Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

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Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Word of the day:
First Sunday of Advent

Mk 13:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Matthew 24: 37-44

"You cannot know the day . . ."

Oh, but we do!
We know the day
and the hour
The prophetic voices of print media,
and TV
and radio
countdown the days until that Day of Days.

"Be prepared!" they say
Yes, time to pitch the turkey carcass
and get on with the business at hand.
Two men will be in the field
cutting down their Christmas trees.
"One will be taken
and one will be left."
Left to continue the mad rush
for the unattainable . . .
the perfect Christmas.

Christmas! Ah, Christmas.
That day when all our preparations
come to fruition
in Norman Rockwell coziness
and Martha Stewart hominess.

The halls will be decked,
the mantles adorned.
Two women will be baking Christmas cookies,
"One will be taken
and one will be left."
Left to continue the mad rush
for the unattainable . . .
the perfect Christmas.
. . . the day we celebrate God present among us.

Present, you say?
Oh, yes, one more present. Cha ching!
One more garland. Cha ching!
One more string of lights. Cha ching!
but hurry up now.
Christmas will be here before we know it,
and yet we have no excuse
for not knowing.
Those voices of Christmas Commercial continue,
with ever increasing fervency,
to countdown the days.
Oh the energy we expend,
in preparation for the coming Day.
The day when
all will be right with the world.
When we can cease our preparations,
and draw a leisurely breath . . .
and peace will reign once more within our homes . . .
and we can all take time to celebrate
the incarnation of our God.
Ah, December 25,
(Yes, we know the day.)
But what of the day we do not know?
What of the day we cannot know?)

Only five shopping day left.
Left to continue the mad rush
for the unattainable . . .
the perfect Christmas.

We interrupt this meditation to bring you an important news bulletin!
This just in from CNN - Celestial News Network!
Christmas has already been done to perfection!
We repeat.
Christmas has already been done to perfection!
Wal-Mart and Toys R Us claim no responsibility.
Let those who have ears, hear.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled madness,
already in progress.

Ah, did you hear that?
Take heart all ye seekers and ye shoppers,
ye who are weary
and are heavy burdened,
for the preparation that is needed
does not take place in crowded malls.
The peace we seek is not to be found
in the hustle and bustle
of the mad rush
for the unattainable.
It is to be found in the quiet of our hearts,
in the glow of starlight.
In the simple appreciation
of the gift we have been given,
the gift we are continually given
the one that needs no adornment
or wrapping paper,
or tags,
or even money
(although the world place its retail value at 30 silver pieces.)

Let those who have ears, hear.

(from The Tarantella Dancers)

God bless the troops!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our craft show went well. This time I remembered to bring my camera. This isn't our usual set-up but it worked very well for today. This show wasn't as big as some we have participated in, but it was very well organized, well planned, and well promoted. Sumner - where the craft show was held - is in farm country out in the middle of nowhere. Despite that, the traffic was fairly steady, but not overwhelming. There was a lunch that people could buy for a very good price. I think the only drawback was the day. Thanksgiving weekend was the only Saturday available when this was planned and I think people were shopped out from yesterday. When you take all of those things into consideration, I am amazed at how well this show went. All-in-all, I'm glad we took on this one. The pace was slow enough that we could relax and visit with people. I enjoyed it. We're glad, however, that this is the last show of the season. We're ready to have our Saturdays back.

I didn't get a chance to blog much yesterday. Our daughter Anna hosted Thanksgiving this year. To know what a feat that is, you need to know that my husband is one of 12 children. This gathering includes as many of those siblings and their families as can make it. There were probably about 30 of us. Anna cooked her very first turkey ever. It was fantastic. I am not a lover of white meat, but this was so juicy, that it made a convert of me.

Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 21:34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”

God bless our troops!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Not much time to write today. Anna, Nina, Jamie, Clay, and Claire stayed last night. Anna was out the door by 5:00 am. Harold and I headed to Sears at about 6:30. After that I made some candles for tomorrow's show and hung out with Nina, Jamie, and the kids. Clay, Claire, and I made Christmas cookies and they helped me put up the tree. do they look excited? They'll help decorate it later in the week.

We just got back from setting up for tomorrow's show. I'm not sure how we'll do - the show is out in the boonies but it is a church youth group fundraiser so it should be pretty good. Unless everyone is shopped out from today.

