Wednesday, December 09, 2009

How do you receive God's presence?

God lives in us and loves us. God’s presence is revealed to our hearts through the gift of the Holy Spirit. As children of God, we are called to receive this gift of presence and to open our hearts to this love. People who have highly developed intellects often try to reach God through their minds and thoughts. People who have limited intelligence are more open to a simple presence, a heart-to-heart relationship of communion and love. They receive God in the peace of their hearts, although they are unable to put their experience into words.

Jean Vanier



Love this! It was part of the Meditation of the Day in Magnificat.

No matter what our level of intelligence, we are all called to a full, strong relationship with God. We are each uniquely created and will have our own unique way of communing with God according to his design.

Sweet!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Good advice for "shaping your will" this Advent

As I was reading the following paragraph I was thinking how this advice is great as we are starting Advent and preparing for Lent. Start your spiritual exercise along with your physical exercise this Advent and Christmas season.


Keeping the will in shape requires self-discipline and self-governance. I wish there were a shortcut, but there isn’t. We have to discipline ourselves: use a budget; follow a personal schedule; go to bed at a reasonable hour so as to get up at a reasonable hour; eat and exercise healthily; keep our stuff (room, car, house, office, garage…) clean and in order; avoid over-indulgence in entertainment; do chores; don’t get distracted at work; avoid procrastination… Everything your mother taught you when you were growing up was steeped in wisdom. An ordered life is the backbone of a healthy will. This type of self-discipline, because it requires self-denial, can also be a fruitful source of penance. Sometimes we are attracted by exotic penances, like climbing the Holy Stairs on our knees. Nothing wrong with that. But the warp and woof of spiritual maturity are the quite unromantic realities of constancy and hidden sacrifice. These strengthen us, so that we can say yes to whatever our faith asks of us, no matter how wily our enemies get. Remember, it’s an ongoing thing – we will never be perfect at this here on earth; we will always be tweaking, adjusting, and recovering from bouts of disorder and laziness, but if the effort is constant, the fruits will be too. (emphasis mine)


Excerpt from Introduction to Spiritual Warfare – Part IV – Getting Down to Action

That's some good stuff, right?! I recommend reading the whole article, and the previous 3 articles about spiritual warfare, on the linked site as well. It's important information for our spiritual walk and growth.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Why do people find rules to be bad? We NEED them to guide our broken lives!

Is 'Dogma' a Dirty Word?
From Creative Minority Report blog

What's in your dogma? On what belief do all your other beliefs rest? What's that one belief from which all other beliefs and motives derive?

I heard about two weeks ago a man say in conversation that he's a Catholic but he doesn't believe in all the rules or "dogma" of the Church. (He even threw up the air quotes when he said the term.) He said he doesn't believe God is into rules. (I didn't ask him to explain the Ten Commandments as I wasn't part of the conversation.)

But I know that many people think that way. That's what's behind all the "I'm spiritual but not religious" thing. That means you don't believe there are any rules. That simplistic view, I fear, views rules as impediments to happiness. And they can work themselves into some kind of righteous indignation that somehow all the rules of Christianity interfere with real love which they, freed from rules, are now capable.

But the rules of Catholicism are not incomprehensible. They are the well thought out conclusions of thousands of years of study by the brightest and holiest among us guided by the Holy Spirit. Their thinking is available in the documents of the Church. And moreover, these rules were established for our happiness. These rules are the best thinking on love; real love.

Case in point. The rules against abortion are not a "You shall not!" they are a request to be open to life. The Church is asking all of us to say the great "yes" just as Mary did over 2,000 years ago.

Just as the Church's "rule" that men should be faithful to their wives shouldn't be seen as "No!" to millions of women. It is more properly viewed as a "Yes" to your wife.

The Church's rules on contraception are not meant to make sex less fun. The Church is not prudish about sex. Evidence of that is that many Catholics have lots of babies. The Church seeks to elevate sex into lovemaking which puts the other before the self. Because only when we free ourselves from our selfish desires are we capable of love. Truly love.

Just look at what our culture has done to sex. Our culture argues openly for the meaningless of sex. It's good because it feels good. That's it. But that worldview views humans as animals who simply act on a primal instinct. And what does that bring us? People treating each other as animals. As less than human.

And somehow that's supposed to bring us happiness?

It is the Church's dogma which protects humans from that worldview. But I think that ironically for most people today "dogma" is a dirty word. I wonder without the Church's teaching, what is their dogma? What lies at the bedrock of all their decision making?

I wonder if in the end it isn't immediate personal happiness that lies at the bedrock of those who resist "dogma?" Which would be ironic because the Church's dogma is made for our eternal happiness. And chasing our own selfish desires leaves people in our culture today looking inward which leads them only further into themselves, like a snake devouring its own tail, forming a perfect circle which doesn't allow anyone outside to enter.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Are you running from the Truth? Stop running!

When Pilate asked, “What have you done to get yourself in so much trouble?” Jesus answered, “I told the truth.” Now why would his telling the truth make so many people so angry and so fearful that they’d be willing to kill him to shut him up? Because deep down inside, where lies can’t live, they knew Jesus was right about them and about life. They knew that if they let his truth into their hearts, even for an instant, they’d have to change their lives from top to bottom. And they were afraid that that kind of change was just too much for them — afraid it would spoil what little happiness they’d been able to squeeze out of life.

They’d got it just backwards, because ironically, the lies we sell ourselves in our frightened search for happiness guarantee that we’ll always be sad. That’s because the lies that fear makes us live by always build up walls and cut us off from our best selves, from one another, and from the God who loves us.

Excerpt from the Catholic Exchange article "Are You Running from the Truth?"


I finally stopped running at 34 years old and it's the absolute BEST thing that ever happened to my life. I still have my crosses and burdens to carry but they have purpose and meaning now, which, though it sounds strange (I know!), equals freedom.

If you are ready to stop running and want to talk about it, feel free to contact me through my profile page. I assure you I can likely relate to whatever you are feeling and thinking!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday fun: Why Generation Y?



[hitting forehead with palm] Oooooohhh, THAT'S why they call them generation Y. [nodding head with complete understanding]

Monday, October 26, 2009

CANDISC '09—My first bike tour: Day 3

Day 3: Tuesday, Aug. 4—Minnewauken to Fort Totten

Monday night/Tuesday morning turned out to be quite a chilly night sleeping right next to big Devils' Lake. I was buried deep into my sleeping bag all night and did wake up from the cold a few times. And in the very early morning hours woke to someone yelling for help because their friend was having an allergic reaction to something and couldn't breath. Scary! And not a very good night of sleep.

Around the normal 5 a.m. wake time in a hazy, sleepy stupor I wandered into the high school to hit the rest room, brush my teeth and get on my biking gear. When I got back out to my tent and sat down facing the door this is what I saw:


Wow! Suddenly the whole cold, sleep-deprived night was worth it. My tent was right by the little kids playground by the high school, as you can see, so I decided with a sunrise this beautiful I had to walk over to the lake to take more pictures.


