Quote from "One Week"


"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold onto them. They are the lifeboats for the darker times. When the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely lucid. So the question becomes or should have been all along, what would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live? What lifeboat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?

From movie 'One Week' starring Joshua Jackson

Panda Escape

Just found these photos of a baby panda trying to get out of his playpen. Awwww...

Full article here

Christmas Meditation

Meditation on John 1:1-18
from the Word Among Us for the Nativity of our Lord

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (John 1:14)

O you chosen of God, sing and exult with all the angels of heaven! The Word has been made flesh. He who was in the beginning with God, overseeing everything that came to be, has become man and lived among us. The longing of all of creation has been fulfilled, and the world is forever transformed.

O you redeemed of the Lord, rejoice! Grace and truth have come to earth in the person of Jesus. A child in a manger reveals the unfathomable glory of God. No longer do we rely only on his Law to know him. He has come to us, and in his presence we behold the depths of God’s love.

O you children of God, open your mouths in praise! We have beheld personally the glory of the Father’s only Son. His grace and truth were made visible to us in the mystery of his incarnation. He is no longer far off from us in our suffering and emptiness. He whom heaven itself cannot hold has taken on our flesh and dwelt among us.

O you beloved of God, bow down and worship the One who has made you his children! Kneel at the manger in awe that this humble baby holds in his person the power to take away all that separates you from God, to restore you to wholeness, and to open the gates of heaven for you.

O you enlivened by his life, celebrate! He has brought light and life where once there was darkness and death. The light of the world shines in the darkness, and the darkness will never overcome it. Victory is ours because Christ has come!

“Jesus, I receive your life today. I believe that you are the revelation of the Father, the Light of the World, the Word become flesh. I open my heart to you today—to you whom darkness cannot vanquish, to you who have conquered sin and opened the gates of heaven. Jesus, may I gaze upon your glory forever!”

Cute pic - sleepover

“Oh, you guys are totally going to freak when you hear this, but Hannah told me she overheard Margot telling Phoebe that her brother Nick said that Zachary is like totally in love with Mary Ellen Blopchik who works down at the DQ…”
Found on cuteoverload

Wise Men Still Seek Him

Shepherds gathered their flowing robes to hurry to Him; the Magi braved deserts and mountains to find Him; in the blazing noonday sun a defeated Samaritan woman came to Him; a skeptic exclaimed, “my Lord and my God” when he found Him. And today millions on every continent acknowledge with the Apostle Paul that He is “the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Wise men still seek Him; and those who seek find more than they ever imagined. For in Jesus Christ, and Him alone, are to be found forgiveness, inward peace, joys in life today, the promises of life eternal.

The Magi found Him as a young child with Mary His mother. We find Him today as the living Christ, clothed with glory and honor and seated at the right hand of His Father in heaven. He is there because He finished the work He came to do on earth. Of His coming the Bible says, “He was made in the likeness of men: and… He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him… that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:7-11).

While it is true that wise men still seek Him, it is more wonderfully true that He still seeks us--whoever we may be. Now, today, from His place in the heavenlies comes His divine invitation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).

If the President sent you an official invitation, you would surely accept. The Babe of Bethlehem who is now the Christ of Glory is inviting you today. The door is the door of your heart. May you know what it is to respond; and may all His spiritual blessings be yours this Christmas.

~Clyde H. Dennis

Parable of the Birds

This is about a modern man, one of us, he was not a scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man, generous to his family, upright in his dealings with others. But he did not believe in all that incarnation stuff that the Churches proclaim at Christmas time. It just didn’t make sense to him and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just could not swallow the Jesus story about God coming to earth as man. I’m truly sorry to distress you, he told his wife, but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve. He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he would much rather stay home, but that he would wait up for them. He stayed, they went.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier, then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound. Then another and another. At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. Well, when he went to the front door, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter they had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze. He remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter -- if he could direct the birds to it. He quickly put on his coat and galoshes, trampled through the deepening snow to the barn, opened the door wide, and turned on a light. But the birds did not come in.

He figured food would entice them in and he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow making a trail to the yellow lighted wide open doorway of the stable, but to his dismay the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them, he tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms -- instead they scattered in every direction except into the warm lighted barn. Then he realized they were afraid of him.

