Knotty Musings

Ideas, philosophies, and evil plots to take over the world through love hatched here.

I Am Enough

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson

Remove the Nots

Remove the Nots

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Table Lodge Re-Enactment

Hello friends, Last night David and I went to a table lodge dinner. As many of you know, David is a mason so we had an opportunity to do this. For lack of a better description, table lodge is banquet which involves men in Colonial dress, a rather military precision (in fact all of the men in this group are veterans) and history of the founding fathers and prominent colonial masons including Ben Franklin, George Washington, Paul Revere and others. There are 7 formal toasts and 7 informal toast given. A history of the flag and the pledge of allegiance is given as well as tributes to the armed forces and influential women of the time.

The Ceremony of the Seven Toasts

(The following commands are to be given by the Worshipful Master for all toasts except the third toast when the Senior Warden will give them).

Right hand to arms. (The right hand touches the glass).

Ready. (The glass is raised breast high, aim extended forward).

Aim. (The glass is brought to the lips).

Fire, Good Fire, Fire All. (All drink).

Present Arms. (The glass is brought to the second position in unison with the Worshipful Master, then the glass is brought to the left breast, then to the right breast, then again to the second position so that the movement makes a triangle. This triangle is made three times: then the glass is brought to the table in three moves - it is first carried a little to the left, then to the right and finally forcibly in unison to the table).

The Battery, three times three. (Done)

ALL Vivat, Vivat, Vivat. (Right arm thrust upward with each Vivat).

Advance swords. (Knife is raised breast high, arms extended forward).

Poise swords. (Knife blade is elevated slightly, about 45°)

Salute with swords. (Knife handle is brought to within a few inches of the chin with the blade elevated about 45°)

Swords at rest. (Knife handles are carried in unison forcibly to the table - preferably in a flat position to prevent table damage).

The Battery, three times three. (Done)

ALL Vivat, Vivat, Vivat. (Right arm thrust upward with each Vivat).

After drinking the toast, the cannons (shot glasses) are brought down in unison on the table. Essentially tapping the glass on the table between each toast as the cannons (glasses) are refilled.

For more information there is a general discription here:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Art and the Soul

Hi friends,

I just finished taking pictures of the pretties I bought at the Summer Arts Festival and thought you might like to see:

I could not leave this platter there. The colors remind me of peacock colors.

This pendant is solid glass and made in the Mellifiori tradition.

This piece soooo speaks to me: On one level it reminds me of a really cool, avant gard petunia. If I look again, it reminds me of one of those lightning balls with the static electricity, and the third thing it reminds me of is an MRI image.

A Day in the Gardens

Hello friends,

After 2 weeks of non-stop rain and then a week of temps near 100, my yards has gotten the best of me so the lawn was mowed, trimmed, and weeds pulled today. Thought you might like to take a gander:

I decided to cut some of the larger sedum and propagate some plants throughout other areas of the yard.

These bushes are coming out in the fall; in the meantime I've been cutting them back as much as possible. A shade garden will go in their place.

I'm trying to get the rest of this area filled in with hostas. They look so nice around the birch tree.
I bought this garden stake at the Benson Days craft fair. Kind of looks like green M & M's doesn't it?

Zinger needed some fresh air so she supervised.

Honeysuckle vine along the back fence.

Part of the lily garden; it has really taken off this year.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

New Orleans Rises Again

Hello friends,

Well it's been a crazy week full of lots of drama, work, classes and finally, some FUN!!! This weekend is the Summer Arts Festival, a free festival that includes artwork by 130 artists, food, music and fun. Last night we went to see Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. Those of you who watched Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip will remember Trombone as the trumpeter whose version of "Oh Holy Night" was spine-tingling.

You can listen to it here:

To listen to a more representative sample of what we heard last night, go here:

We are still so stoked by this band that next weekend, we are driving 4 hours to Iowa City, IA to hear them again at the Iowa City Jazz Fest.

Here is the review I wrote for the Omaha Blues Society and Playing with Fire:

Without a good sense of time and place, Omahans might have been confused after attending the Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue show at the Summer Arts Festival. Whether channeling Satchmo (voice and trumpet) on a rousing version of “When The Saints Go Marching In”, to “Whole Lotta Loving” to a full-fledged Michael Jackson tribute complete with moonwalk, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and Orleans Avenue created a love fest.