Word of the day
Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Lk 21:29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable.
“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.”

Please pray for the people in India.
God bless our troops!

Thursday, November 27, 2008 - Happy Thanksgiving

Thank You for the world so sweet
Thank You for the food we eat,
Thank You for the birds that sing
Thank You God for everything.

Word of the day:

Thursday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Maximinus

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21,20-28.
When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the scriptures are fulfilled. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand."

God bless our troops!
We took the last stocking order from Ebay last night. This morning I found a query from someone who wanted stockings. If this order comes through, we will have made 144 stockings this season. That's over twice as many as last year. We have indeed been blessed. I want to get everything shipped by December 1.

I like to relax and enjoy the season in December, but there are still last minute business things to take care of; gift basket orders, website orders etc. In the first week of December I take stock of those things I need to do. What I will get the family, packaging up gift boxes for mailing, Christmas cards, not to mention all that is going on at church - children's choir, adult choir, additional Masses for Our Lady of Guadalupe, plus our advent reconcilliation services.

The snow covers the ground outside. It looks Christmasy. I have held off from playing any Christmas music yet, except for what is on this blog, but even that is not overtly Christmas. But on Friday, all the stops come out! Mannheim Steamroller will play from dawn to dusk. LOL!

Next week I need to get back on track with my workouts. When things get hectic, that is the only wiggle room I have time-wise, except for my blog time. I need that, though. I need to touch base with the word of the day in order to stay grounded.

Word of the day:
Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 21:12-19

Jesus said to the crowd:
“They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,v brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
It's all about faith and trust. When fears set in we would do well to pray for an increase both.
Here is a little message about faith and trust, courtesy of 2 of our nieces (Laura and Kathlene) and their husbands (Ryan and Drew) who comprise the Christian drama group One Time Blind.

God bless our troops!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - Happy Birthday Jamie!

Today one of my favorite people celebrates his birthday. Jamie joined our family on April 15, 2005 in the form of Nicola's husband. LOL! Have a great day, Jamie. And save me some lasagna!

Well, I got the word from Clayton and Claire this morning. Given the choice between making cookie ornaments or cookies to eat, the unanimous decision was to make cookies of the eating kind. To quote Claire, "EAT EAT!" So Grandma needs to prepare her shopping list. Cookies of the eating kind require different ingredients than cookies of the ornament kind. My plan is to have the dough mixed and ready for Friday. The plan and the actuality will probably be vastly different, but no matter what, it is sure to be fun. Can you guess which one of these two cuties loves to have her picture taken? All you have to do is show her the camera and Claire says "Peas" and strikes a pose. Clayton - not so much.

I made 2 batches of cinnamon stick candles last night - one batch of jar candles, and one batch of pillars and tarts. The house smells - well - it smells cinnamony. The jar candles turned out beautifully. The tarts were great, the pillars look rustic. I am living my dream - making candles and soap. I love it! Speaking of soap, I haven't made any in weeks. Come December I need to re-stock.

Retirement from the school looms ever closer. I have mixed feelings, but all-in-all I am looking forward to it. On a day I can't remember, I suddenly became old. Well, older - less resistant to change. I am looking forward to having more time to do the things I love - quilting, soapmaking, candle making, and best of all, being Grandma. I will still be at the church so I won't be completely unemployed. I will have the best of both worlds. And, there is a possibility that they will need me from time to time at the school.

Word of the day: Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time Gospel Lk 21:5-11

While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here– the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.” Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
The readings at this time of the year are in direct contrast to what we see going on in the world. Lights are hung to stave away the darkness that falls ever earlier as the days grow shorter. Furnaces are lit and fires burn in fireplaces to warm the air that grows ever colder. Christmas speaks of love, peace, and joy and yet we sometimes see very little of it as people scramble to prepare for the "perfect" Martha Stewart Norman Rockwell Better Homes and Gardens Christmas. In and of itself, there is absolutely nothing wrong with decorating and baking and shopping. These are all beautiful ways to celebrate the season and serve others. But underneath it all, if we're not careful, we can lose sight of the bigger picture. As we heard in Sunday's gospel, we are also expected to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the imprisoned. This can - and should - all be done in a spirit of love, peace, and joy. This year, let's not get so caught up in the wrappings and trappings that we forget the gift inside.