To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature, if only I could think of some way to let them know they can trust me: That I’m not trying to hurt them, but to help them. How? Any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him. If I could only be a bird myself he thought.

If only I could be a bird and mingle with them and speak their language, and tell them not to be afraid, and show them the way to the safe, warm barn. But I'd have to be one of them, so they could see and hear and understand.

At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sound of the wind. He stood there listening to the bells. "O Come all ye Faithful". Listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow with thankful belief.

~Written in 1956 by Louis Cassells

Joseph's Prayer - Max Lucado

This isn't the way I planned it, God. Not at all. My child being born in a stable? This isn't the way I thought it would be. A cave with sheep and donkeys, hay and straw? My wife giving birth with only the stars to hear her pain?

This isn't at all what I imagined. No, I imagined family. I imagined grandmothers. I imagined neighbors clustered outside the door and friends standing at my side. I imagined the house erupting with the first cry of the infant. Slaps on the back. Loud laughter. Jubilation.

That's how I thought it would be.

But now. Now look. Nazareth is five days' journey away. And here we are in a . . . in a sheep pasture. Who will celebrate with us? The sheep? The shepherds? The stars?

This doesn't seem right. What kind of husband am I? I provide no midwife to aid my wife. No bed to rest her back. Her pillow is a blanket from my donkey. My house for her is a shed of hay and straw.

The smell is bad, the animals are loud. Why, I even smell like a shepherd myself.

Did I miss something? Did I, God?

When you sent the angel and spoke of the son being born--this isn't what I pictured. I envisioned Jerusalem, the temple, the priests, and the people gathered to watch. A pageant perhaps. A parade. A banquet at least. I mean, this is the Messiah!

Read the rest here...

If You Had Only One Son

If you had only one son,
would you send him to this earth
to live in lowly birth
where no one felt his worth?
God did.

If you had only one son,
would yo ulet him leave his throne
and come to live unknown
and face his task alone?
God did.

If you had only one son,
would you let him serve and bless
a crowd that offered less
than love and faithfulness?
God did.

If you had only one son,
would you let him weep and grieve
for men who won't perceive
but only make believe?
God did.

If you had only one son,
would you let him pay sin's debt
for men who would soon forget
and live without regret?
God did.

If you had only one son,
would you let him bleed and die
upon a cross held high
between the earth and sky?
God did.

If you had only one son,
would you raise him from the tomb
to lift away the gloom
from earth with still no room?
God did.

If you had only one son,
would you send him back again
to face a world of men
who still are lost in sin?
God will!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Just One Star

Back in the throne room of Heaven, plans were being made to announce the birth of God's Son on earth. Michael, the archangel, had just finished describing his great heavenly display of comets and falling stars, for a year preceding, and following the birth.

Gabriel went on with his musical plans - a great angelic choir with tens of thousands of voices, tuned with Heaven's finest and latest harmonies, ready to serenade the earth.

But God interrupted their conversation. "No," He said, "that's not really what I had in mind."

"What, you want more?" asked Gabriel.

"No", God smiled. I planned a small family gathering in Bethlehem, actually. We don't need all those trimmings."

"But.... all my stars...." said Michael. "What will I do with them?"

"And my angels," Gabriel added.

Just then, Jesus stepped through the pearly gates, out into the red carpet of time, and started down the spiral stairway of stars.

Michael pleaded, "Father, let us do something, please! He simply can't go unannounced!"

"Well, alright, " God said. "Gabriel, a few angels.... and Michael, just one star."

Christmas quotes

The Son of God became the Son of Man,
so the sons of men might become the sons of God.

It's not so much that man could not believe in God,
but that God was proving that He believed in man.

A thousand times in history a baby has become a king,
but only once in history did a King become a baby.