With full command of Jazz, Funk, Hip Hop, Pop, and Brass Band, the trim, toned Trombone Shorty created a party like no other. Despite his trombone moniker, Trombone Shorty is not limited in musical ability. During the nearly 90 minute set, he deftly alternated between playing trumpet and trombone. Using his body as a maestro’s wand, he conducted the band through incredible jazz solos. In a stunning display of musical virtuosity, Trombone promised the crowd, “We have a gift for you, Omaha.” After gathering the band into a huddle, the band traded instruments: Trombone on the drum kit, bass guitar player Mike Ballard on sax, and tenor sax player Clarence Slaughter worked the congas.

New Orleans has produced another star and we are blessed.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Prayer for the World

A Prayer For The World
By Rabbi Harold S. Kushner

Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges,
the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations.

Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt, the neglect.

Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows.

Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken.

Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly.

Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness.

And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see
all people as our neighbors.

Let the earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers to surround
us with beauty.

And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven.


Blessing of Hands

Blessing of Hands

and , please join hands and listen to what I am about to say.
Above you are the stars. Below you are the stones.
As time passes, remember: like a stone, your love should be firm.
Like the stars, your love should be constant.
Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage.
Let the strength of your wills bind you together.
Let the power of love and desire make you happy, and the strength of
your dedication make you inseparable.
Be close, but not too close. Possess one another, yet be understanding.
Have patience with one another; storms will come, but they will pass quickly.

, please face and hold his hands, palms up,
so you may see the gift that they are to you.
These are the hands, young and strong and vibrant with love,
that are holding yours on your wedding day,
as he promises to love you all the days of his life.
These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach,
until he too feels his child stir within your womb.
These are the hands that look so large and clumsy,
yet will be gentle as he holds your baby for the first time.
These are the hands that will love you and cherish you through the years,
for a lifetime of happiness. These are the hands that will countless times
wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will comfort you in illness and hold you when
fear or grief rack your mind. These are the hands that will tenderly life
your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes,
eyes that are filled completely with his love and desire for you.

, please hold ’s hands, palms up, where you may see
the gift that they are to you. These are the hands that are smooth,
young, and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day,
as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life.
These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love,
soothing them through illness and hurts, supporting and encouraging them
along the way, and knowing when it’s time to let go.
These are the hands that will massage tension from your neck and back
in the evenings, after you’ve both had a long hard day.
These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle
through difficult times. They are the hands that will comfort you
when you are sick and console you when you are grieving.
These are the hands that will love you and cherish you through the years
of lifetime and happiness. These are the hands that will hold you in joy
and excitement and hope. These are the hands that will give you support
as she encourages you to chase down your dreams.
Together everything you wish for can be realized.

Bless the hands that you see before you this day.
May they always be held by one another.
Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress
and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle
as they nurture each other in their love.
Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in grace,
rich in caring, and devoted to reaching for perfect unity.
they see their four hands as healer,
protector, shelter, and guide.

Happy Anniversary Iris

For my friend Iris on her 52nd wedding anniversary:

Blessing for a Marriage

by James Dillet Freeman

May your marriage bring you all the exquisite
excitement marriage should bring,
and may life grant you also patience,
tolerance, and understanding.

May you always need one another -
not so much to fill your emptiness
as to help you to know your fullness.
A mountain needs a valley to be complete;
the valley does not make
the mountain less, but more;
and the valley is more a valley because
it has a mountain towering over it.

May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another,
and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise, often say, "I love you!"
and take no notice of small faults.

If you have quarrels that push you apart,
may both of you hope to have
good sense enough to take the first step back.

May you enter into the mystery which is
the awareness of one another's
presence - no more physical than spiritual,
warm and near when you are
side by side, and warm and near when
you are in separate rooms
or even distant cities.

May you have happiness,
and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.

Please Hear What I'm Not Saying

"Please Hear What I'm Not Saying"

Don't be fooled by me. Don't be fooled by the face I wear. For
I wear a thousands masks, masks that I'm afraid to take off and none of them is me. Pretending is an art that is second nature with me, but don't be fooled. For God's sake don't be fooled. I give you the impression that I'm secure, that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without, that confidence is my name and coolness my game; that the water's calm and I'm in command, and that I need no one. But don't believe me. My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask, ever-varying and ever-concealing. Beneath lies no complacence. Beneath lies confusion and fear and aloneness. But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.