God bless our troops!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I just checked Wikipedia for the official start date of winter. It says "the first day it gets cold." Winter is here!

I have so much to do this week that feel like I am just standing here spinning in circles. I have never been so far behind as I am this year. But I guess that's to be expected when you're trying to juggle 2 jobs, plus run a business. Next year should be much easier. The one saving grace this year is that Anna is hosting Thanksgiving. There is no way on earth I would be ready.

Our last craft show of the year is next Saturday. It would probably have been a good idea to skip that one. We probably won't schedule another craft show for Thanksgiving weekend. There is just too much else going on, and by then we are all ready for a break. We took this one because it is a fundraiser for a church youth group.

Our policy is to tithe ten percent of our proceeds to a worthy cause. This year, because we were so blessed, we were able to contribute to a family whose members include quintuplets. There are a total of 8 children in the family. One of our high school students took this family on as his Eagle Scout project. His goal - to raise enough money and help put an addition onto this family's home. After 2 years, the project is complete. Our donation was to help provide some of the odds and ends they would need.

The rest of the money will be going to the pastor of our church who is going to Haiti in a week or so. Haiti is one of the poorest countries on earth and THE poorest country in this hemisphere. As we heard in Father's homily on Sunday, the one thriving business in Haiti is the making and selling of cookies; cookies made of mud with a little oil and sugar mixed in. It is very hard to wrap one's mind around that kind of poverty. It makes me stop and think several times before complaining about petty annoyances in my life. In Sunday's homily, Fr. Kevin requested a second collection for next Sunday. He will take that money and distribute it directly to several agencies in Haiti. My hope is that Fr. Kevin will be awestruck at the generosity of our parishes.

Going for my walk. Update later - hopefully

Daily stats:
Type: walk/jog

Route: Leaton and back
Time: 24 minutes
Average heart rate: 121

Maximum heart rate: 132
Down .2 pounds from last Sunday

Word of the day:
Memorial of Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, priest and martyr, and his companions, martyrs
Lk 21:1-4
When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people
putting their offerings into the treasury
and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.
He said, “I tell you truly,
this poor widow put in more than all the rest;
for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
It's not only what you give, but the spirit in which it is given that is a blessing. Offerings bless the recipient, but offerings given cheerfully and with a grateful heart for the ability to do so, bless both the giver and the receiver. On the way to church yesterday, I happened to catch a message from Dr. David Jeremiah. He was speaking on the following passage from 2 Corinthians 9:7: "Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." When we give out of obligation, there is a tendency to rationalize and to minimize what we think we are required to give, but when we give from a grateful heart, the blessings are abundant and the feeling of well being spreads like ripples in a stream. It's what Christmas is supposed to be about. It's what life is supposed to be about.

God bless our troops - who serve us faithfully - let's remember them this Christmas and throughout the year!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sorry to be awol yesterday. We had a craft show. It wasn't a big one, but we did very well. It was local - held at the school where I work so I saw a lot of familiar faces. Ooops, I have to get ready for church. Back later.

Word of the day:

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King
Mt 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
'Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
'Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life."

God bless our troops!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I took note of today's date. My dad would have turned 81 today. It's hard to picture either of my parents as elderly because they both died relatively young - my mother was 32 and my dad was 48. I often wonder what they would have been like as grandparents and now great-grandparents.

Last night I cut and packaged fudge for the craft show tomorrow. I also made a batch of White Chocolate Chex mix. I am working on the last stocking order. I'm debating whether to post one last listing on Ebay. I'll have to think about it.

Christmas will be fun this year because I am making all but the family gifts. (The family gets homemade stuff all year long.) Clayton wants anything that has to do with crafts. He loves to do crafts. We are planning to spend a day making Christmas ornaments. Claire wants "Bobbies". That's Barbies. She wants 2 of them. Clay says Claire likes that "girlie" stuff. The funny thing is that Melisa says when she goes upstairs, Clay is playing with the Barbies and Claire is playing with the tractors. Claire is fascinated with farm machinery. She loves to go on the "bine bine" with Bapa and eat "Emmms." Translation: She loves to ride the combine with Grandpa and eat M&Ms. Peanut M&Ms are the traditional food to eat on the combine with Grandpa. LOL!

Well, I'm off to work. Today is a scheduled "no workout" day because of early Mass. I will do some weights later. Gotta keep my bones healthy.

