring to work than it is to wait.

 

There’s a lot of waiting during Lent.

You’re waiting for a payoff.

You’re waiting for the Resurrection.

You’re waiting for spiritual growth.

And then you realize this isn’t waiting at all.

It’s Life.

It’s Joy.

It’s Opportunity.

It’s Blessing.”

 

Like John Mayer said but may have expressed more

deeply, “That’s why we’re waiting on the World to change.”

 

 

This one focuses on the enjoyable custom shared at work,

in communities or family gatherings. . .

 

“A Potluck of People”

(Taken from March’s “Spire” church bulletin)

 

“At many gatherings for potluck dinners which are meals largely

unplanned, when people bring food to share, usually the main

dishes, salads and desserts somehow balance out.  The fun is in

the variety and mixing together on a plate and the surprise factor

of what is brought to share and contribute to the Potluck.

 

Groups of peoples, churches, communities, families and workplaces

are all “potlucks” of a sort, too. When groups assemble, each person

contributes something unique and sometimes unexpected. When all

is mixed together, the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

 

A beautiful balance often results:

One is a good singer; the other writes well.

Some are strong leaders; others dependable team members.

Some are traditional; others innovative.

Combined together, it’s ‘delicious.’

 

Potlucks are sometimes called covered-dish dinners or meals.

But don’t keep your gifts ‘covered.’

Share them because you are a valued part of the whole.”

(Author Unknown)

 

We used to call our country a “melting pot,” which describes how we

were going to blend together.

 

I like to think of the World full of diverse cultures, faiths, histories

of countries as part of a “Human Masterpiece.”

(reocochran, 3/15)

 

When I speak of Lent, Jesus, God, the Bible and verses from it, it

is meant to describe and share the belief system I emerged from.

But any time you see a parallel of your faith with mine, I hope you

will feel free to explain how the theme or subject can be applied in

your family, your church or your culture.

 

Bridging gaps is my goal and focus, when I post something about

faith. I hope you never feel excluded or isolated, since this is not

what expressing my belief system wishes me to do.

 

International Landmark Decisions

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With Valentine’s Day on the horizon and arriving in just a few

days, I thought I would share global progress in the area of Love

for All Couples.

 

There are still a lot of areas in the world,  including some states

here in the United States, which I think need to progress and

accept persons who are seeking same sex relationships to be

legally validated. The wish for these committed partners is to

enter into matrimony.

 

Unfortunately, when we hear the words ‘equality for all,’

the meaning behind the words is not always clearly

understood nor allowable in certain aspects. We still

don’t extend the same rights to everyone.

 

Here are some landmark decisions for the world in this

area of legality of same sex relationships and marriages.

 

Chile:  Lawmakers introduced a marriage equality bill on

December 10, 2014. It has not passed yet, as far as I know

of the bill’s progress.

 

Finland:  Marriage equality will come on March 1, 2017.

Wait a few years, this is what is being given as a choice.

Parliament approved a measure on December 12, 2014

but needed changes in other laws which will delay the

implementation for this law.

 

Ireland:  Voters nationwide will take up the question of

marriage equality in a May, 2015 referendum. Prime

Minister Enda Kenny announced December 16, 2014.

Polls show 70 % of voters approve of this decision.

 

Scotland:  Douglas Pretsell and Peter Gloster were the

first couple to wed after Scotland expanded marriage

rights on December 16, 2014.  They married just after

midnight at the British consulate in Melbourne, Australia.

 

Slovakia: Voters were going to decide the issue of marriage

equality in a national referendum by February 7, 2015.

 

Help all to receive their hearts’ desire in Life.

 

Wishing  everyone a

Happy Early Valentine’s Day.

 

Please share freely where you stand on this issue, I will

respect your personal choice. Also, if you live in a place

in the world where you wish the laws would change to

include same sex marriages, fill us in. If there is any new

progress being shown in your country, please let us know

what strides are being made in laws and acceptance, too.

 

At the 57th Grammy Award’s Ceremony, Sam Smith thanked

his male ex-boyfriend who broke his heart, leading Sam to

create his lovely song, “Stay With Me.” Sam took home four

awards on Sunday, February 8, 2014.

 

Word Play Chuckles

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Using a post combining aphorisms, puns and some humor I always

hope to send readers a good time. Word play is a way I enjoy others

who utilize unique ways to get your mind to travel. Sometimes, you

have to think a bit before you ‘get it.’ Other times, they are so corny,

you may groan. . .

 

The Family Tree

of

Vincent Van Gogh

(Note:  His members included a few ‘stereotypes’ which I left out.)

 

His hardworking Brother at the convenience store known as “Stop N Gogh.”