This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone."
~ Taylor Caldwell

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern,
is very simple: loving others.
Come to think of it,
why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?"
~ Bob Hope

Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect."
~ Oren Arnold

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world
in a conspiracy of love."
~ Hamilton Wright Mabie

What is Christmas?
It is tenderness for the past,
courage for the present,
hope for the future.
It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow
with blessings rich and eternal,
and that every path may lead to peace."
~ Agnes M. Pahro

Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder.
The capacity for wonder has been called
our most pregnant human faculty,
for in it are born our art, our science, our religion."
~ Ralph Sockman

Best of all, Christmas means a spirit of love,
a time when the love of God and the love of our fellow men
should prevail over all hatred and bitterness,
a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives
manifest the presence of God.
~George F. McDougall

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:
the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
~Burton Hillis

Jesus, the Light of the World, as we celebrate your birth,
may we begin to see the world
in the light of understanding you give us.
As you chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor
to receive the greatest news the world had ever known,
so may we worship you in meekness of heart.
May we also remember our brothers and sisters
less fortunate than ourselves
in this season of giving. Amen.
~Karen L. Oberst

Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart,
a wide open heart that thinks of others first.
The birth of the baby Jesus stands
as the most significant event in all history,
because it has meant the pouring into a sick world
the healing medicine of love
which has transformed all manner of hearts
for almost two thousand years...
Underneath all the bulging bundles
is this beating Christmas heart.
~George Matthew Adams

Teach us to value most eternal things…
To find the happiness that giving brings...
To know the peace of misty, distant hills…
To know the joy that giving self fulfils…
To realize anew this Christmas Day…
The things we keep are those we give away.
~Marvin Davis Winsett

This is Christmas:
not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols,
but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift,
the Christ.
~Frank McKibben

When the song of the angel is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost--To heal the broken--To feed the hungry--
To release the prisoner--To rebuild the nations--
To bring peace among brothers and sisters--
To make music in the heart.
~Howard Thurman

Three wise women would have...
asked directions,
arrived on time,
helped deliver the baby,
cleaned the stable,
made a casserole,
brought practical gifts,
and there would be peace on Earth.

The Magnificat

Luke 1:39-55

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed:
"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!"

And Mary said,
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.

He has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,

Casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
to remember his promise of mercy,

The promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Painting: Mary and Elizabeth by Dorothy Webster Hawksley

Christmas is for Christ

I've collected some of my favourite Christmas stories, poems and songs...

12 Days of Christmas
classic song explained

Christmas Gifts from God
inspiring reflection by Ann V.

Gift of the Magi
love this story!

Mary's Dream
makes you think...

My First Christmas in Heaven
for those who have lost a loved one

Our Greatest Need
short reminder of why He came

T'was the Night Before Jesus Came
remake on the classic poem

Why Jesus is Better than Santa
I love this comparison!

Some of my favourite Christmas songs,
click to hear...

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Casting Crowns new take on a classic

Love Crucified Arose
Michael Card's beautiful ballad

Seven Joys of Mary
new rendition by Barenaked Ladies

While You Were Sleeping
new song by Third Day

These jazz players are a bunch of animals!

Makes me miss my guinea pig...

God's Billboard

He has a few things to say!
about 20 different messages cycle through...


How to prepare for Christmas...

Christ the King

Today we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King!

Jesus said, "For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45, NAB).

and when questioned by Pontius Pilate...

Pilate said to Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?"... Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here." So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world,to testify to the truth (John 18:33b, 36-37).

GoD and DoG

Written by Wendy Francisco, this song has a lesson NOT just for doglovers :) Cute reminder!!

Debbie Smith, wife of Michael W. Smith speaks at Wheaton College

Being a fan of Michael W. Smith for years now, I was interested to hear some words from the "woman behind the man", his lovely wife Debbie! She talks of how trusting God to work out plans for us sometimes happens in unexpected ways...

Matt Maher - Alive Again

I've been listening to Matt Maher's new CD this past week and thoroughly enjoying his inspirational music! Here's the title track from the CD... You can visit his website to hear more from this artist who is currently on tour with Michael W. Smith!

Steven Curtis Chapman - Beauty Will Rise

Steven Curtis Chapman's latest album comes out Nov. 3rd - the first since the loss of his sweet daughter Maria Sue.
“It is weird for me to even call this a record because it is just my personal psalms from this journey that we have been on,” says Steven. “After we lost Maria, I did not know if I would ever write anymore songs or if I would ever sing again. The last thing I wanted to do is turn any of this into a song. Then you realize ‘God, this is what has happened to us and now what would You have me to do with it?’ Slowly songs began to just come out as ways for me to try to process what I was thinking and feeling and what my family and I were walking through.”
One of the most affecting, affirming songs on the record is “SEE.” In the hours after Maria left to be with Jesus, Steven fervently prayed for a sign that she was okay, pleading with God just to let him see. “I remember just saying, ‘We know it is true. We know she is with Jesus. She is safe in the arms of the God who made her. We know she is okay. We know it, but could we just see something?’” Steven recalls asking. “The next morning we went back to our house to get some clothes for the memorial service. We were not going to stay there and it was really hard to even go in the house because of the memories. We were walking through with friends who were holding on to us as we were going from room to room.”

