Monday, November 30, 2015

Advent! Let Us Prepare Our Hearts!

Lord, as we enter into this time of preparation for Your coming - both as a baby in Nazareth, and as King of kings and Lord of lords when the trumpet sounds - take away anything that would hinder our growth as believers in You. Help us to see past the obstacles, distractions, and traps that would take our heart from where it should be; grant us the self-control to stay focused on You, Your mercy, and Your children here. Give us hearts of love, give us hearts of mercy. Help us to each day grow closer to You; transform us into one Church, as You and the Father are one.
All glory, honor, and praise are Yours, Lord Jesus Christ - one God with the Father and in union with the Holy Spirit.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Norman Rockwell, Wow!

Saturday Prayer

So often I read something and it hits me so personally - it was like it was written specifically for me. I thank God for those times, and ask for His wisdom to apply what I learn to my life.

This prayer by Quoist I read this morning, and wanted to share it again here. Sometimes I am the pray-er, and sometimes I am the big boy with the childish face.

From the book titled Prayers by Michel Quoist, and translated by Agnes M. Forsyth and Anne Marie de Commaille:


Man is alone since he is unique, but he is made for communion.Sin divides and isolates us. We must grow closer, share the burden of each other's sins - and atone for them - to overcome the obstacle to our oneness. Solitude causes suffering; it is not part of the Father's plan. Redemptive love alone can conquer it and cement our unity.

A man was on his way from Jerusalem down to Jericho when he fell in with robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went off leaving him half dead. It so happened that a priest was going down by the same road; but when he saw him, he went past on the other side. So too a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him went past on the other side. but a Samaritan who was making the journey cam upon him, and when he saw him was moved with pity. He went up and bandaged his wounds, bathing them with oil and wine. then he lifted him on to his own breast, brought him to an inn, and looked after him there. Next day he produced two silver pieces and gave them to the innkeeper, and said, 'Look after him; and if you spend any more, I will repay you on my way back.' (Luke X, 30-35)

I know his secret.
His weighty secret.
How, Lord, can it be carried by this big boy with the childish face grown old too soon?

I wanted him to tell it to me.
to give it to me to bear with him.
For long months now I have been stretching my hand towards this young, crushed brother.
Eagerly he seizes that hand, caresses it, kisses it . . . but over the gulf that separates us.
When I want gently to draw him closer, he backs away, for in his other hand he carries his secret, too heavy for him to hand to me.
Lord, he hurts me.
I look at him from a distance, and cannot get near him.
He looks at me and cannot come closer.

We both suffer.
He suffers the more, and I can hardly bear it, for my love is too limited. Lord: each time that I try to span his solitude, my bridge is too short and does not touch his shore.
And I see him, on the edge of his suffering, hesitating, getting set, but drawing back again in desperation, for the distance is too great and the burden is too heavy.
Yesterday, Lord, he leaned towards me, said a word - then took it back; his whole body quivered with the weight of the secret which approached his lips but rolled back again to the depths of his solitude.
He did not cry, but I wiped off the drops of perspiration beading his forehead.
I cannot take his burden from him; he must give it to me.
I see it, and I cannot grasp it.
You do not want me to take it, Lord, since he does not want that.
I have not right to violate his suffering.

I am thinking tonight, Lord, of all the isolated ones,
Of all those who are alone, terribly alone, 
Because they have never let go and been carried by anyone,
Because they have never given themselves to you, Lord.
Those who know something that others will never know;
Those who suffer from a sore that no one can ever tend.
Those who bleed from a wound that no one will ever heal;
Those who are scarred by a terrible blow that no one will ever suspect;
Those who have, locked in the terrifying silence of their hearts, a harvest of humiliations, despairs, hatreds, 
Those who have hidden a mortal sin - cold sepulchres behind cheerful facades.

The solitude of man frightens me, Lord;
Every man is alone, since his is unique,
And that solitude is sacred; he alone can break through it, confide and share confidences.
He alone can pass from solitude to communion.
And you want this communion, Lord. you want us to be united with one another,
In spite of the deep gulf that we have dug between us by sin,
You want us to be united as your Father and you are united.

Lord, that boy hurts me, as do all isolated ones;
Grant that I may love them enough to break through their isolation.
Grant that I may pass through the world with all doors open, 
My house entirely empty, available, welcoming.

Help me to withdraw so as to embarrass no one, 
That others may come in without asking,
that they may deposit their burdens without being seen.
And I'll come, silently, to get them by night
And you, Lord, will help me to bear them."

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015


Recipe #391 Venison Pepper Chili

I made this Wednesday night before Survivor and it did not disappoint. Thanks to my hunting brother Doug for the ground meat!

Ingredients ~

1# Ground Venison
3 turns of the pan EVOO

Seasoning the meat:
Chili powder
Ground black pepper
Dried oregano
Dried Parsley
Red pepper flakes
Ground Cayenne

For the sauce:
3 roma tomatoes diced
3 garlic cloves
½ big white onion
1 Can of Hunts Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic
2 Jalapeno peppers
A squirt of ketchup
A squirt of Dijon mustard
Scoop of Konsyl Psyllium Fiber

½ big white onion rough chopped
1 c diced green pepper
2 Jalapeno peppers chopped
3 cloves of garlic diced
1 c fresh green beans in 1 inch chops
1 can Kroger Black Beans
1 can Kroger Sweet White Corn
1 can Kroger Chicken Broth
1 Can of beer

I browned the meat in the olive oil, and as it was browning I added all the seasonings. While this was working, I added all the sauce items to the blender and slow churned it to a nice liquid.