Word of the day
Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lk 19:45-48

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out
those who were selling things, saying to them,
“It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer,
but you have made it a den of thieves.”

And every day he was teaching in the temple area.
The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile,
were seeking to put him to death,
but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose
because all the people were hanging on his words.

God bless our troops!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today is the Great American Smokeout. Today is the day that smokers are urged to forego smoking for one day. In years past, when the Smokeout would be announced, I would feel guilty and tune it out. I was a smoker. I didn't want to hear about how it harmed my health. I was hooked. I smoked for over 30 years. I never thought I would be able to quit. On November 28, 2000, at 7:00 pm I took my last puff of a cigarette. It wasn't the first time I had quit. I really had no confidence that I ever could. But I did. I pray for people who still smoke because I know the addiction and the hold it takes on us. And it isn't just the nicotine. For me it was the psychological addiction that kept me going back time after time, plunking money down for pack after pack. I thank God that I was able to quit and I pray that others who still smoke find the strength to quit.

Last night I logged into Facebook to find that Anna has been a busy little bee. She's been working non-stop all week. Ummmmm, so I made a batch of fudge. I also did a couple of stockings (7 to go) and got a little cleaning done (very little). I need to make a couple more batches of fudge and some of our chex mix.

I'm headed out for my walk.

Daily stats:
Type: Walk/jog

Route: Leaton and back
Time: 23 minutes
Average heart rate:121

Max heartrate: 135
Down 3 pounds from last Thursday

I bundled up good this morning and the walk was invigorating. There was a very light powdery snow falling.

Word of the day:

Lk 19:41-44

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem,
he saw the city and wept over it, saying,
“If this day you only knew what makes for peace–
but now it is hidden from your eyes.
For the days are coming upon you
when your enemies will raise a palisade against you;
they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
They will smash you to the ground and your children within you,
and they will not leave one stone upon another within you
because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

God bless our troops!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today is day 3 of the Carb Deplete challenge with the ladies from Lowcarb Friends. It's going pretty well except that I still am forgetting to get all of my water in. I had half of it yesterday. Wendy says that the water is important because if the body doesn't get enough water, it will store carbs in order to get it. Not sure how that works, but I will make an effort to get all of my water in today.

I took all of my HRM watches in last night and had the batteries changed. I am looking forward to an outdoor walk today. I won't be headed to the deadend though until firearm season is over. No one got a deer up north. With the baiting ban in effect, it makes it a little harder. The guys down here all got deer. Howard got 2 within a couple minutes of each other.

Last night I packaged up some more stockings for shipment. I have 9 more left to make. The house is so bad. I will not be shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. I will be cleaning and decorating for Christmas. Some time this week or next, I have to pour my Advent candles. At least this year they will be the right colors. LOL!

Headed for my walk.

Daily stats:
Type: walk/jog

Leaton and back
Time: 25 minutes
Average heart rate: messed up the setting

Max heart rate: messed up the setting
Down 1.4 pounds from last Wednesday

Word of the day:
Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 19:11-28

While people were listening to Jesus speak,
he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem
and they thought that the Kingdom of God
would appear there immediately.
So he said,
“A nobleman went off to a distant country
to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins
and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’
His fellow citizens, however, despised him
and sent a delegation after him to announce,
‘We do not want this man to be our king.’
But when he returned after obtaining the kingship,
he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money,
to learn what they had gained by trading.

The first came forward and said,
‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’
He replied, ‘Well done, good servant!
You have been faithful in this very small matter;
take charge of ten cities.’
Then the second came and reported,
‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’
And to this servant too he said,
‘You, take charge of five cities.’
Then the other servant came and said,
‘Sir, here is your gold coin;
I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man;
you take up what you did not lay down
and you harvest what you did not plant.’
He said to him,
‘With your own words I shall condemn you,
you wicked servant.
You knew I was a demanding man,
taking up what I did not lay down
and harvesting what I did not plant;
why did you not put my money in a bank?
Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’
And to those standing by he said,
‘Take the gold coin from him
and give it to the servant who has ten.’
But they said to him,
‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’
He replied, ‘I tell you,
to everyone who has, more will be given,
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king,
bring them here and slay them before me.’”