“I walked into the kitchen and there is this little art table that Maria and Stevey Joy would sit at for hours. She loved crafts. She would cut out pictures. Scissors and glue were her favorite things. She would just cut and paste and draw for hours, and she often created cards for us. She would write the words she knew, ‘I love mom’ and ‘I love dad’ and then she would sign her name ‘Maria.’”

“Everything was cleaned up at the table but there was one little piece of notebook paper lying on her side of the art table. It was a flower, a six-petal flower that was kind of her signature flower that she would draw all the time. Only one petal was colored in blue, and the rest of it was just the outline of the petals. It had a little stem and it had a little orange center of the flower and it had little leaves at the bottom of the stem. I had noticed something else kind of bleeding through the back of the paper where she had written something and I turned it over and it was a little butterfly and then she had written the letters S-E-E. She had never written that word before. All that she had ever written as far as we knew was ‘I love Mom,’ ‘I love Dad’ and her name. Out of all the words that she could have written that day before the accident, she had written the word ‘see.’ I was already weeping uncontrollably and at that moment I just really, really believed that God gave us that sign and that was the gift that Maria left us to say ‘I know you are wanting to see something, but see I am okay and I am where you said. It is okay.’ That flower became so precious to us. It was my wife that looked at it and realized what we thought was an unfinished flower, was finished. Only one flower petal of the six was colored in. Then we realized we have six children there is only one that is colored in; there is one that is whole and the rest of us are still waiting for our color. It just became such a gift to us.”??

It’s everything you said that it would be
And even better than you would believe ?
And I’m counting down the days until you’re here with me
And finally you’ll see?
(from song ”SEE”?)

Listen to the first single from his album "Heaven is the Face"
and hear Steven Curtis Chapman talks about the song ""Heaven Is The Face

Click here to listen to Cinderella, the song inspired by his daughters
(I love this song!)
Below Chapman talks about how the song came about...

Communion of Saints

As we prepare to celebrate another Halloween, I dread how all the imagery around me seems to focus on evil spirits and monsters.

Instead, I am in awe of the holy men and women who have gone before us and lived their lives following Christ, so that we now call them saints. November 1st is All Saints Day where we honour the saints, known and unknown. It is called the Solemnity of All Saints or All Hallows, thereby making Oct. 31 "All Hallowed Eve" (or Halloween). It is a time of great celebration, a time to rejoice and be inspired by those who have fought the good fight! It is followed by All Souls Day, on Nov. 2, where we recall friends and family who have passed away and pray for them.

A Day at the Office

This brought a smile...!
(Coworkers lipsynching to Backstreet Boys...I'm not even a fan of BB, but still thought this was fun.)

Massive Worship

NET Ministries (National Evangelization Teams)

"are Catholic Missionaries who share Jesus' gospel message with young people in a team format. NET Ministries of Canada challenge young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church. NET Canada recruits and trains teams to evangelize to over 28,000 youth every year in churches, schools, dioceses, and school boards across Canada and Ireland."

I just met someone who is part of Massive Worship, an initiative of NET ministries and they are preparing to travel to cities in Ontario and Quebec to give workshops and retreats to other musicians to equip them in music ministry.

Massive Worship is "committed to the ministry of "Evangelization through Music" by hosting live out-reach concerts, promoting the development of Catholic music and musicians, and equipping musicians with quality training and resources for use in furthering the Church's mission of evangelization."

(As someone who has always loved music, I can say that I was very inspired by their music at a celebration mass for CCO and I'm excited for them to be able to share their gifts with other musicians.)

Letter from God

Short and sweet.
A message for those of us who start the day looking like this...?


