"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 80)

1. Dee and I attended the Children’s Mass on Christmas Eve. The church pews were full, our commons area was full and there were people standing.  It was crowed and everyone did their best to make as much room as possible. Father Jim was pleased to see so many people at Mass. His Homily shared a couple of stories about parishioners that received gfts and in turn had shared what they had received. This is exactly what God had intended for us. Our gift was His son Jesus and it is our responsibility to share Jesus with others. The love, compassion, thoughtfulness, and values of our religion. We go forth to share, to love and bring hope for the New Year.

2. My Christmas present from Dee was “Halo 4” for the Xbox 360. The saga continues.

3. December 25, 1776, GeorgeWashington and his troops cross the Delaware River and surprise the Hessians at Trenton. Corey Kilgannon of “The New York Times” has an interesting about the painting that depicts this piece of history. 

Emanuel Leutze's Painting

4. We are getting into the winter months and the snow storms are here. As I was watching the weather reports I noticed that whenever there was an outdoor interview with one of the Weather Channel Meteorologists, the L.L. Bean logo appeared on the jacket. What a great endorsement. If the Weather Channel wears the L.L. Bean gear then maybe I should be doing the same. Perhaps I should take pictures of me in my L.L. Bean clothes. Then I could send them in and see if I could audition for the summer or fall catalog as an amateur Meteorologist. 

5. There was more tragedy on Christmas Eve when four firefighters, just doing their job, were shot. Two of them died and two them went to the hospital. Our youngest son Stephen is a firefighter. Watching this on the news touched my heart and when we were together on Christmas, I hugged him more than I usually do. 
For the people of Webster, N.Y., Joseph Hofstetter, Theodore Scardino, family & friends and for the souls of Michael Chiapperini & Tomasz Kaczowska. You are in my daily prayers, you are not alone. nor forgotten. 

6. “This Christmas, joy wrestles with grief,” written by Michael Gerson is an article about his view on the sorrow some of us are facing this Christmas. He quotes from a sermon by William Sloane Coffin,

“Nothing so infuriates me as the incapacity of seemingly intelligent people to get it through their heads that God doesn’t go around this world with his fingers on triggers, his fists around knives, his hands on steering wheels. . . . The one thing that should never be said when someone dies is, ‘It is the will of God.’ Never do we know enough to say that. My own consolation lies in knowing that it was not the will of God that Alex die; that when the waves closed over the sinking car, God’s heart was the first of all our hearts to break.”

7. Thursday Dee and I took Stephen, Eryn and Haley to Bremer’s Hardware Store to see their Christmas train display. The layout is 18 feet by 56 feet and has eight to ten trains running all at the same time. The best way to see the layout if you don’t go is to see the photos and videos on their website.

The Engineers at the control panel.
Afterward we had lunch at “The Classic Grill.” Hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries. The drive was not too long and we enjoyed listening to the girls sing along with Grandma Dee. 

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 79)

1. I am impressed with President Obama’s eulogy to the people and survivors of last Friday’s violence. He spoke of love, prayers and God. He reminded us that we are all together in this time of sorrow and that Newton, Connecticut is not alone. His ending paragraph gives me hope that he will lead us in the right direction.

“May God bless and keep those we’ve lost in His heavenly place. May He grace those we still have with His holy comfort. and may He bless and watch over this community, and the United States of America.”
2. To the people of Newtown, Connecticut, especially the families of the victims, you are in my prayers. May God watch over you and help you through this time of sorrow. May He provide you the strength to continue with your lives. 

3. This is a beautiful quote from Jennifer that aligns our sorrow and joy during Advent.

“It feels like this has become a season of sorrow. In a way, it always was. The only joy this season ever contained was a joy rooted in eternity, in the knowledge that death has been overcome, and the hope that we will all meet again in a place where there is no suffering.”

4. Basketball is not my favorite sport. Dee loves basketball and our friends, Jeanine, David, Brenda and Lou have season tickets for the Richmond Spiders. So we joined the group as our team beat Stetson last Saturday. The game was exciting and I did have fun. We will be attending more games. Some pictures of our group. 

Me, David and Lou
Brenda, Dee and Jeanine
5. I have not seen The Hobbit, but this review has me excited. Thank you Lee!

Bilbo Baggins
6. I am a father of three sons and I love them all the same. Each one has a different career path and they do well in the occupations that they have chosen. The middle son, Todd, is an education consultant with a blog at “Voice & Scholarship.” He has now started a new blog that I am proud to share with you; “Deo Duce, Ferro Comitante.” Please visit and read his introduction.

7. From the Gospel of Luke 2:15-20

When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

A blessed Merry Christmas to all. Take the time to enjoy His birthday with your family and friends.