After he had said this,
he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
We heard this same parable on Sunday in another Gospel. My thoughts remain the same. :)

God bless our troops!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I took orders for 5 more stockings. The Ebay listing ended yesterday and I think that will be it for this year. We did a pretty good job of estimating our needs for this year and we took orders for well over 100 stockings.

I poured Carrot Cake candles last night. Can't seem to keep those in stock. I had to order more container wax and that is always an iffy thing. The companies won't be responsible for consistent quality so I am afraid to order in large lots. I am very picky about candle quality.

I also packaged some simmer scents last night. I am taking Country Cinnamon Bun with me to work today. I love that scent.

Last night's workout was a short one in front of the TV, but I had to do it in order to keep up the consistency. Getting called in to work early at the last minute really throws off my day. I didn't get the laundry done. I did get some stockings packaged, though.

Tonight I give a talk on prayer and I can't find any of my paperwork from last year so I had to re-do it last night. It's actually better than what I had, but it took time so I didn't get much else accomplished.

There is snow on the ground this morning. I love winter except for the icy roads. I take it upon myself to worry everyone safely to work. Oooops, I mean I "pray" everyone safely to work. And then there are Harold and Justin who are on the road all day.

Today is day 2 of carb depletion and so far so good except that I forgot about the water requirement. Today I have my water all set to go.

Tonight is Biggest Loser. Gotta set my VCR because I'll be home after it comes on.

Word of the day:

Tuesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 19:1-10

At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
I am a primitive crafter. Often when browsing the booths of others, I come across little sayings on weathered wood. "Simplify" is a popular one. Simplify - easier said than done - and it does take doing. So often our faith is passive in nature. We expect to sit back and God will seek us out. Actually, God will seek us out, but if we are not proactive in clearing out the clutter in our lives, we may miss seeing him. In today's reading, Zacchaeus takes proactive steps to clear his view so that he can see Jesus. He is rewarded far beyond just seeing him. Jesus goes home with him. As Advent approaches, we are reminded that we need to simplify. As the secular world prepares for Christmas (the commercial one, not the actual birth of Christ), the pace picks up. Our lives are jam packed with shopping, cooking, planning, wrapping etc. Advent gets lost in the confusion. But Advent is important. As my friend Flylady says we need to clear out and declutter so that we have room to receive the gifts that God has for us. This advent, we need to make sure that when Jesus comes to us, there is room in the inn - and in our hearts.

God bless the troops!

Monday - November 17, 2008

Today starts the carb deplete cycle for myself and my "Keepin On" friends at Lowcarb Friends. I am running late.

Ooops, just got an email. No workout today. I will be going into work early. Tonight I will do a workout video. I will! :)

Word of the day:

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, religious
Lk 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho
a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him,
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
The people walking in front rebuked him,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
He immediately received his sight
and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Again we are reminded of the importance of persistence in prayer. When Jesus healed, the physical healing was always a manifestation of the spiritual healing taking place. In this case, the eyes Bartimeus (Mark 10:46-52) are opened, but it is the eyes of the soul that cause him to follow Jesus and give praise to God. But we need to remember that while God always answers prayer, he doesn't always do it the way we would have him do it. Sometimes spiritual conversion takes place without a physical healing - and this too is a means of giving glory to God. If you have never heard of Gianna Jessen, I urge you to go to Youtube and listen to some of what she has to say about the "gift of cerebral palsy" that the Lord gave her. The video below shows a bit of her story. It is an amazing testimony to the power of forgiveness and the wonder of how God can take even the most hopeless situations and use them for his glory. What a blessing he gave us in Gianna.

God bless our troops!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We had our best show ever yesterday. The only negative was that we didn't have enough space. Our booth was continually stuffed with people. LOL! We doubled what we did last year at this same show. We have new products and apparently we filled a buying niche. We have never done so well at any one day show. Next year we will purchase 2 spaces.

Again, I forgot to take a camera so we could take a picture of our booth. The show promoters told us that we had a darling setup. The girls and I continue to hone our skills. Our major challenge is still set up and take down. I am looking at a heavy duty cart for loading and unloading. Maybe for Christmas? Hint Hint

We unloaded at Anna's last night. She is having a housewarming/business debut kind of thing. It's not so much to sell as to let people know what we are into. There will be food and fun.

I called Harold this morning to wish him a belated Happy Birthday. I called too late last night and they were already sleeping. He said Sam had seen a buck, but no one had gotten anything yet.