Coat of Many Colors, Lord of All

Thomas Blackshear describes his painting (one of my very favourites):
"According to the Word of God, Jesus was born into the Jewish race. Jesus Christ is now the Risen Lord. We can have no concept of how He actually looks; therefore, I have not clearly indicated His features in Coat of Many Colors, Lord of All. Because He is Lord, He represents all the people of the world. On His coat are flags of the nations and fabrics of the cultures of the world. Al the colors of the coat represent the sin that He took on Himself on our behalf. The white robe under the coat represents His pureness, His being totally without sin. The golden sash is referred to in Scripture as bieng worn by royalty. He is truly Lord of All!"

The C. S. Lewis Song - lyrics

If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here
If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary,
then of course I'll feel nude when to where I'm destined I'm compared

Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy c
omes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me

Am I lost or just less found? On the straight or on the roundabout of the wrong way?
is this a soul that stirs in me, is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?
'Cause my comfort would prefer for me to be numb
An avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become


For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath, so we better breathe it
And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know you
Hope is coming for me
Hope, He's coming

One of my favourites by Brooke Fraser
song on side playlist...

World Air Traffic Map over 24 Hours

I found this fascinating and reminded me of just how small we are...

"It is a 24 hour observation of all of the large aircraft flights in the world, condensed down to about 2 minutes. You can tell it was summer time in the north by the sun's footprint over the planet. You could see that it didn't quite set in the extreme north and it didn't quite rise in the extreme south.
Notice that as evening approaches, the traffic is predominantly from the US to Europe and when daylight comes, the traffic switches and it is predominantly from Europe to the US."

What is That??

Here's a 4 minute film that reminds us of the important things in life...

Faith & Science Conference - Ricardo Castanon Ph.D.

I received part of this man's talk in an email and was fascinated and found his entire presentation here. Dr. Castañon was an atheist but after years of studies on the human brain, Eucharistic miracles, apparitions and seers began to find the relationship between faith and reason.

Quote from the saints

Our soul is so specially loved by him who is the highest that it goes far beyond the ability of any creature to realize it...There is no creature made who can realize how much, how sweetly and how tenderly our maker loves us. And therefore we can, with his grace and his help, stand in Spirit, gazing with endless wonder at this lofty, unmeasurable love beyond human scope the Almighty God has for us of his goodness.
- Blessed Julian of Norwich

What the church does stand for...

Quote from Archbishop Timothy Dolan, in this profile in New York Magazine.
(found courtesy of Deacon's Bench)

"You know, the church is the one who dreams, the church is the one who constantly has the vision, the church is the one that’s constantly saying ‘Yes!’ to everything that life and love and sexuality and marriage and belief and freedom and human dignity—everything that that stands for, the church is giving one big resounding ‘Yes!’ The church founded the universities, the church was the patron of the arts, the scientists were all committed Catholics. And that’s what we have to recapture: the kind of exhilarating, freeing aspect. I mean, it wasn’t Ronald Reagan who brought down the Berlin Wall. It was Karol Wojtyła. I didn’t make that up: Mikhail Gorbachev said that...I guess one of the things that frustrates me pastorally is that there’s this caricature of the church—of being this oppressive, patriarchal, medieval, out-of-touch naysayer—where the opposite is true.”

In my experience, a lot of people who reject the church, reject what they think it stands for instead of the truth of what it is!

Seven Wonders of the World

A group of students was asked to list what they thought were the present “Seven Wonders of the World.” Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt’s Great Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. Saint Peter’s Basilica
7. China’s Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noticed that one quiet student hadn’t turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind because there were so many.”

The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.”

The girl hesitated, then read, “I think the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ are:

to see

to hear

to smell

to touch

to taste

to laugh

to love

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous! A gentle reminder that the most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.

I share this as a reminder to take stock of everything you have in your life and let it be your muse – your source of inspiration!

(this article was found in various places online)

A Different Approach to Dating

She was 34 and she meant business, so she placed an ad with an online dating service and let the e-mails roll in. By the end of her dating experiment she found someone, but she also found herself.

Ann Marsh shares her story on Oprah's magazine:

Last year, in under six months, I dated more than 100 men. I dated on beaches, on hiking trails, on the back of a Harley-Davidson. I told more than 100 men about my work, my family, my years in Czechoslovakia. I weathered personal-revelation fatigue and relied on pep talks from girlfriends to see me through. I didn't kiss any of these men, reserving physical contact for the one — I might as well say it — who would eventually win my heart.