And after getting back to my tent while packing I still had to take more. Yeah, I REALLY liked this sunrise. My name is DAWN, ya know! :)


Anyway, after the sun was up and I could put down my camera, we had a nice slow morning and very good breakfast. We didn't feel the need to rush because we had one of our short days of only 40 miles. (Heh, only 40 miles. Never thought I'd be saying something like that!:)

We rode around the edge of Devil's Lake for most of the day which offered many great sites and we had another very nice weather day. Since it was a short day with time to waste we even stopped in the town of Devil's Lake at a great coffee shop to have a latte and muffin to refuel. We also did some shopping in a few of the stores close by before heading back out on the bikes.


Here are Gayle and Ranae by Spirit Lake casino with part of Devil's Lake behind them. This was our last little "butt" break before heading the rest of the way to our campground at Fort Totten. A lot of the cyclists stopped at the casino to gamble but we had no interest in that so we just stopped for the view and a few minutes of rest.

It was a good day of riding but I could really feel the fatigue of the sleep-deprived night and was pedaling pretty slowly by the end of the ride. I was very happy to be at our campground and was really impressed with how well the inside area of this old fort worked for us. It was a fun night with a great atmosphere.




And the kids had a great time playing in this large open area all evening while a band played for us. A few of the adults "played" as well, dancing like crazy by the band. I had a good relaxing evening and slept like a baby all night, which is exactly what I needed because the next day was our longest day, 80 miles...

Days stats:
40 miles biked
11.9 MPH average speed
20.4 MPH max speed
3 hours and 12 mins. spent biking

CANDISC '09—My first bike tour: Day 2

I know, I know, I have been very bad at getting the postings for the rest of the tour days on the blog! It's been bugging me lately so it's time to get some more done. That darn conscience! :)

Day 2: Monday, Aug. 3—Drake to Minnewauken

OK, day two...


started with this great, unique, red sunrise. The sun was just GLOWING red. It looked much more impressive in person than could be captured with the camera. It was a good start to a good day.

Monday turned out to be a pretty nice weather day—not too hot, not too cool, a little more sun—with a {dah da dah} TAILWIND! Woohoo! I enjoyed the ride pretty much all the way and had quite an easy 65 miles. Most of the cyclists were relaxed and having a fun day. During the last couple of miles before camp one of the ladies I was riding by commented how this had been the easiest 65 mile day she had ever had. And here I had been thinking that I was just in better shape than I thought and I was going to breeeeeeze through this first tour! Ha, just kidding. But I did think, if most of the days could be like this one I would be one happy biker.


This was taken in the first hour or so of my ride that morning. It caught my eye on a fairly long stretch of flat, straight road so I grabbed the camera out of my handlebar bag and started shooting as I rode. Didn't my mother warn me not to do things like that?! ;)

Day 2 had nice views most of the way and when we pulled in to Minnewauken we had beautiful views because our campground was at the high school which sits right by big ol' Devil's Lake. In fact, the lake is growing and growing and they can't stop it so they predict the lake is going to envelop the high school in a manner of a few years and it will all be under water. The water is just feet from the back of the school at this point. I thought I had taken a picture but I can't find it.

The town of Minnewauken hosted a fun variety show for us that evening in the school gym right after we had a yummy spaghetti supper. We got some good laughs from those funny small town folks.

All around a very good day!

Days stats:
65 miles biked
13.1 MPH average speed
28 MPH max speed
4 hours and 48 mins. spent biking

What a wonderful world

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Fun: Another shattered dream



Finally! Someone has managed to photograph the pot at the end of the rainbow.


I think I will stop looking for those now.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Marriage—Almost Paradise


Here is a great reflection on marriage from Bill Donaghy for all of you lucky dating, engaged or married people out there. Please recognize the GIFT you have been/are being given and treat your relationship as such. May God bless your union always.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It is not virginity that kills – in fact quite the opposite.

Virginity is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give your spouse on your wedding day. To be able to say that for all this time I have waited for you, even before I knew you, is sublimely romantic. If we are not capable of saying “no,” what is our “yes” really worth? It is a diluted, degraded, and despoiled “yes.” Despite this, secondary virginity is possible. We can wrap our the gift of our sexuality once again and offer the gift to God. The gift of chastity is more easily lived when relying on the grace of God rather than our own efforts. Christopher Kiesling writes in his book, Celibacy, Friendship and Prayer,

“The expectations of human love between man and woman are tainted by the standards of a sensate, sex-saturated culture rather than derived from ideals of personal dignity and genuine love. Both answers presume that if a man and woman love one another, they must go to bed together, in marriage or outside of it. Yet millions of men and women go to bed together without any love for one another”.

He continues, “The drive towards it (sex) is so tremendously powerful that it wrecks the lives of individuals, families, and society unless it is regulated” (p. 187). People are even willing to murder for the sake of genital pleasure. With this in mind, the significance of chastity and virginity can be seen in their proper context: a matter of life and death. But it is not virginity that kills – in fact quite the opposite.


From "How Dangerous is Virginity?"

If we are straining and fall under the yoke and the burden, it's not God's!

God tells us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. So, if we are straining and fall under the yoke and the burden, it's not God's...I don't mean that life is never hard or that our homes must always be filled with only sunshine and roses. But I still mean that if we are straining and falling and sinning under the strain of the yoke, it's not God's yoke...Yes, we will suffer, but I have learned that it is indeed possible to suffer joyfully. Burnout is not suffering joyfully.


I love this quote Jennifer at Conversion Diary put in her great article about discerning and overcoming burnout. It has a lot of great suggestions for many aspects of life. It's a good way to examine any area of life that is giving you problems, not just burnout.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Abortion hurts men, too! And "Being Human" on EWTN tonight

Below is from an email sent this morning by the 40 Days for Life staff. You can get these emails sent to you or read them on their blog at http://40daysforlife.com/blog/


I received a report from Houston that was both
eye-opening and heartbreaking.

People participating in the 40 Days for Life vigil
watched as a young man who appeared to be in tears
walked into Planned Parenthood with his girlfriend
and her mother.

When they left some time later, he was most certainly
crying -- and obviously quite upset.

I'll let one of the prayer vigil participants pick up
the story...

I watched him head down the street, alternating
between wiping the tears from his face and punching
the buildings in anger and frustration as he passed
them. Eventually he headed back toward the parking
lot. As he approached, I went to him first. All I
could think to say was that I was so very sorry for
his loss. He began to cry again.

Then a truck pulled up leaving the parking lot with
his girlfriend and her mother inside. The girl's
mother yelled at him to get in and cursed him as he
opened the door. He had one foot inside, then
stepped back out and closed the door. As she drove
away he promptly sat down on the curb and cried
like a baby. Three of us sat down beside him -- all
men -- and cried with him.