Daily stats:
Type: Walk/jog

Route: short video
Time: 15 minutes
Average heart rate:

Max heart rate:
Down 4.2 pounds from last Sunday

Tomorrow I am restarting Wendy's plan with a group of wonderful ladies from the Lowcarb Friends board. You're not supposed to have to go back to week one when you re-start, but I'm going to because I want to start clean. I misplaced my book, but I do have an online copy I can look at.

Word of the day:
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mt 25:14-30 or 25:14-15, 19-21

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one--
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master's money.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
'Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
'Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.'
His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'"

Thoughts from the cornfield:
In business, you have to spend money to make money. It's the same way with the gifts that God gives us - only when they are spent, do they increase. In fact, unless they are shared, by definition, they cease to exist.

God bless our troops!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The girls were just here to load up the last of the stuff for the craft show. It's hard to believe that we are closing up our second year of doing this. We have learned so much! Each show gets a little easier to do. The setup is still the worst of it. Last night I managed to split the drawer on the bottom of one of our bins. I may have to leave the loading of the carts to the girls and I will haul them in and out. Nina came up to help us last night. She doesn't think she did all that much, but having that third person there is a huge help. Plus, Melisa had the kids with her for a bit and Nina kept them occupied. Grown up stuff is extremely boring to little ones. They thought that the covered tables made great places to hide - that is until Grandma slid a cart under there and scared them. Added into the mix is a very difficult funeral that I am playing for this morning so I found a sub for Mass tonight so that I wouldn't be totally bailing out on everyone else.

The guys made it safely up north. Now we'll see if the "Dirt" soap does it's stuff.

Word of the day:

Saturday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
He said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.’”
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Will he?

God bless our troops!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The guys just left for up north. I can't believe how fast the year has gone. Seems like just last week they were headed up north. I guess the older one gets, the fast time seems to fly.
Update later.

Word of the day:
Friday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 17:26-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left.”
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”
He said to them, “Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
As we approach the end of the liturgical year, the readings darken and we begin to hear about the second coming of Christ. As a church musician, the season of Advent is a challenge. The world around us is firmly rooted in Christmas - the stores begin playing Christmas music (the day after Halloween), the age old battle between those who say "Happy Holidays" and those who say "Merry Christmas" is revived yet again, people stress out about shopping and cooking and preparing for the big day - the day we celebrate Jesus coming to us as a baby in a manger. But listen closely to the Sunday readings. We prepare not only for the birth of Jesus; the readings are telling us we must prepare for his return. Again and again we are warned to be ready. As we prepare our homes by hanging the tinsel and lights to celebrate Jesus' birth, we must also prepare our hearts to be ready for his return.

God bless our troops!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Okay, so I took a personal day because I absolutely had to in order to catch up. I started the day with a dentist appointment - always fun. From there I had a couple of deliveries to make. (How creepy is it when an undertaker calls you and says "I want to smell like dirt." It's really not that creepy. I had promised him some scent masking soap for deer hunting.) After my trip to the funeral home I headed for the local cake place to pick up some bags for packaging.

Came home, took an order for 2 more stockings, made 2 batches of snack mix and one batch of fudge, packaged yesterday's fudge and cut up samples. Tied the homespun on my lamps for the craft show on Saturday, took an order for wax tarts but was short one scent so I made a batch of those and will make another batch tonight, hauled the bins for the craft show over to the stairs, put a batch of cookies in the oven for Harold to take deer hunting and - thanks to something to do with the fuses, there will be no relaxing in front of the TV because nothing is coming in on any channel and that won't get fixed until next week when Harold has time.

I still have to package the last batch of fudge, cut up those samples, wash and fold the table covers, load Melisa's van with the bins for the show, make chicken pot pie and 4 more batches of cookies, make a couple of stockings, and get a little bit of picking up done because the house is driving me nuts oh, and wash some clothes for Harold that he needs for his hunting trip. Other than that - it's been a very relaxing day.

Word of the day:
Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin
Lk 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”

God bless our troops!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Okay, so I got home last night all pumped because I am going to finally catch up on stocking orders. Since I was on the homestretch there I decided to do the last batch of fudge. I discovered that somehow I failed to see that I actually had 2 more batches to do. I made one this morning and will make the last one tonight. So after the fudge, I headed for the quilt room to finish up the stocking orders.