After years alone, on the cusp of my 35th birthday, I was serious. I'd learned that letting myself kiss the wrong guy set in motion a sort of unwitting hormonal bonding stronger than rational thinking. If I was going to meet the right man, I decided, I needed to remain chemical-free, to think clearly, to get to know him first.

I didn't understand this in my 20s. Back then, I'd followed the Hollywood movie model wherein men and women tend to tumble into bed, then into love, and finally into marriage. The string of breakups I endured demonstrated that, for me at least, this strategy wasn't working.

My frequent experiences with the Wrong Man also taught me what I wanted this time around. I was looking for someone who could see my best self despite my imperfections. A gentle but strong man with the capacity to become as deeply devoted to me as I would be to him...

Read the entire article here

Parable of Immortality

Parable of Immortality
by Henry Van Dyke - 1852 -1933

I am standing by the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch
until at last she hangs like a peck of white cloud
just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says, 'There she goes!
Gone where? Gone from my sight - that is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the places of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
'There she goes! ' ,
there are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout :
'Here she comes!'

Genesis told through facebook?

I thought this was so amusing!
If you're on facebook, check it out at the link, here's how it starts...

The Facebook Bible, Genesis:I-II

In the beginning, the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the deep. And the spirit of God moved over the waters. And the Ego of God realized that creating a universe would lead to the Best Status Update Ever. And so the divine Voice rang out:

Copyright 2009 Carl Elkin.

Catholic Christian Outreach

I recall leaving for university many years ago and my mother urging me to be cautious of the attempts of professors and others who would try to discredit my faith. She was right. Those exciting early years at Ottawa U. opened up my eyes to a new world of knowledge but it seemed that many shared a skepticism of the importance of Christian beliefs. (This fact was even more disappointing knowing that the university had been founded by the Oblate Missionaries.) At the time, I was lucky enough to encounter a campus-based Christian Fellowship group and found encouragement with them through informal get-togethers. It provided some spiritual support but I was looking for something more.

A couple of years ago, my own daughter, Katie, headed off to university and I'm sure I gave her the same pep talk as my mother gave to me. We heard about CCO shortly before she started her first semester, and she was greeted in orientation week by someone at the "popcorn table" and she's never looked back since! She's had the university experience that I wished that I had enjoyed! She's had a network of Christian friends that have encouraged her in her faith while teaching her to be the best steward of her time and talents. The young people who I've met through Kate are so inspiring - it's so reassuring to know that there are university students who do place Christ first in their lives, forming their decisons based on Him and seeking to serve God with their lives. As pointed out by CCO, "these are our future leaders, policy makers, and teachers!"

I'm not sure who might read this but I just wanted to offer words of encouragement to other parents who might have a son or daughter headed to university, that this is one parent who can say that it's made a world of difference to see the wonderful change in my own daughter and I'm so thankful that CCO was there!

CCO started over 20 years ago (1988) when one couple felt God calling them to evangelize the youth. They stepped out in faith and from those humble beginnings, their efforts have touched hundreds of students. The philosophy of CCO is to share the gospel of Christ with one person at a time, who in turn will be able to share that faith with others!

CCO continues to grow but here are the campuses where they can be found at present:
Saskatoon: Saskatoon University
Halifax: Dalhousie University
Ottawa: University of Ottawa, Carleton University
Kingston: Queen's University
Vancouver: Simon Fraser University and University of British Columbia.
Quebec City: Laval University

For more info, visit their website...

Rishi and Emily

Got this in an email from my dad, thought it was worth sharing!!

In a crawling race across the grass they're evenly matched. But Emily Bland will need a little practice before taking on her new friend at tree-climbing. The little girl, two, met one-year-old orangutan Rishi at an animal centre while visiting with her father. They took to each other straight away and spent hours tumbling about and having a tea party. Emily poured while Rishi waited patiently, gripping his spoon in a hairy fist.

On all fours: A delighted Emily plays with her best new friend Rishi

Emily's father Barry Bland, 38, a photographer, said: 'I had come along to the institute to photograph Rishi and I thought it would be good to bring Emily. 'Almost as soon as we arrived, Rishi had an instant chemistry with Emily. They looked completely content with each other.'

The friendship came as no surprise to those in charge of Rishi's home, The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S) in Miami.

