Friday, December 28, 2007


In the previous entry I directed you to Maureen Dowd's column where she reprints a small part of a Henry van Dyke quote. I did some research and found his entire sermon. It is very short and well worth reading.

ROMANS, xiv, 6: "He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord."

It is a good thing to observe Christmas day. The mere marking of times and seasons, when men agree to stop work and make merry together, is a wise and wholesome custom. It helps one to feel the supremacy of the common life over the individual life. It reminds a man to set his own little watch, now and then, by the great clock of humanity which runs on sun time.

But there is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is, keeping Christmas.

Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world; to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that your fellow-men are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness—are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and the desires of little children; to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to try to understand what those who live in the same house with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open—are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world—stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death—and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas.

And if you keep it for a day, why not always?

But you can never keep it alone.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This Dowd is for everyone...

I understand that Maureen Dowd is an acquired taste. I have always enjoyed reading her column because I see eye to eye with her on most things and occasionally she really gets it right and hits it on the head.

Today's column is one of those columns - and it's witty too. The link is in the title above...



Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
It is my hope that your holidays are happy ones surrounded with family and friends.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Building Update...

The roof is on and the electrician is roughing in the wiring. The garage door has been ordered. The hole for the cellar stairs has been cut and the exterior cellar door is in place. All the windows and doors are now in and we are getting close to a complete button up.

There is 30 inches of snow there right now and snowmobile season began last Sunday.

There is a neighbor 100 yards directly behind our place that has a web weather cam. His camera actually points in the direction of our place. We can always see how much snow we have and what the current conditions are like... also some great shots of birds... the link to the Coles Pond webcam is embedded above and also in the column on the right.

Have a great day!

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rest In Peace Dan Fogelberg, Rest In Peace

Only The Heart May Know

Silent sea
Tell this to me:
Where are the children that we
Used to be

Silent sea:
At picture shows
Where nobody goes
And only the heart can see.

Starry skies
Soft lullabies
Where do they go when their
Melodies die?

Starry skies:
To a day
Far, far away
That only the heart may know.

Friends we knew
Follow us through
All of the days of our lives
Love we shared
Waits for us there
Where our wishes forever reside.

Falling tears
Memories mirrors
Where are summers
Oh, where are the years?

Falling tears:
Carried far
To a wandering star
That only the heart may know.

Friends we knew
Follow us through
All of the days of our lives
Love we shared
Waits for us there
Where our wishes forever reside.

Starry skies
Soft lullabies
Where do they go when their
Melodies die?
To a day
Far, far away
That only the heart may know.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Living in a time of inconvenience… with apologies to Nancy G.

"We're living in the age of communication
Where the only voices heard have money in their hands
Where greed has become a sophistication
And if you ain't got money you ain't got nothin' in this land"

From the New York Times today:

The worsening bureaucratic delays at the chronically underfunded Social Security Administration that have kept hundreds of thousands of disabled Americans from timely receipt of their Social Security disability benefits.

As laid out by Erik Eckholm in The Times on Monday, the backlog of applicants who are awaiting a decision after appealing an initial rejection has soared from 311,000 to 755,000. The average wait for an appeals hearing now exceeds 500 days, twice as long as applicants had to wait in 2000.

Typically two-thirds of those who appeal eventually win their cases. But during the long wait, their conditions may worsen and their lives often fall apart. More and more people have lost their homes, declared bankruptcy or even died while awaiting an appeals hearing.

In one poignant case described by Mr. Eckholm, a North Carolina woman who is tethered to an oxygen tank 24 hours a day has been waiting three years for a decision. She finally got a hearing last month and is awaiting a final verdict, but, meanwhile, she has lost her apartment and alternates sleeping at her daughter’s crowded house and a friend’s place.

In this world money is power. Money speaks. Money gets things done. No money - no power.

No power? No problem... Stand in line for a year and a half with the other three quarters of a million disabled people and wait your turn...

It's an inconvenient time.

Check out the link in the title to read the article... it's maddening.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Respect for believers

If I value a holy, healthy relationship with God, I must learn to value you.

You are made in his image and loved dearly by his great heart.

So how dare I discount your worth?
How dare I insult your person or intelligence or spiritual integrity?
How dare I tolerate the social or racial or countless other animosities that have been put in place to keep us apart?

God has created one place where the ground is level for all.

Where the worth and dignity of every person is preserved.

Where the infinite worth of every soul is affirmed.

I choose to stand at the foot of that cross with everyone else who confesses and loves the Christ.

To be one body with them.

To declare that there is finally a place that hatred cannot claim.

Within the love of God, we are learning to love one another – not because of a rule that says we must - but because the Spirit of God has made all things new.