I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear of being exposed. That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind, a nonchalant sophisticated facade to help me pretend, to shield me from the glance that knows. But such a glance is precisely my salvation. My only hope and I know it. That is, if it's followed by acceptance, if it's followed by love. It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself, from my own self- built prison walls, from the barriers I so painstakingly erect. It's the only thing that will assure me of what I can't assure myself; that I am worth something. But I don't tell you this. I don't dare. I'm afraid to. I'm afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance, will not be followed by love. I'm afraid you'll think less of me, that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me. I'm afraid that deep down I'm nothing, that I'm just no good, and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate pretending game, with a facade of assurance without and a trembling child within. So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks, and my life becomes a front. I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk. I tell you everything that's really nothing, and nothing of what's everything, of what's crying within me. So when I'm going through my routine, do not be fooled by what I'm saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying, and what I'd like to be able to say, what for survival I need to say, but what I can't say.

I don't like to hide. I don't like to play superficial phony games. I want to stop playing them. I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me, but you've got to help me. You've got to hold out your hand even when that's the last thing I seem to want. Only you can wipe away from my eyes the blank stare of the breathing dead. Only you can call me into aliveness. Each time you're kind and gentle and encouraging, each time you try to understand because you really care, my heart begins to grow wings, very small wings, very feeble wings, but wings! With your power to touch me into feeling you can breathe life into me. I want you to know that.

I want you to know how important you are to me, how you can be a creator, a honest-to-God creator of the person that is me, if you choose to. You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble, you alone can remove my mask, you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic and uncertainty, from my lonely prison, if you choose to. Please choose to. Do not pass me by. It will not be easy for you.

A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls. The nearer you approach to me, the blinder I may strike back. It's irrational. I fight against the very thing that I cry out for. But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls, and in this lies my hope. Please try to beat down those walls with firm hands, but with gentle hands, for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder? I am someone you know very well. For I am every man you meet and I am every woman you meet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Charles C. Finn



by Don Miguel Ruiz


Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.


Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. Their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.


Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.


Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, end regret.

Wright Family Christmas White Elephant Game

I host a holiday tea party every year and this may very well a theme for this year.

Everyone sits in a circle holding the gift he or she brought for the Christmas Party. Someone reads the story below, reading slowly enough for gifts to be passed. Every time the word RIGHT is read, everyone passes the gift they are holding to the right. Every time the word LEFT is read, everyone passes the gift they are holding to the left. The gift each person is holding when the story ends is the gift they keep.

You can also buy some inexpensive gifts and wrap them for your party. There does not have to be a gift for every person.


Christmas was almost here, and Mother RIGHT was finishing the Christmas baking. Father RIGHT, Sue RIGHT, and Billy RIGHT returned from their last-minute Christmas errands.

"There is not much LEFT to be done," said Father RIGHT as he came in to the kitchen.

"Did you leave the basket of food at church?" asked Mother RIGHT. I LEFT it RIGHT where you told me to," said Father RIGHT. "I'm glad my shopping is done," said Billy RIGHT. "I don't have any money LEFT."

The hall telephone rang, and Susan RIGHT LEFT to answer it. She rushed back and told the family, "Aunt Tillie RIGHT LEFT a package for us RIGHT on Grandma RIGHT's porch. I'll go over there RIGHT away and get it," she said as she LEFT in a rush.

Father RIGHT LEFT the kitchen and brought in the Christmas tree. By the time Susan RIGHT returned, Mother RIGHT, Father RIGHT, and Billy RIGHT had begun trimming the tree. The entire RIGHT family sang carols as they finished the decorating. Then they LEFT all the presents arranged under the tree and went to bed, hoping they had selected the RIGHT gifts for their family.

Now I hope you have the RIGHT present for yourself, because that's all that's LEFT to our story................except to wish you a Merry Christmas.................isn't that RIGHT??????


You are more beautiful than the most beautiful thing you have ever seen, because you are able to see it and appreciate it. What good is beauty, if it can not be enjoyed? The essence of the beauty is within you.

You make the world sparkle by your delight and participation in it. You bring the world to life by your living each day. You give meaning to the words of others by listening to what they say, and then topping off their words like icing on a cake.