Eventually, he began to talk. He was probably in
his very early twenties. He told us that his
girlfriend did not want to keep the child because
she feared they would not be able to provide for
him. He asked her how she could destroy a life
based on a hunch. He told her this child had a
heartbeat and a soul and deserved to live. He even
tried to convince her to, at the very least, put
the child up for adoption.

I was struck by the fact that this young man knew
all this simply because his heart told him it was
true. He was wise well beyond his years and he was
hurting terribly.

I was struck by the clear reality that fathers have
so little to do with whether their own children
live or die. I also couldn't help but notice that
despite the high volume of Planned Parenthood
volunteers around, none of them approached him.

Before I left him, he stood up to hug me. All I
could tell him was what I truly believed -- that
today, his child knows that his/her father fought
for it. That to his child, he is a hero and that
someday he would know that also.

Please pray for this young man and others like him.
The tragedy of abortion is real and happening every
day. No one knows that better than he.

I sincerely hope this young man comes to embrace the
exceptional advice he was given; but that will most
certainly take time. I cannot even begin to imagine
the anguish.

This is a first-person account of what abortion does
to fathers. Who knows how many others have walked in
his shoes, as there are more than a million abortions
every year -- and more than 50 million since the 1973
Roe v. Wade decision that opened the floodgates to
abortion on demand.

Let's pray even harder!


*****************************************************
EWTN NETWORK TO AIR 40 DAYS FOR LIFE SPECIAL TONIGHT!
*****************************************************

The second installment of the Being Human television
series, hosted by 40 Days for Life campaign director
Shawn Carney, airs on the EWTN network at 6:30 PM
Eastern TODAY!

EWTN is on many cable and satellite systems, so
please look for this outstanding account of 40 Days
for Life, filmed by an Emmy-award-winning director.

* WHAT: "Being Human: 40 Days for Life"

* DATE: TONIGHT! Tuesday, September 29

* TIME: 6:30 PM Eastern (3:30 PM Pacific)

* WHERE: Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) --
available in most markets

Watch a short preview online at:

http://www.beinghumanshow.com

Don't have cable or don't get EWTN?

You can watch the 30-minute documentary online at the
start time by visiting http://www.ewtn.com and then
selecting "Television" > "Live TV - English" from the
navigation menu at the top of the page.

Spread the word to all your friends, co-workers,
family members, and fellow believers about this
exciting show!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Fun: The other side

It's been a while since we've had a little Friday Fun on this blog so when I got this email this week it had to be done.

Things you never think of:

You know, there are some things that you just never think of ...
like, Mt. Rushmore from the North Dakota side.



HA! So bad it's good. ;)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

12 Ways to Live a Life with No Regrets…


  1. Apologize quickly and sincerely as soon as you realize that you’ve wronged someone (particularly your parents and siblings).
  2. Never feel sorry for yourself (self-pity is another form of pride).
  3. Stay in control of your emotions.
  4. Never burn bridges behind you, in relationships.
  5. Nothing is ever gained by quitting.
  6. Remember, there are more people counting on you than you realize.
  7. Don’t forget that God is at work, even when you can’t see it. God is working right now, in ways you don’t know about.
  8. Love your family!
  9. Meet every day with prayer, praise, and God’s Word.
  10. Stay connected to the hearts of your family (particularly in a time of testing). To solve a problem with another person, soften your own heart first.
  11. Listen to those who love you, before making a life-changing decision.
  12. A good name is more valuable than great wealth.


2 Corinthians 7:10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.”

From mommiesmagazine.com

This list was created as ways to teach your children, but I find it very applicable to my adult life as well.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quote of the day: It's okay

A few of the other women came to check on me, each putting an arm around me and saying, "It's okay." I wasn't really in a position to explain it at the time, but that was actually why I was crying -- because it was okay. My tears were tears of overwhelming relief and gratitude, the sort of tears you might cry if someone to whom you owed a lot of money not only forgave your debt but handed you a million dollars. I had been given a priceless reminder, in the form a priest filled with love in the midst of his own hour of suffering, that while the grief we feel at the tragedies of this world is legitimate, we should never forget that the truth of the Gospel is essentially the truth that the sad saga of this world has a happy ending -- in fact, it's the happiest ending imaginable.


From Undefeatable joy by Jennifer at Conversion Diary

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CANDISC '09—My first bike tour: Day 1


(This is the map on the back of our T-shirt that shows the route we biked.)

Day 1: Sunday, Aug. 2—Garrison to Drake

Ahhh, it's 5 a.m. in the morning and I am awoke by the gentle sound unique to tent camping—zzziiip, zzzzziiiiiip, zzziiip, zzzzzzzzziiiiiiiiiiiiip! I never realized just how many zippers were involved with camping until being in a non-sound-stopping tent surrounded by 400 other campers zipping and unzipping sleeping bags, tents, duffle bags, jackets, etc. It made for some good laughs throughout the tour.

I admit I was a little annoyed at the thought of being awake at 5 in the morning while on vacation when I heard the gentlemen camping right behind me decide that would be the time they would set the alarm for in the morning. I quickly discovered as the week went on, however, that I was awake and ready to be up when the other campers were starting to stir as well. I was pretty amazed by that, but we went to bed pretty much as soon as the sun went down. I was tired and ready to crash after the physical exhaustion of pedaling for several hours each day, so I got my sleep time.

The benefit of being up even before the sun peeks over the horizon? You get to see the beautiful sunrises God gives us!



This was the gift awaiting me after packing up my camping gear, getting myself ready and hitting the road on the way out of Ft. Stevenson State Park into Garrison where our breakfast was being served. I thanked God for starting the day so well.

I enjoyed a great breakfast in Garrison meeting a couple of older veteran cyclist gentlemen that kept tabs on me throughout the ride after hearing it was my first tour, I was doing it by myself AND I was riding a hybrid bike with mountain bike tires instead of road tires. They were very kind and encouraging but I think they were a little worried about me as well. :) (So I don't forget, I will tell you the last I spoke to these gentlemen was at the end of day 6 when we only had 35 miles left. They were so impressed to hear that I had biked every mile they grinned and said they had no doubt I would be back for more after doing so well on the first tour. They were right!;)

On the other side of me at breakfast were 2 women, Gayle and Ranae, from McVille, ND. Yeah, I had never heard of it before either. And neither had Ranae before her husband asked her to move there 25 years before. ;) Let me tell you, these women are quite the firecrackers! And so kind! When they heard that I was a lone biker out doing my first tour they invited me to come bike with them, which I did...for the entire week! It's amazing what God will do when you just let go and trust him to give you what you need. I figured I was going to have a pretty quiet week of riding and camping by myself, and that didn't bother me. But then he puts these great women in my life the first morning, we have a fairly similar riding pace, and this is their first full tour also. Well, I had a great week getting to know Gayle and Ranae and they kept me laughing. Especially when the times got tough and painful. Thanks again, God!