His dizzy and kooky Aunt known as “Verti- Gogh.”

His magician Uncle otherwise known as “Where Diddy Gogh.”

His Nephew who drove a stage coach out West was named, “Wells Far Gogh.”

His bird watching Cousin who went by the name of, “Fla Min Gogh.”

The beautiful, exotic Aunt was named, “Tang Gogh.”

The little girl Cousin who liked to eat fruit known as “Mang Gogh.”

The positive Teacher and Aunt was nicknamed, “Way to Gogh.”

The Grandfather from the Old World country, “Hugh Gogh.”

The little bouncy Nephew named Poe Gogh.

(This depended on whether or not you have heard of Pogo sticks?)

The lively Sister who loves disco and dancing- Go Gogh.

And Vince’s Niece whose family travels in an R.V.- “Winnie Bay Gogh.”

 

I saw you smiling over there, almost snorting your coffee:

“There Ya, Gogh!”

 

Maxine gives you this Intermission Thought:

“Take every birthday with a grain of salt. . .

This works much better if the salt accompanies a

Margarita!”

(Thanks, John Wagner!)

 

“No Pun Intended”

Ten “Punography” Entries

(I could have had twenty!)

1. What does a clock do when it is hungry?   It goes back 4 seconds.

 

2. What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary?  Thesaurus.

 

3. Plans for the class trip to the Coca Cola factory:  I hope there won’t be

a Pop Quiz!

 

4. Broken pencils are. . .   pointless.

 

5. Old school Bible pun. . . How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.

 

6. I tried to catch some fog.  I mist.

 

7. When chemists die, they barium.

 

8. This woman said she recognized me from the club for vegetarians.

But I’d never met herbivore.

 

9. I was in a theatrical performance about puns.  It was a play on words.

 

10. The hospital told me I had Type A. . . . It was a Type O.

 

Now, drum roll please: An encore Pun!

“A dyslexic man walked into a bra.”

 

You may wonder what an aphorism is:

A short, pointed sentence that expresses a wise or clever observation or

a general truth. I used to love George Carlin’s aphorisms. Here are a few

to hold you over until you can read G.C.’s brand or style of humor.

1. The nicest thing about the future is. . . that it starts tomorrow.

 

2. Money will buy a fine dog,  only kindness will make him wag his tail.

 

3. If you don’t have a sense of humor, you probably don’t have any sense

at all.

 

4. A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you’re in deep water.

 

And the old standby, often expressed aphorism:

5. How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark

to become a teen who wants to stay out all night?

 

And as Bugs Bunny would say with a stutter and a big smile…

“That’s All, Folks!”

A Special Mystery and a Christmas Prayer

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When I received the book, “The Christmas Wish,” written by Richard

M. Siddoway, I did not know how much it would mean to me, in so

many different ways.  Richard is an educator in the public school system

of Utah, along with being a member of the House of Representatives.

He and his wife, Janice, have eight children and possibly grandchildren

since the book was published.

I think where they live in Utah, sounds very much like the book:

Bountiful.

First of all, it is a lovely book, with a special Christmas annual mystery.

A grandson who loved his grandparents and who had been raised by

them. He respected his grandfather very much and after he has passed

away, he finds out Grandpa had visited a woman named “Lillian” every

Christmas Eve. It has a happy ending, one his Grandma is pleased about

and readers are blessed by.

This book holds such great meaning, including being open to what may

possibly be another way to view a situation, along with the powerful

ingredient of forgiveness.

It was written in 1995, given to me in 2003.

Jean A. was my mentor, almost a decade younger than I was. I was in

the midst of pursuing my Master’s degree, when she found out she was

pregnant. A ‘surprise!’ baby.

A mother of three teenagers, Jean was a little distracted. But she was still

the very best preschool teacher of integrated developing levels of children.

A fine example for me to attempt to follow her beautiful and lasting

footsteps. Her husband and family were such a fine example of love and

Jean shone with a year-round Christmas spirit.

Little did I know, she would pass away when her little Spencer was only

three years old, doctor having found cancer growing rapidly due to the

increase of hormones from pregnancy. This book is a treasure and one

that is brought out every Christmas. I read it again, since it has a lot of

history in it, along with all the elements of a good story. I also hang up

a framed snow painting that has the words,

“Star light, star bright,

I wish I may,

I wish I might,

Have this Wish

I wish tonight.

Peace on Earth.”

 

Inside the book there is a precious poem:

“The house is warm, good cheer abounds.

The heart of Christmas is all around.

The children sing, their voices sweet,

The candles are lit, such rosy heat.

My heart is full, my eyes aglow,

For those here with me

and those I cannot know.”

