2/22/13

Confucius Inspiration

http://listverse.com/2009/02/27/top-20-wise-quotes-of-confucius/ while helping my son with his social studies homework I came across this website. It has a list of 20 verses from Confucius. I didn't realize that 1 of my favorite quotes of all time is actually from him. It's the 1 about getting up 1 time more often than you fall. what's your favorite Confucius quote?

2/19/13

Day 3, verses for Lent

What father, if his son asks for an egg will give him a scorpion? If the evil know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?
Luke 11:11-13 Expect more from God than you do now. As Peter says, go boldly to the Lord.

2/15/13

internet outage

Hi Readers, Ever since I decided to do a verse a day, I have had internet problems. Rest assured that I am still looking up my verses everyday and wishing I could get them to you. My tablet and blogger are battling each other, so that it's taking me an excessie amount of time to write a simple verse, and even more time trying to edit it. Apologies. Until I get a reliable internet connection back in my home, my postings will be sporadic. My suggestion to you: open whatever text inspires you (the Bible, a NYT bestseller, a book of quotations, whatever inspires you), pull out 1 verse and let it speak to you. If you are using the Bible, this practice is called bibliomancy. Find the wisdom in everyday texts. God bless and have a great weekend.

2/14/13

Day 2 of Lent: Happy Valentine's Day!

Divine Love, the source from whom all love flows.
God knew what he was doing from the beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son... We see the original and intented shape of our lives there in him.
Romans 8:29 love does not conquer all but it's a good place to start. Tell those you love that you love them. Better yet, show them in some meaningful way.

2/13/13

Lent, Day 1, part 2. Adding something back.


A great rules is when you take something away, you put something in it's place. It's the natural law of balance. One thing helps the other.

Since I'm giving up cursing [see prior post], I'm adding a practice to help support my decision. I'm going to pull out random verses and quotes and see how they add to my life. Today, I opened a devotional that I rarely read and flipped ahead to another day. This is the Bible verse I got:

"I will seek the lost,  
                          bring back the strays,
                                                         bandage the injured,

                                                                                   and strengthen the weak..."  --Ezekiel 34:26

To me, this could be/should be the mission statement for a new online faith website/community my BFF and I have been working on for years. It's set to launch this year.

It's going to be an inspiring Lent season. :)

What will you add back in to replace what you've removed from your life? I'd love to hear. Post in the comments.

Lent, Day 1, pt. 1: Giving up something for Lent



In the Christian church I grew up in, I only had a vague notion of Lent. We didn't celebrate it, or any of the other days except the big 2, Christmas and Easter.

As an adult, I've borrowed a few of the Catholic traditions to deepen my own spiritual life. One of those is Lent. For those of you who have that passing acquaintance with Lent, here's the definition, according to The Free Dictionary:
"The 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday until Easter observed by Christians as a season of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter."
 
Note that that's 40 weekdays , not 40 days. And no, you don't get to take the weekends off! (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

Normal practice is to give up something meaningful for the Lenten season. For the first time, my whole family is picking something to work on. I struggled with what I could realisticall & logistically, and it couldn't be something I was all ready in the process of doing.

So I'm giving up cursing. Yes, cursing. It's my guilty pleasure around friends. I don't curse like a sailor, but I will PUNCTUATE my sentences with carefully chosen curse words.

I'm declaring publicly that I will give up cursing for Lent. And if I fail early on, I'll rededicate myself and start anew.

How about you? Do you celebrate Lent? What vice, obsession, addiction will you give up?

For more on Lent, here's a great source: 
http://alivenow.upperroom.org/2011/01/25/lent-101/



2/10/13

Mardis Gras is Feb. 12, 2013. Are you ready?

Mardis Gras is the perfect mix of God, girl and goth, don't ya think?





King Cakes; purple, gold and yellow beads; parades; parties; and food.

Flashing is optional and totally unnecessary. See the FAQs about Mardi Gras here. (Seriously, keep all the baring of body parts limited to your Significant Other.)

So what is all the hoopla about Mardis Gras if you're not goint go New Orleans? (And if you are going to N'awlins, here's a website you'll want to check out:  http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/mardi-gras-2013.html )

Well, Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday" in French, although some would argue it means "Eat. Drink. And Be Merry!"  Wikipedia explains it plainly:  Mardi Gras refers "to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday."

So even this debauchery/fun/fantasy has its roots
  • in religion. It's the opposite of the "fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent." As Wikipedia says, "The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial" for the Easter season.
  • in paganism and the spring/fertility celebrations.
  • in Roman wine and debauchery celebrations.
Why do we celebrate it then? According to the History channel, "When Christianity arrived in Rome, religious leaders decided to incorporate these popular local traditions into the new faith, an easier task than abolishing them altogether." This practice was a very common method of absorbing the old faiths into the new monotheistic faiths.

Do you celebrate Mardis Gras? Do you observe Lent? Which parts? Why?

See the National Geographic Q&A's for more.

2/8/13

Chinese New Year , Feb. 10, 2013 - Year of the Black Snake


 

On Live with Kelly and Michael, they discussed the upcoming Chinese New Year animal on Feb. 6, 2013. According to the source Kelly referenced, it seems that the black snake year is "an opportunity to get disciplined and focused."  "Slow and steady" is the motto for this year.



 
 (image by Lena Sokel. Check out more of her beautiful compositions, http://www.lenasokol.blogspot.com/)

The best explanation and most beautiful image are at this site:

http://solidglow.com/2013/01/01/happy-black-water-snake-new-year/
 
A few traits of the new snake year, according to solidglow: 

enigmatic, intuitive, introspective, refined, mobility, dynamism, changeability, unpredictability and mystery

Also, it seems we should be celebrating CNY on the 4th this year. So get started making friends with your black/water snake.

Learn more about the structure of Chinese New Year here: http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/2013.htm .

Specifically, why this "year of the snake" had been dubbed "Year of the Black Snake" or "Year of the Water Snake". There's a stem-branch-element-element thing going on. Black is the color associated with the water element.  It's very complicated, so I'll let someone who can explain it better explain it better.



2/6/13

Do you believe in ghosts?




My son ran downstairs this morning saying he creeped himself out. When he went upstairs to finish getting ready for school, he opened one door...and another door closed. I explained about the air currents and the heat pushing and pulling on the non-stationary things as they heat the house.

"But Mom," he said. "I saw something black."

"I bet you did," I replied. His eyes got huge.

"We have a ghost? You've seen it?!"

"No. But I have seen something black in your room."

He was speechless.

I tugged on his sleeve. He was dressed in navy and black from head to toe. "You, honey. You look like a flash of black when you run in front of the bathroom mirror."

He smiled and let out his held breath.

"While I do believe in ghosts--you know I do--not everyone does. I would know if we had one. We do not have a ghost problem." Although occasionally the spirit of a passed loved one has a message they'd like to me to pass on to someone, but that's a story for another time.

Those kinds of beliefs used to get people hung or burned at the stake. BUT from the proliferation of the ghost reality shows on TV [Paranormal State, Celebrity Ghost Stories, Psychic Kids, A Haunting, etc.) I have to think that most of you believe. I don't know, though. You tell me.

So, Do you believe in ghosts? Ever seen one? I'd love to hear more in the comments below.


PS I LOVED Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoon as a kid. Suprisingly, I also LOVE the Casper movie with Christina Ricci. There's one line that creeps me out though and Casper repeats it:  "Can I keep you?"

http://www.amazon.com/Casper-Widescreen-Special-Chauncey-Leopardi/dp/B0000AK7AA/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1360164864&sr=1-1&keywords=casper