Now, notice the clouds in the picture that are a part of the great sunrise. Yeah, those would be rain clouds. Just as we got done with breakfast and started hitting the road for the first leg of the tour the rain also started. It was warm enough that it didn't really bother us and it was a fairly light rain that only lasted until about the first rest stop.



This is what the first rest stop looked like. If you look behind the bikers you will see a couple of strange-looking geese. These "dressed-up" geese sit atop the bathrooms-on-wheels that go from rest stop to rest stop to bring relief to water and Gatorade drinking bikers. I had to laugh every time these potties/geese went whizzing by me on the road to the next stop. They dress the geese in different themes each year, apparently. This year one set had viking type clothing and head gear on and the other set had bike clothes and helmets. The CANDISC team does a great job of keeping things light and fun.

Right behind the first rest stop this white statue caught my eye as I was waiting in line for the restroom. So, I went to investigate, and what do I find? A Catholic cemetery with this gorgeous crucifix, Mary and John! I knew right then and there this trip was going to be great and God was pedaling every step of the way with me. Once again, I was thanking God.



The rest of the day went surprisingly well since it was the longest day of riding I had done to that point, 75 miles. My longest ride previously had been 50 miles. I actually enjoyed all of the miles up until after the last rest stop. Then, the last 10 miles we had pouring rain. It still wasn't cold so that wasn't the problem, but I did have a problem with the "wet diaper" feel of the chamois in my bike shorts absorbing all of the water. Yuck! Lesson learned: have rain gear with you if there is (or even isn't!) a possibility of rain! I learned a lot of lessons over the course of the week, this being one of the big ones.

Never fear! By the time we got to the camp in Drake the weather was clearing up and we had a gorgeous night. After a shower and clean clothes I forgot all about the rainy last 10 miles. We had a wonderful ham supper and enjoyed our evening.




(Look at the Drake sign. When tent camping, every surface becomes a drying rack for clothes and towels.)

Days stats:
75 miles biked
12.3 MPH average speed
31.3 MPH max speed
5 hours and 48 mins. spent biking

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When God locks doors

Wow! This article by Jennifer over at the Conversion Diary blog sent chills up my spine. God works in such amazing ways! We just have to be open to letting him do that work.

I felt a twinge of joy (I've mentioned before that my heart always swells whenever I see consecrated religious men and women) but quickly reminded myself that I was having a bad day and I had no time for smiling at nuns when there was so much self-pitying to be done.


I keep asking myself, "would I have talked to the nuns and gone back to try the door again?"

I will keep praying that I give God that chance to keep working on and in me each day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

CANDISC '09—My first bike tour: Overview and registration day


The blog has been quiet the last couple of weeks because I was away on a great new adventure. My first long distance (425 mile) bike tour. And what fun it was! Yes, also painful at times, but the fun and adventure far outweigh the pain and that is what is stickin' with me since I got home. It's still hard to believe that I biked 425 miles but I am very excited to get a new road bike now (I rode on my hybrid bike, pictured above) and go again.

Now, the word "tour" is very important. The time spent on your bike is NOT a race. It's about taking the time needed to make it from point A to point B each day at a comfortable speed while enjoying the scenery, people and food along the way. The scenery was gorgeous and green this year with the moisture we have gotten. The people were so nice and fun. And the food...OH, the food...it was almost endless and so yummy!


Each day there are several rest stops along the way about every 10-20 miles with restrooms, food and beverages available for us. We are burning through thousands of calories a day while riding so it's important that we keep replenishing our "fuel stores." Most of the rest stops are manned by church groups or organizations that use this as a fundraiser and they serve some awesome homemade goodies, sandwiches, soup, burgers, brats, rolls, cheese, crackers, fruit...you name it. You never know what you are going to find waiting for you until you get to the next stop, that's part of the fun.

And I haven't even mentioned the suppers and breakfasts hosted by the towns where we camped each night. Man, they went all out and put a lot of time and effort into taking great care of us tired, hungry bikers. We had a turkey dinner with all the fixins, a ham dinner, roast beef dinners, spaghetti dinner, all-you-can-eat taco bar and every kind of wonderful breakfast combination you can think of.

OK, enough about the food, I think you get the idea. :)


Registration day, Aug. 1st:



Saturday is registration day. We all met at Fort Stevenson State Park just outside of Garrison, ND to get signed in, have a meeting and spend our first night camping. There were 435 riders this year (last I heard), 140 from North Dakota and the rest were from out of state and even a couple of people from outside of the country. I think they said there were people from 29 different states, but I can't remember for sure. The youngest biker was 5 years old and the oldest biker was 76.

After getting signed in and setting up my tent "home" I rode around the park a little bit and took some photos of big ol' Lake Sakakawea. (Pictured above and below.) Then it was time for supper, our meeting and bed so we could get up at 5 a.m. the next morning to start our first ride.



Watch for "Day 1" when I get some more time to blog, hopefully soon...

Monday, July 27, 2009

The cat and the fly




This made me laugh, and realize how old my cat is. Now, at 14 years old, she will look at the fly/bug/moving object, get bored in about 5 seconds and ignore their existence as I am trying to convince her to "get it." Yeaaaa, right!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Reflection on Eucharistic Adoration


In the True Presence of Christ, I fall to my knees.

I am humbled to be so near Him in the form of the Eucharist.

A feeling of peace and joy comes over me.

I start to pray in earnest because our Lord hears our prayers.

I offer Him my sincerest gratitude for the many blessings in my life.

I ask His forgiveness for the sins I have committed.

I promise our Lord that I will go to Reconciliation soon.

I unburden myself to Him and share all of my stress and anxiety as He asked us to in the Gospel.

I pray for others-family, friends, co-workers and anyone who is struggling or suffering.

I pray for the Church, the Holy Father and our Bishops, Priests and Deacons.

I pray for our country and for our leaders to have moral courage and wisdom.

I pray for a world that will respect all life.

I pray that the Lord will make me a channel for His will today and every day.

Then I stop praying and I listen.

I listen for His voice.

Maybe He will speak to me through the friend I will encounter that day or possibly in the meditation or scripture passage I am reading.

I go to Eucharistic Adoration out of love and devotion and my passionate belief that this prayer time before the Blessed Sacrament is the catalyst for my ongoing renewal and conversion.

Go and spend time with Jesus today…He is waiting for you.


-------

I'm sure many people have wondered, why go to adoration, and what is adoration? What would I do sitting in a silent church or chapel (silence is golden, in my book!) in front of a piece of "bread" (the Eucharist, or also called the host, which actually IS the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus) or a "box" (the tabernacle housing the host)?

Well, the list above gives a good start to those questions. And, from my experience, the rest of your hesitations and questions will be quelled and answered by God in the graces he will so abundantly bestow as you rest in his peace and presence during adoration.