When the meat was all cooked and seasoned, I added the sauce, onion, peppers, garlic, baens, corn, broth, and beer.

This simmered for about an hour with the lid slightly ajar to let it cook down a bit.

A dollop of sour cream and a few corn chips crushed in make this a good meal in a bowl.

Blessed be God forever!

Praying To-day...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

With my favorite Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign ringer, at our Kroger in Lakeland MI this morning

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday the 13th of November - Two Weeks Less a Day From Thanksgiving

There are hard white bundles of moisture landing on the roof outside our south-facing window. Moni is ringing her Salvation Army bell all day to-day at our Kroger in Lakeland. LORD, keep her warm and dry.

Change My Heart, LORD

Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others.

Philippians 4:8 TLB

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

We Honor Our Veterans To-day

The absolute boringist day at work I've ever experienced. (Possibly second to the Fourth of July at Little Caesars in Detroit when I was 16. NO-body ordered pizza, so myself and some other unfortunate soul folded boxes for ten hours. We had them stacked to the ceiling and covering every available square foot of floor space.)

Only one of our Investors is working on the Veterans Day, so nothing was going on with all but one of our loans.

Mahjong Titans - loss
Chess Titans Level 9 (with help from - win
Hearts  - one win one loss
Spider - win
Solitaire - loss
Freecell - did not get to, as my lunch hour expired during the second Hearts

I did get our outdoor planters cleaned up and looking good for the late fall. The Dusty Miller and red Begonias are still doing alright, surrounding our tall wispy grasses of a variety I cannot remember.

God is good.
All the time.

Blessed be God forever.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Morning Drive

While driving in my little Grape ♫♪
What to my surprise
A ton of fog was following me
A million times my size

I tried to drive real fast to get out of its dark'ning grip
As i turned north, i left that fog - I gave it the proverbial slip

No fog, no fog. I drove right out of the fog.

27 images into an animation from my morning drive along Hamburg Road on the way to Brighton

Yestreday we took a drive, we head toward the north
We left mid-morning from our home, in the Journey we went forth.
The sun was out, the air was cool, the day right for a drive
Thankful we were for the new day - a great one to be alive!

We happened upon a place up there, with free coffee inside
I eagerly went in and drank, so long had been our ride.
But what we met when we got in was a wonder to behold
For CHRISTmas had come, inside this place, for all - both young and old!

Friday, November 6, 2015


Listening to Pandora Christmas Carols Radio this morning, praying with the USCCB that God would strengthen those folks who suffer discrimination because of their faith.

A line of storms came through this morning that shook the house. The kitchen window was only open a couple inches but the blinds were soaked, and the poor refrigerator magnets could not hold fast the photos of the kids and grandkids. Thanking God this morning for His protection once again.

Time capsule notes, for when I look back in ten years and smile...

Survivor Second Chance has not disappointed so far this season. I especially look forward to the challenges, but with 13 of the 20 original islanders still competing and the tribes merged into one, we are probably likely destined for the bulk of two segments showing the schemes and lies of the wiley, one segment showing the actual immunity challenge, and then of course the vote at tribal council. The two folks I'm rooting for - Kelly Ann Wiglesworth (@KellyWigles), runner up on the first ever Survivor season, and Joe Anglim (@JAnglim21), from last years most recent season. Both are nice people who don't get shown involved in alot of DRAMA.

The Lions' owner Martha Ford fired a couple of assistant coaches last week and then both the president and GM of the team yestreday. Note to Martha: it won't make a difference. 1-7 is not going to turn into 7-1 until the entire Culture of Losing is absconded and replaced.

Canon in D by Music That Will Make You Cry on the Sad Violin album almost did.

Sad Violin album cover

Time to work a little...

I picked up Moni at the airport after work on Monday after a smooth flight but boy howdy was the arrival drive-up crowded!?! She shared many stories on the way home; thank You, Father, for allowing this visit, and thank You for blessing it so greatly!

Tomorrow morning grocery shopping; then some pre-winter things around the home. Then the fun begins with Rutgers @ Michigan at 3:30 and then MSU @ Nebraska at 7:30; and tons of top twenty-five matchups all day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Lou Holtz: Undergraduate Commencement Address 2015

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.


Lord, my soul is troubled
there is fear in my heart this morning...

The beauty of Your creation - the sun on the colorful trees, the half-moon high in the sky, the myriad of birds at our feeders - could not free me this morning.

So I do the only thing I know how to - and that is give it to You.

I lay my fear and all the associated sin of not loving at the foot of the Cross, and I give it to You.

Take it from me, it shouldn't be mine in the first place - forgive me for carrying it.

'There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.'

Love endures all!

You Are
You Are
You Are