All that you experience is a part of you, and you a part of it. You are active participants in the warm and shimmering reality of this day. This day, this world is yours and you are a vital part of it.

You have a quality that exemplifies the meaning of "beautiful".

I'm Spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this Year

I'm Spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this Year
I see the countless Christmas trees,
Around the world below.
With tiny lights, like heaven's stars,
Reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so spectacular,
Please wipe away that tear.
For I'm spending Christmas,
With Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs,
That people hold so dear.
But the sounds of music can't compare,
With the Christmas choir up here.

For I have no words to tell you,
The joy their voices bring.
For it is beyond description,
To hear the angels sing.

I can't tell you of the splendor,
Or the peace here in this place.
Can you just imagine Christmas,
With our Savior, face to face?

I'll ask Him to light your spirit,
As I tell Him of your love.
So then pray one for another,
As I lift you eyes above.

Please let your hearts be joyful,
And let your spirit sing.
For I'm Spending Christmas in Heaven,
And I'm walking with the King.

~© Wanda Bencke ~

Interesting Observations From Ben Stein

I have to say that most of the people I know who are not Judeo-Christian feel pretty the same as Ben Stein in this essay. Why does it matter so much to others????

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary, Sunday, 12/18/05.

Herewith at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart: I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up? Why are they so important?

I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise's wife.
Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are.

If this is what it means to be no longer young, it's not so bad.

Next confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year.

It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I ! think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed a round, period.

I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution, and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him?

I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke, it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this Happen?" (regarding Katrina)

Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful re! sponse. She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out.

How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"
In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body was finally found) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school . the Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide).

We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK. Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.

I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they WILL think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Lessons For All Walks of Life

Lessons for All Walks of Life

Basics for Success
-- By Julie Isphording, former Olympian

If there were dreams for sale, what would you try to buy? No matter what you "purchase" – find a better job, run a marathon, lose ten pounds, learn a new skill – motivation usually makes the difference between success and failure, misery and fun. These tips will help get you started:
  • Surround yourself with friends who think positive. The beliefs and attitudes of your peers are contagious.
  • Learn from your mistakes. All things of value are created from experience, including failure. Mistakes can give you insight into yourself and others. Don’t ever be afraid to go for it.
  • Have a plan B and C and D. What will you do if things don’t work? With an alternative plan, you can relax knowing even in the worst case you’ll be prepared.
  • Write down good ideas the moment you think of them. Keep a notepad handy. We all get good ideas, but only a few of us save them and more importantly, execute them.
  • Be realistic about your work habits and needs. Are you a morning person? Did you get that daily vegetable thing down yet? Do you need quiet? Do you prefer being a team member or going solo? Do you have the time? Can you make the time?
  • Bribe yourself. So what are you going to do just for you as a reward when you have reached your goal? Go a little crazy here.
  • Use your dreams. Right before you go to sleep, think about your goals. Get a strong mental image in your mind. If you do this night after night, your dreams will offer insights and you will sleep better.
  • Wallow in your greatness. Make a list of everything you’ve accomplished, big and small, in the past day. Then do this for the past week. You’ll realize you are a very motivated person who does hundreds of small things every day. You simply forgot, or worse, took them for granted. Realizing what a motivated person you are already will inspire you to take on bigger tasks.
  • Set priorities. If you don’t make a plan, then you plan to fail. Do you actually spend time working on reaching your goals? Or do you let everything and everyone take precedence. Balance all your demands as best you can.
  • Stop sabotaging yourself. If you don’t feel motivated, maybe it’s because you have an internal conflict. What would you lose if you reached your goal? For example, if you took a new job, would your friends be envious? If you slimmed down, would you lose an excuse for being unhappy? Be sure that you own your dream and you really want everything that comes with it. Don’t do something to please someone else.
  • Make it fun to get started. Do you like looking at the big picture first or the details? Do you like seeking advice from "coaches" or friends? Do you like to start with what’s familiar or do you prefer novelty? Organize the tasks to fit your lifestyle
  • Get rid of negative self-talk. And those coffee mugs that say "Life’s a bitch." Some of the things we say to ourselves we would never say to our best friend. Why then is it part of our internal chatter?
  • Catch your children’s enthusiasm. Children may not have all the skills but they have excitement and no fear of failure. Approach your goals with a childlike spirit. This kind of energy could make a difference. Special note: if you don’t have any children, borrow some for a day.
  • Tell a friend you’re starting the project. This type of disclosure to a peer may help keep you accountable to yourself.
  • Make up some of your own motivation tips – and use them.