My advice...just go and try it! You will never be the same.

Read the rest of the article I Fall to my Knees: A Reflection on Eucharistic Adoration here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Quote of the Day—The beauty of God's plan

The male-only priesthood isn’t an exclusive club of cigar-smoking men in black who chuckle at their ability to fool women into believing they can’t join. Rather, it’s an invitation to service – an opportunity for men to “wash the feet” and sacrifice their lives for their beloved Bride, the Church.

This doesn’t make women sighing, whimpering, fragile creatures whose sole role in life is to be catered to by men. Rather, only women can be mothers. Only they can nurture life in such a way that two or more heartbeats can palpitate in their bodies at the same time. Only a mother can give birth to a priest. One can say that without women there would be no priests.

It’s all a matter of seeing the beauty of God’s plan – the unity that can occur because of the diversity in creation. Each of us exists as a man or as a woman. Neither is deficient or lesser than the other. But the fact that each is created in God’s image and likeness does not mean that they exist as the same. Rather in the difference they reflect something of God. It is because they are different, yet equal, that they are able to love in a way that can include a total and unique gift of self, resulting in the possibility of new life. And this union points us to the love of God that exists in the Trinity.


From Ma’am, You Should Be a Priest

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quote of the day—Truth of marriage

The trivialization of the sexual union has all but wiped away our societal memory of the truth of marriage. Marriage is no longer a covenantal union of persons; it has been degraded into a contract. Through our complicity with non-married sexual relations and contraception, we have allowed the sexual union to become a recreational activity that mocks the self-giving intent of our Creator.


From The Defense of Marriage ACTion

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Quote of the day: Countercultural witness of Christ's love

No one seems to bat an eyelash at the often sensationalized garter fetching and tossing that occurs at most weddings. I’ve seen my Franciscan University friends terrified by the insistence of DJs in torturing unsuspecting bouquet-catchers. Yet at a friend’s recent wedding, the cries of confusion and discomfort were uttered at a completely different practice — the groom’s washing of the bride’s feet.

...One bridesmaid astutely noted that it was wonderful to see that although the couple had only been married a matter of hours, they were already serving as a countercultural witness to the world of Christ’s love for the Church.


From Glimpsing God’s Love Through a Pair of Feet



Happy 4th of July! I am heading out to the lake to spend the day relaxing (read eating!) with family. :) Have fun celebrating the independence day of our nation remembering true freedom comes from knowing, loving and serving God.

Stay safe, God Bless!
Dawn

Friday, July 03, 2009

Lenny Kravitz, God and celibacy

Then, last year, he let it be known that he had been celibate for the previous three years, and had resolved to remain so until married. It was only when re-reading my notes of our earlier encounter that I realized it was an issue that had long preoccupied him.

'But I wasn’t being celibate then at all,’ he clarifies. 'It took years to get it right. To actually do it, and really try to walk the walk and not just talk it. It’s not like it’s not important – I think sex and intimacy and all that is very important. It’s just that I’m going to do it with my wife.’ He laughs. 'And not everybody else.’

This summer, not long after he turns 45, it will be four years. The final trigger came after a night in the Carlyle Hotel in New York. (His apartment was under renovation.) 'I was doing my normal thing and I was with somebody, and I remember waking up in the morning thinking, “What am I doing?” It’s not that I was all over the place. It’s not, like, groupies or somebody you’d pick up on the street. I didn’t carry on like that. It was somebody that I know. But it was still, “What am I doing? And why?” And that morning I was just talking to God, as I do, and I said, “You got to help me to stop this. I just really want to stop this.” And that was the day that it changed.’...

Can you put your finger on what, at that moment, seemed upsetting about what you had been doing?

'I knew it was not consistent with my beliefs. So that’s hypocritical, and I don’t want to be a hypocrite. And I could just feel the emptiness… it didn’t feel good. The feeling afterwards. Just that empty sort of… weird space. And I’d had enough.’

You knew there and then that this was a decision you would stick with?

'Yeah. It’s very hard. For some periods of time it’s easy, and then it’s really hard. It goes back and forth. It’s not hard just walking through life, and you see women, and I admire them – I love being around women. But if you’re seeing someone, you’ve got to explain, “Well, this is what I’m doing in life – so that’s not going to be part of it.”’

When I ask him if he is in a relationship he says, 'Right now I’m just kind of sailing and watching and waiting and trying to be patient. There are times when I’m patient and there’s times when I’m, “Come on, Lord, bring this for me…”’


This is from an interesting (but kind of long) article about Lenny Kravitz, the presence of God in his life and celibacy. Jennifer at Conversion Diary directed me to this British article. There are a couple spots of bad language I could do without but the stories of how God has worked in his life are quite interesting. It's worth the time to read it, I think.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Ooooh, the memories!

I had to share this great blog post about the Walkman turning 30 years old and the music of the era. I still have several of those tapes (yes, young ones, we listened to things called "tapes") around in my basement.

I'm still smiling from the memories...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Quote of the day: It's not all about me

As I had yawned through the psalmist's cry of anguish, someone out there could barely utter those same words through trembling lips and tear-stung eyes. I thought of all the people praying the Hours in that state, and for the first time was conscious of our deep connectedness as we prayed in unison as part of the mystical Body of Christ. I began offering my prayers for them, which then led me to expand my prayers to anyone else in the world who was in pain at that moment. As my heart swelled to think of the great drama playing out all over the world that morning of which I was only a small part, I thought back to my words at the beginning of the office -- "But this Psalm doesn't have anything to do with me!" -- and realized that I had learned something critically important about prayer: It's not all about me.


A lesson in prayer
by Jennifer at Conversion Diary

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Quote of the Day: The way to love and happiness...



Filling oneself up with God—not money—is the way to love and happiness.


Patti Maguire Armstrong has written another great article for Catholic Exchange, Jon and Kate Plus 8 Minus God, that I pray Jon and Kate and all families will read.

I have never watched this show since I don't have cable, but I hear people talk about it quite often at work. Many times listening to those conversations I have wondered if this family has God in their lives. It is fairly obvious they don't, though.

Let's all add Jon and Kate plus 8 (and all families) to our prayer list that they may stay together and heal through the love of God.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Someone who...

Today we celebrate the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. The following is a great reflection from Magnificat about why we recognize this day.

As I was reading I kept thinking, this is what spouses/parents/family members/friends are supposed to be for each other. We are to help one another grow closer to God and our ultimate destination—heaven. Most days we come up quite short (personally speaking!), but we need to keep hope and keep praying for God to help us become the (holy) people he intends us to be!



Why Do We Celebrate the Birth of John the Baptist?