~* Anonymous *~

(A preface also says,

“To Janice.”)

 

“I said a Christmas prayer for you

because the seasons near.

I didn’t ask for riches

but for gifts so much more dear.

I asked for joyful gatherings

with your family all around,

and for carols to inspire  you

with their old familiar sound,

I asked for quiet moments

in your heart on Christmas morn,

for a special time to celebrate

the Savior who was born.

I asked for friends to send their best

that you might know they care. . .

I asked for peace and love and hope;

and I know God heard my prayer.”

Written by

Nancy Parker Brummett

 

Happy “Festivus for the Rest of Us!”

Happy Hanukkah!

Blessed Christmas wishes,

Joy in Kwanzaa Celebrations,

or Hope you find Peace:

May it be True.

Deer Hunting Story

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Sometimes we just need a reason to laugh out loud. It may not be

intellectual or like Bob Newhart’s dry sense of humor.  It may be a

joke or a comic imitating something or someone. It could be there

really is a monkey loose down in Tampa, Florida. The city’s police

(through 9-1-1 calls) are getting lots of phone calls about the wild

animal. This is on the internet, so it must be ‘true!’

I liked this one which my Mom’s pen pal sent to me. While I was in

the dentist’s office, my hygienist who has been a younger friend of

mine for over five years, told me her current boyfriend of four years

was out hunting for deer. Then, at work this week, Cycle Count Dept.

asked for some volunteers to help out, since half their staff were out

deer hunting. So, this story may bring smiles and is definitely timed

for Ohio’s deer hunting season.

I thought this one was rather clever and had never heard it before.

I told this to my friends at lunch, which after typing this it is easier

to remember the details. They laughed and thought it was ‘cute.’

 

“One night at a local bar, frequented by the local group of deer hunters

in walked the sheriff. The men were waiting for the opening day of Deer

Hunting Season. The sheriff was scoping out the joint for possible drunk

drivers.

 

As he waited, eventually a patron stumbled out of the bar, fumbled for

his keys, tried them in three different cars until he finally found his own.

He got inside and rested his head on the car’s steering wheel. The deputy

knew he had his first drunk driver, among the bunch of deer hunters.

So now all he had to do was wait for him to start his engine and pull out

onto the road.

 

A few hours passed by and most of the other deer hunters had left by then.

When the patron who had been sleeping or resting, while listening to his

radio, lifted his head up. He started the car, drove out of the lot like a ‘bat

out of hell.’ The deputy followed him and put his lights on, using his loud

speaker to say,

“Get out of the car, lean against the side of it, put your hands in the air.”

He immediately skipped the Sobriety Test, he knew this deer hunter’s

alcohol was high, even if he had slept it off a bit.

He administered, the Breath-O-Lizer test and it read “O.OO.”

 

Confused, the sheriff asked the driver,

“What in the world was going on?”

The driver looked at him innocently and responded respectfully,

“Well Sir, tonight I’m the “Designated Decoy.”

(The End)

 

Picture This”

A large tree, bare of leaves, with a “Warning Sign” upon it in

the woods:

“WARNING:

“BAITING DEER IS ILLEGAL

This corn pile is intended for

SQUIRRELS,

CHIPMUNKS

AND

OTHER SUCH ANIMALS.

 

ANY DEER FOUND EATING

THIS CORN

WILL BE SHOT!”

 

Do you have any tall tales from out in the wild or have you

ever gone deer, turkey, squirrel or rabbit hunting?

That last one made me think of Elmer Fudd’s going

‘wabbit hunting,’ (Bugs Bunny).

Sending you smiles. . .

December Wonders

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Making your spirits bright and your home fires warm,

makes me think of our Winter’s blustery cold and the

upcoming holidays. There are several directions your

faiths and belief systems may go- Kwanzaa, Chanukah,

Christmas or other ways. You may not be living in a cold

climate, you may be in the exact opposite of my location,

being greeted daily with warm sunshine, gentle breezes.

Wherever you are, I try to write a monthly newsletter to

keep up with various customs, cultures and faiths.

Please feel free to add in the comments section, a special

family tradition to make this interactive and meaningful.

 

Thomas Kinkade’s ‘healthy habits’ message for December is:

“Take care of your body, keeping your

body running the way it is supposed to

can be effective in lifting your spirits.”

(12/2001)

In a December issue of Prevention Magazine,

there was a list of “7 Foods to Keep You Healthy.”

I took the list and added a few personal favorite

ways to use these in the Season of Peace:

1. Eating almonds over the holidays will add some

much needed Vitamin E.

2. Serving different peas or beans, not only add

extra fiber to our diets, fill you up more, but also

give you a great source of Zinc.

