"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 26, 2014

My Slow Takes About Ave Maria, St. Stephen and Seekers.

"We're all a little weird and life's a little weird. And when we find someone who's weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." – Dr. Seuss

2. Monday evening our men’s group had a guest speaker. Her name is Katie and she is daughter of one of members, Brother Tom. Katie is attending Ave Maria University. It is located south of Naples, Florida.

“Ave Maria University is a Catholic, liberal arts institution of higher learning dedicated to the formation of joyful, intentional followers of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament, scholarship and service, inspired by Saint John Paul II and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and devoted to Mary, the Mother of God.”

Katie spoke of her decision to attend Ave Maria, her experiences as a student, her friends, professors and the campus in general. It was easy to see that she loved talking about everything. Her talk was uplifting, like a spark igniting our faith journeys. She spoke of discipleship. Of seeing Christ in the faces of others and how they should see the same when they look at us.  

3. If you didn’t read Steve Givens blog on Saturday, here is part of what was written.

“As we arise each day and search for ideas and meaning and insights, as we face empty screens and journals and canvases and sketchbooks, the Word (co-present with God since before the creation of the world) moves around inside us and kicks us like an unborn child aching and yearning to see the light of day. We give birth because of his birth. We create because we have been created.”

4. "Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyrenians, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke."   Acts 6:8-10

Stephen was the "first Martyr," his feast day, December 26. Read his story here.

5. Their names were Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar. Three scholars or perhaps kings from Persia, India and Arabian. Traveling together, following a bright star. One that would lead them to Bethlehem in Judea. There they would find Jesus, worship Him and present Him with “gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” 

Kings, scholars and shepherds receiving word that God had sent His son and they were to go and witness our saving grace. A rather odd selection of witnesses, but perhaps a foreshadowing of what was to come. A message that “all” would be able to worship.

here 6. Celtic Woman - “We Three Kings.”

7. "May you live as God intended, in a world at peace and the awareness of His love in every sunset, every flower's unfolding petals, every baby's smile, every lover's kiss, and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous beat of our heart." 

Have a Blessed New Year.

Friday, December 19, 2014

My Slow Takes About Mary, The Creche and Shepherds.

1. Every year our church presents “Advent Lessons and Carols.” It is a session of readings, prayer and music. Our Director of Music, Pat, coordinates all of this which results in an excellent presentation. This year, in addition to the beautiful music, there was a reading that attracted my attention. “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” It was read by a young girl, not more than ten years old. Her enunciation was excellent. She projected herself as a seasoned reader and held the attention of the audience. The reading was from “Sermons 4 Kids.”   

2. The creche at our parish, Church of the Epiphany.

3. The Celtic Woman, “Do You Hear What I hear?”

4. Libera, “Angels We Have Heard On High.”

5. Bela, Eitan, Kefir and Peresh were shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem. They were “keeping the night watch over their flock.” A normal routine for them. Then, unexpectedly, “the angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.” They did not hide nor run away, but they listened as the angel spoke, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” 
This was good news and they discussed amongst themselves what they had just witnessed. But there was more, “suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." The shepherds were startled by this beautiful and vibrant singing. But Kefir was calm and convinced them that they must go and see the child.

6. “Christmas with the Richmond Pops,” is designed to put us in the “Holiday Spirit.” The guests this year were the Richmond Choral Society and baritone soloist Robert Harrelson. Dee and I attended with our son Stephen and his family, including his wife Christina’s parents. The performance was enjoyable and fun. Robert Harrelson led the audience singing, Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” The granddaughters loved that part the best. 

7. Have a Blessed Christmas. 

Read other "Takes" at "This Ain't the Lyceum."

Friday, December 12, 2014

My Slow Takes About A Patent, Leaves and Fort Niagara.

1. Our local paper, the “Richmond Times-Dispatch,” had the following article on our oldest son Eric. Virtual disks, cloning, BVMs, CVMs and RVDs are things that Eric is excellent at. Dee and I are very proud of his achievements.

Redeploying baseline virtual machine to update a child virtual machine by creating and swapping a virtual disk comprising a clone of the baseline virtual machine; (U.S Patent 8,898,668); Eric Forgette of Mechanicsville and others; NetApp Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif.: One or more techniques and/or systems are disclosed for redeploying a baseline VM (BVM) to one or more child VMs (CVMs) by merely cloning virtual drives of the BVM, instead of the entirety of the parent BVM. A temporary directory is created in a datastore that has the target CVMs that are targeted for virtual drive replacement (e.g., are to be “re-baselined”). One or more replacement virtual drives (RVDs) are created in the temporary directory, where the RVDs comprise a clone of a virtual drive of the source BVM. The one or more RVDs are moved from the temporary directory to a directory of the target CVMs, replacing existing virtual drives of the target CVMs so that the target CVMs are thus re-baselined to the state of the parent BVM.

2. The Spiders did not get into the next round of the FCS Playoffs. Their season was fun and I enjoyed the games.

3. It’s December and the leave’s have finally stopped falling. Now it’s time to pick them up. A time consuming, but not difficult, task. My tool is a leak vacuum. It doesn’t do acorns, but it’s terrific on the leaves.
Here is an article on why leaves change color from the ESF website.

5. Neil Diamond singing “Silent Night.”

6. More singing from the Minions.

7. Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day was December 7.

Read other "Takes" at "This Ain't the Lyceum."

Friday, December 5, 2014

My Slow Takes About Luke 21:36, Advent, and Christmas Music

1. The Spiders beat Morgan State on Saturday which moves them on to round two of the FCS Playoffs. Finishing at 7-5 this year, the Irish Lads will now be preparing for 2015.

2. “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36

“Your Daily Tripod,” for November 29, 2014, posses the question, “where do you stand?” Anthony De Cristofaro suggests that we read the post of New Orleans Saints player Benjamin Watson. The post provides his thoughts to the announcement that a grand jury would not indict a Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of a teenager. 

Anthony writes that “When we stand before the Lord, we will account for our faith and what we say and do because of it.  Let us be aware that our hearts do not become drowsy from too much television, Internet, work, play, and other diversions.  We may never all be a CNN hero, but we all can take steps to improve our community one person at a time.  In doing so, we will be nourished by God’s grace as we nourish others so we can nourish still more.”

3. Our granddaughter’s, Hailey and Eryn, were here for Sunday dinner, so I made sure the Advent Wreath was ready. Dee helped the youngest, Hailey, light the first candle. Then we all read the following.

The word “advent” means “coming,” and it refers to both comings of Christ. He came long ago to a manger in Bethlehem, He promises to come again at the end of time.

As we gather around our wreath to begin the celebration of Advent. Let us ask our Father in heaven to fill our hearts with grace.

Heavenly Father, we look forward to the celebration of Christmas and to the coming of the Lord in glory. Bless this Advent wreath and all of us. As we pray daily around it, fill us with your life and strengthen us for our daily tasks. We ask this through Christ our Lord.           Amen.

4. On December 5, 1933, Prohibition ended with the 21st Amendment.

5. Carrie Underwood - “Oh Holy Night.”

6. The Minions 

7. Our first Christmas gathering of 2014 is Friday evening. Friends will come together in Farmville, Virginia at the old train station. It was built back in 1930 and served as a N&W passenger station up until about 1979. It has been remodeled and is available for small weddings, receptions and other gatherings.

Read other "Takes" at "This Ain't the Lyceum."