The nativity of Saint John the Baptist is a sacred reminder of the fact that I need born in my life every day:

• someone who leaps with joy before the presence of the Lord making me want to live my own relationship with Jesus with greater ardor and fervor;

• someone to prepare the way of the Lord and to give me knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of my sins;

• someone who turns my attention away from my distractions and preconceptions so that I will behold the Lamb of God as the true desire of my heart;

• someone who models for me that there is no greater joy in my life than for Jesus to increase and for me to decrease, especially as regards my self-reliance, my self-assertion, my self-importance;

• someone who is a burning and shining lamp whose radiance gives light to my path and courage to my heart, making me want to live for others;

• someone so committed to the truth that he is willing to lay down his life for the Truth-become-flesh — witnessing to me that all true happiness comes through self-sacrifice;

• someone whose sanctity proclaims that there is no man born of woman greater than he is but that I can share his greatness if I love Jesus as he did.

In the tender compassion of our God, the Dawn from on high has broken upon us through the birth of John the Baptist.

Father Peter John Cameron, o.p.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Quote of the Day—Love them across

You can’t spout formulas or Scripture verses to most people. You can’t introduce them to a loving God unless you do what Jesus did: love them across. For so many people, life has splattered them all over the pavement. A ditch is a chasm - truly an abyss separating them from all happiness. They can’t get there by words alone, deeds are critical, loving deeds that give them the confidence to ask just the simplest question: do you love me Jesus? Until they get to that point all they see is the unsurpassable ditch.

I have learned from my horses that no tiny deed goes unnoticed. Every stroke, every word builds a relationship of trust. It cannot be rushed and it must be maintained. There must be from me, an absolute commitment to inconveniencing myself for their greater good. And, I have found, sticking to the truth of what horses are and what I am.

How much more should I be prepared to love those whom I find across that great divide that most find themselves? Every little deed, service, or word must add to the crossing of that bridge. If I focus on loving my fellow beings across the abyss to God’s love, then I have been able to accomplish the miraculous things Jesus promised.

From Loving Them Across

Friday, June 05, 2009

Good times, North Dakota style


Well, hello blogosphere, it's been a while!

I had a "dead" home computer for a couple of weeks, but that is back home and running again (for now). And I just have much more interest in being outside enjoying the weather these days instead of sitting in front of the computer when I don't have to. So, the blog gets slow and quiet. It's a refreshing summer break.

Anywho, I saw this article from the Wall Street Journal about the "good times" we are having in North Dakota that I thought I would share today. I like it when we get positive press around here since it doesn't happen often. I feel compelled to share it with the rest of the world so you don't think ND is all blizzards, cold and misery. It's really not! :)

Have a happy and blessed Friday and weekend!

Dawn

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Where can I get some?!?!



Engrish.com had this good funny today that made me laugh. As I see it, the best place to get some happy (or, more accurately, joy and peace) is your local Catholic Church. I recommend going TODAY, I already did. : )

Happy day all!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quote of day—Time with Jesus (and Mary)

When I spend time with Jesus — and Mary, who’s never far from her beloved Son — I open myself to the reality of presence as a spiritual connection. When I reach out my arms, forgetting that I’m all grown up now; when I let go and stop trying to do it all myself; when I humble myself and ask for help — it is then, in that moment of grace, that I feel the arms that never let go of me, that were always there. It is then that I see the loving gazes of Mother and Son (and Father!); it is then that I get a notion of the love God must have for me.

It is the delight of the ordinary, the experience of Jesus being interested in the silly little details of my life, which comes to mind when I hear the title Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament. Saint Peter Julian Eymard honored Mary with this title, pointing us to her intimate relationship to — and with — the Eucharist and reminding us of her role as a model for us. She shows us how to trust, even when we may not understand God’s plan.


From Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ecce Homo


Behold the Man scourged, taunted, denied and crucified for us.

This is a good photo to meditate on while praying the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary.

Drug problem


Click on the photo to enlarge and read.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Things that make you go hmmmm...

I am happy I received this email today because it made me smile. I seem to have a bad attitude the last couple of days so anything to make me smile is good. I hope it works for you also!


Spread the Stupidity


Only in America
......do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.


Only in America
......do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke.


Only in America
......do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.


Only in America
.....do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.


Only in America
.......do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.


Only in America
......do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.



EVER WONDER ...

Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?


Why don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?


Why is 'abbreviated' such a long word?


Why is it that doctors call what they do 'practice'?


Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?


Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?


Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?


Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?


Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?


Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?


You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!


Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?


Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together? (This is a really good question!!!)


If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?


If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?



Now that you've smiled at least once, it's your turn to spread the stupidity and send this to someone you want to bring a smile to (maybe even a chuckle)...in other words, send it to everyone. We all need to smile every once in a while.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Christopher West on ABC Nightline


Watch the video of Christopher West talking about the Catholic teachings of sex and marriage.


Christopher also posted a few clarifications on his website:


Christopher West and the Theology of the Body Institute are pleased that a wider audience will be exposed to their work through the article posted on ABC's website and the segment which aired on ABC's Nightline. It is our hope that it will encourage people to take a deeper look at the Church’s teachings on the sacredness of human sexuality as God intends it.

In an effort to correct any editorial comments which may appear misleading, the following few points will help clarify the actual teaching of The Theology of the Body:

Christopher West is not a sex therapist. He is a Catholic educator, author, lecturer, and faculty member of the Theology of the Body Institute. The TOB Institute is an educational organization and does not engage in sex therapy.

John Paul II's Theology of the Body is intended for every human being,regardless of his or her state in life and regardless of what sexual tendencies one might experience in this fallen world. The TOB povides not only a vision of God's glorious plan for human sexuality and married love, but a vision of what it means to be human and what it means to love in the image and likeness of God.

From beginning to end, Sacred Scripture unfolds a glorious love story, a story about the "marriage" between God and humanity, Christ and the Church. By inviting men and women to particpate in this love, Scripture shows us the "path of love" -- including the path for spouses in their sexual intimacy. However, in a cultural climate fixated on the mechanics of sex rather than on authentic marital love, to describe the Bible as the "ultimate sex guide" can be misleading. It is certainly a guide to love, and, indeed, to the "ultimate" love: the love revealed in Christ.

The Song of Songs presents an unabashed biblical celebration of the chaste love of a husband and wife, including multiple references to the intimacies of "tasting" the goodness of the other. To construe this as an endorsement for "oral sex" (as the culture uses that term) can be more than misleading. Please see Christopher West's book Good News About Sex and Marriage (chapter 5) for the full context of his answer to this question.