3. The special addition to carrots, sweetens your

salads or grated can be added to various casseroles

(even mac and cheese), along with Vitamin A.

4. Mushrooms, cooked or raw give you Selenium.

They can be used in dips, stuffed caps or in gravies.

5. Drinking tea, either black or green, boosts your

antioxidants. Over a warming cup of tea, sprinkle a

dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to create some festive

flavorings.

6. Tomatoes give you Vitamin C, which can be so great

at fighting off colds. I like to have them in salads, but

also enjoy the way you can stuff them with crushed

croutons and Italian flavorings. Nutritionists advise

heating tomatoes releases more of its healing power.

7. Yogurt, which you can include in desserts, sauces and

dips gives you those probiotics that we all need, especially

as we get older.

 

DECEMBER

Birthstone:  Turquoise or blue peridot gemstone

Flower: Narcissus

I think of Poinsettias, when I think of December.

 

There are so many new and old books of Christmas,

along with other December holidays. This is a book

which can bridge any personal choices: “Rabbit’s Gift,”

by George Shannon and Laura Dronzek

(Harcourt Children’s Books) Snowfall, blue skies with

the beautiful effect of snowflakes and a message of hope.

 

December 6-

Full Cold Moon.

Full Night’s Moon.

 

December 7-

Pearl Harbor Day

and

Remembrance Day:

Wherever you live, take some moments to

honor your heroes. Those who serve and

protect us and our freedoms deserve our

meditation and gratitude.

 

“Believe in a Higher Being.

Believe in others and yourself.

Believe in miracles and wonders.”

(Author Unknown)

 

December 14- Quarter Moon.

 

15- Bill of Rights Day.

 

December 16th (sundown)- 24th:

Happy Hanukkah!

 

18-

This is the 50th anniversary of the Pink Panther

theatrical short featuring Pink Panther harassing

his foil/enemy. These characters are the creations

of Fritz Freleng. This won the 64th Academy Award

presentations in the department of “Animated Shorts.”

 

Definitely, this is a reminder that December is the time

to enjoy, laugh and be playful. Pink Panther was so silly

and fun.

 

22- New Moon.

 

December 25th- Christmas Day.

Many religions celebrate Christ’s Birth,

Rejoice and Follow the Stars wherever your faith

takes you.

“December is a time

of celebration and joy.

A time of promises kept

and Love reborn.”

~ Flavia, 2003.

 

26th- First Day of Kwanzaa.

This is a festive celebration of African American

community, culture and faith. This continues

until January first.

Boxing Day- Canada, U.K., Australia and NZ.

 

Many people shop for the following holiday

season (2015), finding bargains and gifts for

the coming year.

 

28- First Quarter Moon.

 

December 31st-

New Year’s Eve.

“Another fresh new year is here. . .

Another year to live.

To banish worry, doubt and fear,

To love, laugh and give.”

~ William Arthur Ward

(American Writer, 1921-1994)

 

May you and your family enjoy many experiences of

happiness. This final month of the year arrived far

too quickly! I hope you find ways to make December

stretch, savoring these special moments. Include some

meditation to help you to relax and not get too stressed.

For me, nostalgia arrives as I take out the ornaments

and decorations of Christmas past.

May this lovely time of year fill your senses with joy and

wonder in the simple things.

Most of all, wishing all of you to experience feelings of

Hope and Peace.

 

 

 

Moral Dilemma

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This is a situation that is meant to allow you to question and

think about your own reactions and decision making.

It was used on a job application where 200 applicants were

in ‘competition’ for the same position.

 

I hope this will lead you to a higher level of Enlightenment:

 

You are driving in your car on a wild, stormy night.

You pass by a bus stop, and you see three people

waiting for the bus.

 

1. An elderly lady who looks as if she may be about to die.

2. An old and good friend who once saved your life.

3. The perfect man or woman (if you are single) one you

have been dreaming about.

 

Which one would you choose to offer a ride?

There can only be one passenger in your car.

 

This once was used on a job application to

determine future employees’ morals and ethics.

 

You could pick up the elderly lady since she is going to die,

thus you should save her first.

You could take the old friend since he or she saved your life.

You own him or her this favor.

You may never get another chance to be able to find your perfect

dream man or woman, however.

 

The candidate who was supposedly hired out of 200 Applicant

had no trouble answering this question.

Think hard and long, since this may be your best Life Decision

you make today!

 

The Winning Candidate for Job Application simply said:

“I would give the car keys to my old friend, and let him take the

lady to the hospital.

I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the woman or man

of my dreams.”

 

Moral of the Day:

“We gain more if we are able to give up on our own thought limitations.”