How sweet, a kiss for Emily, whose father says the pair hit it off instantly

Dr Bhagavan Antle: Orangutans are intelligent and certainly the most friendly apes on the planet. 'The youngsters enjoy their playtime and are always looking for an opportunity experience new things and make new friends and monkey around. 'Rishi, who is the youngest of the family, is always looking for someone to play with. 'That's where Emily stepped in to provide a playmate to swing in the trees, have tea with, and go for a ride. 'All infants have the capacity to get along and as youngsters the barriers between species appear to disappear.'
Orangutans are one of the most endangered species on earth. Recent expansion of palm oil plantations and over logging of their forests in Borneo and Sumatra have created a rapidly declining habitat for these great apes...

Emily takes her new friend for a stroll

One lump or two Rishi?

The pair enjoy afternoon tea 'Rishi was brought over to T.I.G.E.R.S from Jungle Island because he was a young boy,' says Dr Antle. 'He couldn't stay with his father or the other male orangutans in the habitat because they throw the boys out. 'But he is now been fully accepted into his new group. He sleeps with them and he stays side by side with them he is when them all the time.'
Rishi will now stay at the institute where he will become part of the animal ambassadors program, participating in education and conservation presentations at Myrtle Beach and Jungle Island institutions. Judging from these photos it looks as though Rishi has found a friend for life.

Need a little nudge?

As you always have, you're going to find, yet again and forevermore,
that the hard and difficult stuff only ever seemed hard and difficult,
before you began it.
Bet you feel better now, huh?
Begin it!
~ God

A kindred spirit

When I started this blog, I wanted to write about those moments in life that make us smile and inspire us. So it's only fitting that I take the time to wish a happy birthday to someone that makes me smile and inspires me! Since I don't have time to get a birthday card to you (and I know how much you like snail mail!) pretend that this just arrived in the mail. It's full of wishes for every blessing for you! For warm sunshine, flowers blooming, teapot simmering, scones dripping (with Devonshire cream of course), children laughing, husband singing (now that we know he can!) and the ocean mist kissing your face as you listen to the sound of the waves on the shore and then a butterfly flutters by...

Happy Birthday Carollynn *smooooooooooch*

Francesca Battistelli

I was looking up Newsboys' new album and noticed Francesca Battistelli with a song near the top of the charts in Australia "Free to be Me". She's nominated for New Artist of the Year for the Dove Awards and you can hear her music on her website (full songs not 30 second demos)

Good Friday

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

[painting "I Asked Jesus" by Danny Hahlbohm]

Control, Alt, Delete

I found this analogy somewhere online...

Does your computer ever “freeze up” on you?

The other day I tried running too many applications on my computer, and it froze. What usually happens is that I get going too fast, repeatedly pressing buttons and trying to force my computer to perform too many functions at once. Then my computer tries to get me to slow down, quit a few functions, or restart.

Of course, what are we PC users supposed to do when the computer freezes? What three buttons do we simultaneously push?

That’s right. Say it with me, CTRL+ALT+DEL.

It’s the same in my faith life. OK, whether you’re computer savvy or not, stick with me here.

In life when I get going too fast or try to control too much, I’m encouraged in little ways (by God) to slow down; “close” some programs that eat up too much space, energy, or memory (areas of my life not centered on Him); and start over or “reboot” (reconcile myself to Him).

Three buttons, one function, in order to change what’s happening. And remember, the three buttons must be pressed simultaneously. No one button is more important than the other, since they’re all a key to solving the problem.

This function can be compared to the functions of the trinity (for our computer generation):

CTRL (control): By giving God all the control, I put His will before mine.

ALT (alternate): By allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me, I then live, think and function in an alternate way.

DEL (delete): By my faith in Christ and through His grace, I can delete the effects of original sin and live in His image of loving service here on earth, hoping to share in his eternal banquet in heaven.

When we let go of all control we alter how we live and think and we delete possible death. We open the door to eternal life, where all other “functions” and “programs” stop running and our only function is to bask in the incredible love of God (never having to reboot again).

Here’s one final thought for you, Bible and computer geeks, out there: the CTRL+ALT+DEL function works only on PCs and not on Macs. Maybe that’s because it was the apple that got us into this mess (in Eden).

Or maybe it’s because when life closes doors, God opens windows.

Oh and remember one more thing when working on your computer, Jesus saves.

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