The Song of Songs is of great importance to a proper understanding of Christianity. Indeed, the saints and mystics of the Catholic tradition have written more commentaries on the Song of Songs than any other book in the Bible. It is in the very center of the Bible for a reason. Calling it the "centerfold" in Scripture, Christopher intends to redeem the common understanding of the word "centerfold," which is usually associated in popular culture with pornography. In no way is it meant to compare the sacredness of the Song of Songs with the distortions of pornography.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Only those who give up their own life find it

Day after day it is necessary to learn that I do not possess my life for myself. Day by day I must learn to abandon myself; to keep myself available for whatever he, the Lord, needs of me at a given moment, even if other things seem more appealing and more important to me: it means giving life, not taking it. It is in this very way that we experience freedom: freedom from ourselves, the vastness of being. In this very way, by being useful, in being a person whom the world needs, our life becomes important and beautiful. Only those who give up their own life find it. Let us entrust ourselves to Jesus the True Shepherd.

              POPE BENEDICT XVI

From Magnificat, May 3rd reflection.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Friday Fun: Cat in the box



Just.too.cute! My old lady cat has no energy for such fun foolishness anyomore. : )

Have a great weekend, all.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Famous people painting


I got this in an email that said there are 100 famous people in this painting, if you can name 30 of them you are doing good.

Now, I am terrible with names so I knew a few of them but mostly I recognize the faces but couldn't tell you the name. I thought it was pretty cool anyway and wanted to post it.

The email didn't say who created the painting or where it can be found or anything so I can't give credit where do, sorry.

Click on the picture to enlarge it (it's big) and start naming!

UPDATE 4/28/09: I came across a link on Twitter today that has information and answers about this painting. Cool!

UPDATE 8/15/09:I received an email today from Lester in Australia that said:

Hi there Dawn there are really 103 Faces and they are named below.
 
http://lesterdavo.multiply.com/

1 Bill Gates, Microsoft founder
2 Homer, Greek poet
3 Cui Jian, Chinese singer
4 Vladimir Lenin, Russian revolutionary
5 Pavel Korchagin, Russian artist
6 Bill Clinton, former US President
7 Peter the Great, Russian leader
8 Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister
9 Bruce Lee, martial arts actor
10 Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister
11 Henri Matisse, French artist
12 Genghis Khan, Mongolian warlord
13 Napoleon Bonaparte, French military leader
14 Che Guevara, Marxist revolutionary
15 Fidel Castro, former Prime Minister and President of Cuba
16 Marlon Brando, actor
17 Yasser Arafat, former leader of Palastine
18 Julius Caesar, Roman emperor
19 Claire Lee Chennault, Second World War US Lieutenant
20 Luciano Pavarotti, singer
21 George W. Bush, former US President
22 The Prince of Wales
23 Liu Xiang, Chinese hurdler
24 Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General
25 Zhang An (the painter)
26 Mikhail Gorbachev, former Russian leader
27 Li Tiezi (the painter)
28 Dante Alighieri, Florentine poet
29 Dai Dudu (the painter)
30 Pele, footballer
31 Guan Yu, Chinese warlord
32 Ramses II, Egyptian pharoah
33 Charles De Gaulle, French general
34 Albert Nobel, Swedish chemist, founder of Nobel prizes
35 Franklin Roosevelt, former US President
36 Ernest Hemingway, American novelist
37 Elvis Presley, American singer
38 Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist
39 William Shakespeare, English playwright
40 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer
41 Steven Spielberg, American film director
42 Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter
43 Marie Curie, physicist and pioneer of radioactivity
44 Zhou Enlai, first Premier of the People’s Republic of China
45 Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, German writer
46 Laozi, Chinese philosopher
47 Marilyn Monroe, American actress
48 Salvador Dali, Spanish painter
49 Dowager Cixi, former ruler of China
50 Ariel Sharon, former Israeli Prime Minister
51 Qi Baishi, Chinese painter
52 Qin Shi Huang, former Emperor of China
53 Mother Teresa, Roman Catholic Missionary
54 Song Qingling, Chinese politician
55 Rabindranath Tagore, Indian poet
56 Otto Von Bismarck, German statesman
57 Run Run Shaw, Chinese media mogul
58 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss philosopher
59 Audrey Hepburn, Belgian-born actress
60 Ludwig Van Beethoven, German composer
61 Adolf Hitler, Nazi leader
62 Benito Mussolini, Italian fascist politician
63 Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq
64 Maxim Gorky, Russian writer
65 Sun Yat-Sen, Chinese revolutionary
66 Den Xiaoping, Chinese revolutionary
67 Alexander Pushkin, Russian author
68 Lu Xun, Chinese writer
69 Joseph Stalin, former Soviet Union leader
70 Leonardo Da Vinci, Italian painter
71 Karl Marx, German philosopher
72 Friedrich Nietzche, German philosopher
73 Abraham Lincoln, former US President
74 Mao Zedong, Chinese dictator
75 Charlie Chaplin, British actor
76 Henry Ford, founder of Ford motor company
77 Lei Feng, Chinese soldier
78 Norman Bethune, Canadian physician
79 Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist
80 Juan Antonio Samaranch, former International Olympic Committee president
81 Chiang Kai Shek, Chinese general
82 Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom
83 Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist
84 Li Bai, Chinese poet
85 Corneliu Baba, Romanian painter
86 Auguste Rodin, French artist
87 Dwight Eisenhower, former US President
88 Michael Jordan, American basketball player
89 Hideki Tojo, former Japan Prime Minister
90 Michelangelo, Italian Renaissance painter
91 Yi Sun-Sin, Korean naval commander
92 Mike Tyson, American boxer
93 Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister
94 Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author
95 Shirley Temple, American actress
96 Albert Einstein, German physicist
97 Moses, Hebrew religious leader
98 Confucius, Chinese philosopher
99 Ghandi, Indian spiritual leader
100 Vincent Van Gogh, Dutch painter
101 Toulouse Lautrec, French painter
102 Marcel Duchamp, French artist
103 Behind George Bush is Osama bin Laden

Thanks Lester!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Conversion of heart

From The Curt Jester blog.


We the students of the University of Notre Dame have called for a Rosary Crusade in response to the recent announcement of the honoring of President Obama on our campus. During the Rosary Crusade, which began on Wednesday of Holy Week and will last until Sunday May 17th (the day of President Obama's commencement address at ND), we will be praying the Rosary each day for the following three intentions:

1) The conversion of heart of President Obama regarding the sanctity of life.

2) For the Catholic character of the University of Notre Dame.

3) For a greater respect for the dignity of human life from conception until natural death around the world.

We truly believe we can have 1,000,000 Rosaries prayed by May 17th, but we need people to know about our campaign in order for that to happen. We at Notre Dame realize that the scandal given by the honoring of President Obama extends much further than the Notre Dame campus and we recognize that we, the students, have been given the great opportunity to be leaders (at least for this small portion of time) in the Catholic Pro-life movement around the world. Please encourage your readers to join with us in praying the Rosary for these intentions and logging the number of Rosaries they have prayed on our website at http://ndresponse.com/counter/ . Facebook users are encouraged to join our event. If any good is going to come from this situation, that good will be motivated and brought about by prayer, especially the prayer of the Rosary.