Article created on: 11/4/2003


By this certificate know ye that
Walk in the rain,
JUMP in mud puddles,
Collect rainbows,
Smell flowers,
Blow bubbles, ooOoO
Stop along the way,
Build sandcastles,
Watch the moon and stars come out,
Say HELLO to everyone,
Go barefoot,
Go on adventures,
Sing in the shower,
Have a Merry heart,
Read children's books,
Act silly,
Take bubble baths,
Get new sneakers,
Hold hands & hug & kiss,
Fly Kites,
Laugh out loud and cry out loud, up worry & guilt & shame,
Stay innocent,
Say yes and no and the magic words,
Ask lots of questions,
Ride bicycles,
Draw and paint and color,
See things differently,
Fall down and get up again,
Talk with animals,
Look at the sky,
Trust the universe,
Stay up late,
Climb trees,
Take naps,
Do nothing,
Play with toys,
Play under the covers,
Have pillow fights,
Learn new stuff,
Get excited about EVERYTHING,
Be a clown,
Listen to music,
Find out how things work,
Make up new rules,
Tell stories,
Save the world,
Make friends,
And do anything that brings more:
Happiness, celebration, relaxation,
Communication, health, love, joy,
Creativity, pleasure, abundance,
Grace, self-esteem, courage,
Balance, spontaneity, passion, peace,
Beauty, and life energy
To all humans and beings of this planet.

FURTHERMORE, the above named member is officially authorized to frequent amusement parks, beaches, meadows, mountaintops, swimming pools, forests, playgrounds, picnic areas, summer areas, summer camps, parties, circuses, bakeries, ice cream parlors, theaters, aquariums, zoos, museums, planetariums, toy stores, festivals and other places where children of all ages gather to play AND is encouraged to always remember the motto of

Good and Evil

The following should be attributed to a man by the name of Ronald Rhodes. The large majority of this can be found in a book by the name of "Who made God?". This was shared with me by my good friend Joan. Thanks Joan!

Evil is not something that exists all alone; rather it is a corruption of something good. Evil is the absence of something good. Evil is real. There is moral evil: cruelty, suicide bombings, discrimination, crime etc. There is natural evil: hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, wild fires started by lightening etc.

By what process is evil distinguished from good? The reality is that it is impossible to distinguish good and evil unless there is a reference point that is absolutely good. The reference point for absolute goodness is God. If God did not exist then there would be no moral absolutes by which you can judge something or someone, even someone such as Hitler.

The Original earthly creation was wholly good. There wa no sin, no evil, no pain, no death. Bible scripture indicates that the turn downward came the moment Adam and Eve used their God-given free will to disobey him. God could have created we humans so that we would never sin, thus avoiding evil altogether. But, we would not have been truly human, more like capacity to make choices. Our God given free choice leaves open the possibility for wrong choices. Evil is inherent in the gift of free will. God did make moral evil possible by giving us a free will, we humans make it happen.

Even natural evil - earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and the like is rooted in our wrong use of free choice. We must not forget that we are living in a fallen world, and because of this we are subject to disasters in the world of nature that would not have occurred had man not rebelled against God. The Garden of Eden had no natural disasters of nature or death until man brought sin into it. There will be none in heaven when God puts an end to evil. Evil will one day be done away with. Just because evil is not destroyed right now does not mean it never will be.

How can God be both loving and just? God's justice demands that sin be punished, but his love compels him to save sinners. So by Christ's death for us his justice is satisfied and his love released.

I Apologize

I Apologize...For all the mean things I might have said.
I Apologize...For all the things I did or didn't do.
I Apologize...If I ever ignored you.
I Apologize...If I ever made you feel bad or put you down.
I Apologize...If I ever thought I was better than you.
I Apologize...For everything wrong I've ever done.

I Care for You...Don't ever forget that!
Through bad times and good,
I'll always be here for you.