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 78)

1. Our family Christmas celebration was last Saturday. Dee and I hosted a Christmas brunch and everyone brought something to share. There was Dee’s famous egg and sausage casserole, Christina’s delicious hash-browns and Lauren’s special sweet potatoes and a Christmas fruit tree. We followed that with a variety of Christmas cookies, candies and apple and pumpkin pie. Yes, I’m sure there was also a few extra pounds added to our systems.

After desert, while we still have everyone at the table, we sing Christmas songs. One of my favorite is the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” This year I printed out each of the days on an 8 1/2x11 piece of paper and passed them out. As each day came up the person holding that day would hold it for all to read. It turned out to be more fun than I thought, especially when two of the days were backward.  

Lauren and the fruit tree
2. Handel’s Messiah by the Silent Monks. 

3. “Bishop Walter F. Sullivan, 11th Bishop of Richmond, died on Tuesday evening, December 11that his home in Richmond.  We commend him to Our Lord Jesus and ask your prayers for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his beloved family and dear friends.”

4. I was asked the question, “what is your blog?” My friends and family know I write a blog and a journal. Sometimes they ask what I’m putting on the blog, probably concerned that their picture or “unusual” moment will be seen by the “world.” 

My journal is more personal and contains those things I don’t want to share with the world. It contains musings and pictures that my family will read after I’ve moved on.

My blog is for now, my platform for writing on just about anything. It’s an outlet for me to share and learn. An opportunity to reach out to other people all over the world. I write about God, my hobbies, my family, my friends. I comment on news articles, local and not so local events. I share my childhood heroes reminiscing of those values I learned from them. I connect with other bloggers, reading and taking advantage for their knowledge of writing. Praying to one day publish something for all to read.

5. Some unusual magic by French magician Yann Frisch. This is great!

6. This week I started the paperwork for my retirement. The start date of my next journey is February 22, 2013. The Project Manager, Stephen, whom I’ve worked for since 2001 was supportive of my decision. He said to make sure it is a new adventure and not a permanent seat from a rocking chair that sets on the front porch. I assured him it wasn’t.

7. I watched the “Premier Episode” of “Minor Revisions,” followed the Twitter notes and learned much about Jennifer and her journey. My favorite part was the evening with Dad, “amateur astronomer, engineer, wasp killer” and a wonderful person. Thank you for sharing him.  

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, December 7, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 77)

1. My coworker and friend, Leighton called together his IT Team and I over to his cube one morning. He provided a testimonial to God answering his prayers about his health. It was emotional and beautiful. I don’t know how the others felt, but it moved me. I gave him a big hug and thanked him for sharing. I have worked with Leighton for over eight years. He has been suffering with this illness and now has a path to go forward, knowing what needs to be done. 

2. “Advent” is here and I am preparing and reflecting on His second coming. The readings that warn of not being ready have an affect on me. It’s good to listen and remember that we really don’t know when the time will come. Sometimes we get too complacent and it’s easy to forget the real reason of “Advent.” My daily reading helps me to say focused on God and His return, His birth and Mother Mary. 

3. Tuesday evening was build a gingerbread house at our church. Our youngest son Stephen and his family joined us for the festivity. At least half of the candy the children collected was eaten while they made their houses. It was a great evening and some pictures are posted on our church website.
Our Gingerbread Houses
4. Trisha Potter has a excellent book review on Joseph Pearce’s new book, “Bilbo’s Journey, Discovering the Hidden Meaning of The Hobbit.” I am a fan of J. R. R. Tolkien’s writings. His tales of Middle Earth are full of adventure and intrigue. He does an excellent job showing the struggle the characters face between choosing righteousness or being caught up in the wickedness of the ever present evil. Please read what Trisha has written about Joseph Pearce and his newbook. After you read the book you may be interested in obtaining his CD, “Joseph Pearce Unlocks The Lord of The Rings.”  

5. The housing market is continuing it’s slow improvement. The data analysis firm, CoreLogic, reported a 6.3 percent increase from October 2011 to October 2012. 

6. One of our parishioners, Barbara is suffering fro cancer. She struggles with it daily but continues her strong faith in God. Please add her to your prayers. Her latest email: 

“One never knows what the next day brings. I guess our mission is to stay open and aware of the messages sent our way. A friend of mine and I have shared a quote over the years....
"If you are looking for something monumental, you probably closed your eyes."
Sometimes the answer is right in front of us..........
In the midst of this Christmas rush, I hope you can all still find the time to just "Be"
Love to you all, Barbara”
7. The Thursday reading from “Life is Advent” is about our spiritual life and God’s presence within each of us. It suggest’s that if we are aware of His presence, we, “sense joy even as others nurse complaints, experience peace while the world conspires in war, and find hope even when headlines broadcast despair. We “discover a deep love even while the air around” us “seems pervaded by hatred.” 

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.