No mission or cause is too great for God, least of all the cause of those who are the weakest amongst us. We trust Our Lady will watch over us and recommend our prayers to Her Beloved Son.


Nice! Count me in.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

First fruits


The first flower of the season to open in my yard. Spring happiness! :)

Handy little chart of hope

An email forward.

You say:   'It's impossible'  
God says:   "All things are possible"
(Luke 18:27)

You say :  'I'm too tired'  
God says :  "I will give you rest"  
(Matthew 11:28-30)

You say:   'I don't feel loved'
God says :  "I love you"  
(John 3:16 & John 3:34)

You say:   'I can't go on'  
God says:   "My grace is sufficient"
(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say:   'I can't figure things out'  
God says:   "I will direct your steps"  
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say:   'I can't do it'  
God says:   "You can do all things"  
(Philippians 4:13)

You say:   'I'm not able'  
God says:   "I am able"  
(II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: 'It's not worth it'
God says:   "It will be worth it"  
(Roman 8:28)

You say:   'I can't forgive myself'  
God says:   "I Forgive you"  
(I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say:   'I can't manage'  
God says:   "I will supply all your needs"  
(Philippians 4:19)

You say:   'I'm afraid'  
God says:   "I have not given you a spirit of fear but power and love and sound mind" (II Timothy 1:7)

You say:   'I'm always worried and frustrated'  
God says:   "Cast all your cares on ME"  
(I Peter 5:7)

You say:   'I'm not smart enough'  
God says:   "I give you wisdom"  
(I Corinthians 1:30)

You say:   'I feel lonely"
God says:   "I will never leave you or forsake you"  
(Hebrews 13:5)

Remember, God is always on call!

Pass this on, you never know who it may help!

Love and Responsibility and Hormones



Thank you Dr. Janet Smith!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An Engineer's Guide to Cats



The best part is the cat yodeling. Love it! :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

God's word be done



Upon the cross the Savior died;
Beneath, the Mother bowed her head;
Above, the storm broke harsh and wild—
God's word be done, was all she said.

A soldier came and thrust him through;
The blood and water proved him dead.
They laid his body in her arms—
God's word be done, was all she said.

(Part of the hymn from Magnificat's morning prayer)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Dr. Oz to Oprah and Michael J Fox: "The stem cell debate is dead."



Found this on the Catholic Fire blog. Good stuff!

“Road Not Taken” revisited


I posted this poem by Robert Frost a long time ago when I first started this blog because it is one of my favorite poems that has always "spoken" to me. I came across "Road Not Taken" in an article today which prompted me to revisit and repost this poem. It kind of feels like a needed bookend in this phase of my life that I'm going through. As the article says:

It fits perfectly with the idea of dying to self that Lent inspires.

There have been many times in my life when I have felt that living the Catholic life is much like taking the “[road] less traveled by.” While our numbers indicate we are one of the most populous religions in the world we all know that saying you are Catholic and being Catholic are two very different things. The two paths of Frost perhaps.


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Quote of the day: Great Easter reflection



And so maybe we can begin to see the need for the crucifixion.

This is the act of God putting Himself entirely in the hands of those who betrayed (and continue to betray) Him. It is God utterly dying to Himself in order to forgive, to reconcile and to heal the breach made by that betrayal. It is God putting Himself in our hands again knowing full well that we may (will) betray Him again.


Why did Jesus have to die for our sins?
from guest blogger Steve G. on the Conversion Diary blog.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gooooooooo Fargo!

CNN put out a nice little video about the fighting spirit of the Fargo residents not willing to let the flood take their homes and town. That hearty North Dakota spirit shines through again. {beaming with a little ND pride} : )

See the video here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Storm # ... oh, who can keep track there's been so many!

Sooooooooo, we got hit by another blizzard last night, and it's still snowing as I type this. On the noon news they said we had received 14.5" of snow so far and expected another 7-8" by the time this storm moves out. (Sadly, toward Fargo which is valiantly fighting off the flood, too!) The weather man also said that we were only about 5" away from breaking our all-time snowiest winter record. At this point I say, BRING IT ON! If we are going to come this far we might as well at least get a record out of it.

I couldn't get to work again this morning, and most of the town is pretty much shut down, so I was having fun taking pictures as I was out shoveling. I figured I had to post some photos on the blog to keep a record of this madness.


I started with the driveway. Here is the perspective from about a foot off the ground. The snow came to above my knees.


Woohoo, thank God for kind neighbors with snowblowers!!


You are welcome to come visit me, but ... uh ... you will have to fight your way in.


Next, I moved on to the back deck. Yeah! The wind was blowing the snow toward the house and made quite the drift. (BTW, I had shoveled off all of the snow from the previous blizzard. See post below.) There's no snowblower coming back here ... so, it was time to dive in full speed ahead. Me and my trusty little shovel. My arms are quite tired and no longer want to even be typing! (For those not from snowy parts, I had to shovel off the deck because that snow is HEAVY and it can collapse the deck if left with all of that weight on it.)


My poor little lilac bushes are just barely peeking out the top of the snow. They should be starting to bud and come to life about now, not be buried alive! For reference, that is a 4' fence between our yards there. Yikes! Spring? Where are you?!


I have to admit, though. As big of a pain as this snow can be it is also beautiful. As long as I don't have to be out driving in it or anything, I can appreciate the beauty.


As I was headed back in after all of the work I noticed something. Is that Italy stuck to my garage door?! It seems like it has been windy enough to be possible. ; )

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cancellation


We're sorry, spring has been temporarily canceled for all residents of North Dakota. Please put away all spring/summer related items until the blizzard and flooding have ended.

Thank you.


I forgot to take my chair off the deck before the blizzard started last night. I'm happy I did, though, because it made for a good photo op. Doesn't the chair look inviting with all of the soft, fluffy cushion on it? I think it would be rather chilly, however.


I also like the look of the "dip" in the middle where the chair folds.


UPDATE, 7:53 p.m.: I just walked by the back door and glanced out on the deck. When I saw the chair had gotten even "puffier" my first thought was "it's the Stay-Puff marshmallow chair." :) It made me giggle so I thought I would share.

On a more serious note, a couple of hours ago I found out that my aunt and uncle have been evacuated from their home in the south part of town due to flooding. The water was very close to their front door when they had to leave this afternoon so there's a good possibility the water is in the home by now. Please pray for all who are suffering from the flooding across the state.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

From the diary of a Pre- School Teacher

Here is a late Friday Fun for ya. I can see with the start of spring weather and outdoor interests taking up more time my (non-work) computer time will start dwindling for summer. Yeaaa! : ) Have a good week.



My five-year old students are learning to read.
Yesterday one of them pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said,


"Look at this! It's a frickin' elephant!"

I took a deep breath, then asked..."What did you call it?"

"It's a frickin' elephant! It says so on the picture!"



And so it does...




Things aren't always what we imagine them to be!