The Tablecloth

The Tablecloth

By Carol Bryant

Last year, my mother, Rose, lost her best friend of fifty years, Rosa, to cancer. Over a lifetime, Mom and Rosa forged a relationship that transcended the two of them, tightly intertwining their families as well. The two women knew and understood each other thoroughly and plainly, and deeply valued each other’s company and wisdom.

Their friendship began when they were young brides, inviting each other to barbecues and cocktail parties where they tried out and polished their cooking skills. A few years later, each became pregnant, beginning parallel journeys of motherhood. As the years passed, together they experienced the normal ups and downs of raising a family, providing one another with daily comfort, encouragement and companionship.

When Rosa’s cancer was diagnosed, my mother was her greatest cheerleader. Galvanized by fear and a loss of control, Mom organized meals, shuttled Rosa to doctor appointments, ministered to Rosa’s husband and grown children, and when possible, translated medical lingo to a bewildered family. My mother, a quintessential helper, gave Rosa and her loved ones much-needed support, gratified to be the scaffolding on which her fragile friend leaned.

Rosa’s prognosis was poor from the start, and within a year, she died. As arrangements for the funeral were made, Mom, herself grief-stricken, played a critical role stabilizing Rosa’s family and assisting with important decisions. The fact that she was needed was, of course, good therapy as she struggled through her own emotions.

Shortly after Rosa passed away, her bereaved husband, Jean, called my mother on behalf of their daughter, Marsha, who lived out of town. “Rose,” he said, “when Marsha was here for the funeral she turned the house upside down looking for a tablecloth she said Rosa had been working on, embroidery or something. I have no idea where it is, and Marsha is devastated about it. I think Rosa was working on it for her. Do you have any idea where she might have put it?”

The next day, my mother, her heart heavy with loss, pulled up in front of her friend’s house. Walking into the dining room, fifty years of knowing Rosa’s habits her guide, she opened the bottom drawer of the china cabinet, revealing the tablecloth and napkins Marsha was searching for. Unfolding the embroidered cloth, she said to Jean, “I remember Rosa telling me about this cloth before she became sick. She was working on it for Marsha, but it looks like she finished only half of it before she had to give it up. Do you mind if I finish it?”

My mother carried the cloth home and lovingly studied her friend’s handiwork. With tears in her eyes but with a sense of renewal, she threaded the embroidery needle tucked into the fabric and began to sew. For days, she embroidered, each stitch fortifying and healing her.

The tablecloth finished and ironed, Mom draped it over her lap, examining the commingling of her stitches with Rosa’s, contemplating the weight of their joint effort and thinking how true it is that the whole is much more than the sum of its parts. With great care, she swaddled the cloth in tissue, placed it in a box and mailed it to the daughter of her best friend.

What The World Needs


The world needs men and women...

who cannot be bought;

whose word is their bond;

who put character above wealth;

who possess opinions and a will;

who are larger than their vocations;

who do not hesitate to take chances;

who will not lose their individuality in a crowd;

who will be as honest in small things as in great things;

who will make no compromise with wrong;

whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires;

who will not say they do it "because everybody else does it";

who are true to their friends through good report and evil
report in adversity as well as in prosperity;

who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and
hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success;

who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it
is unpopular;

who can say "no" with emphasis, although all the rest of the
world says "yes."

How Little in Me Is Not Touched By You

How little in me is not touched by you!
A friendship is a light that fills the heart,
Painting with its gold each darkened hue,
Providing warmth to each sequestered part.
You are the mirror of my better self,
Verifier of the best in me,
A bridge across the unsuspected gulf
Lodged between what can and ought to be.
Expectations can be wings, not bars,
Necessary to sustain our flight.
The faith of friends in us is wholly ours,
Incoming to uplift us to its height.
No soul can see itself, but must depend,
Each on each, upon a trusted friend.-nicholas gordon




1. Drink plenty of water
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants, and eat less food that is manufactured in plants
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy
5. Make time for prayer
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2008
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day ---- and while you walk, smile


11. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do ; keep your limits
14. Don't take yourself so seriously ; no one else does
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


25. Call your family often
26. Each day give something good to others
27. Forgive everyone for everything
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day
30. What other people think of you is none of your business
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your family and friends will. Stay in touch.


32. Do the right things
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful
34. GOD heals everything
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up
37. The best is yet to come
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.