I started steaming them. I oversteamed the cuff on the first one I did. So I re-did that one. (I have standards, ya know). Finally I was able to get back packaging for mailing. I discovered I was missing an "Allie" stocking. I distinctly remember making it. Scoured the house. Couldn't find it. Soooo, I re-did that one. Went back to packaging. Hmmmm, there is a "Melissa" stocking that doesn't seem to have a work order. I frantically look through the paper work on the stockings I sent out. Found the order that Melissa was supposed to be on. I'm guessing Melissa's family received Allie. So, I shot out an email to Melissa's family warning them of the mistake and assuring them that Melissa's would go out with the next mail.

Finally I headed for the laundryroom/office to print out shipping labels. Decided to try out the batch label at paypal. My computer blocks pop-ups. Had to cancel those and request a refund. Then I had to re-do them all because I didn't want to risk having to request another refund. While I was going through the Paypal transactions I noticed one that still had a "print shipping label" on it. I could find absolutely no paperwork other than the notice that this lady had paid for 2 stockings. So, I emailed her to find out if that was one of those orders that I took to the PO and forgot to account for in paypal. She emailed me back. She hadn't received an order. She was very nice about it - which I really appreciated. She re-submitted the order and the names did not ring a bell. All I can think is that her order got missed when a bunch of orders came in at once.

I finally got to bed about 1:00. Not good. I am dragging today.

I am hoping that retiring from one job and only having one other will really help with this constant "behind the eight ball" feeling that I live with. I am looking forward to having time to putter in (after cleaning up and organizing) my work room. I also want to make a "Big Girl Bed" quilt for Claire since she has been in her big girl bed for quite a while now.

Oh, and The Biggest Loser. What can I say? I wasn't sorry to see Brady go home, but I would have preferred to see Vicky and Heba go. I cannot stand those two. Good job, Amy. I knew you would come through.

Word of the day:
Memorial of Saint Josaphat, bishop and martyr
Lk 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Seems like a no-brainer to thank Jesus for a miracle, wouldn't you say? But we receive miracles every day. Do we say thank you?

God bless the trooops!

Veterans - thank you all for your service to our country. Thanks to you we are able to live in freedom in the most wonderful country on earth. May God bless you richly for your sacrifices for others.

Daily stats:

Type: Walk/jog
Route: Deadend/back
Time: 25 minutes
Steps: 2700
Down 2.2 from last Tuesday

Well, every single HRM watch I have needs new batteries so for now I will track steps. I may even stay with that. Who knows.

We have a craft show every Saturday for the next 3 weeks. After that we pull back and prepare for our own gift giving. It's nice to have a stash on hand from which to make gift baskets. I managed to clean a little more of the fridge last night. I also made 2 batches of fudge and sewed up all but 2 of the stockings. Tonight I steam them, package them up, and set them out for our fabulous mail-lady to pick up.

I have one more batch of fudge to make and then I have to package all of it for the show on Saturday. Today is a carb-down day for me so I won't be doing any testing. :)

Word of the Day:
Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, bishop
Lk 17:7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles:
“Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?
Would he not rather say to him,
‘Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished’?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
‘We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.’”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
When I read this Gospel passage my mind immediately goes to the passage in John's Gospel; the one where Jesus kneels down and washes the feet of his disciples. He has given us example.

God bless our veterans!
God bless our troops!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm heading out for a walk this chilly morning. I will remember to take my weights with me.

Daily Stats:
Type: Walk/Jog
Route: Deadend and back

Time: Not sure
Average heart rate: need battery for my HRM

Max heart rate:
need battery for my HRM
Down 1.4 from last Monday

I cut today short because about 3 feet into my run, I fell. I'm not even sure what happened. I could feel myself slipping, but just couldn't get a grip on staying vertical. I also forgot to take my weights with me. Sheeesh. I was so focused on trying to find a hrm watch that worked. Every single one has a dead battery and I can't find my teeny screwdriver.

I am on the homestretch with the stockings. I have 2 to knit yet, and then about a dozen to sew up, steam, and package. I would like to get that all finished up tonight because I am sensing that there will be a spate of last minute orders. There always are. :)

According to Flylady, this week we are in the Kitchen zone. Good thing, that's where I need to focus this week. I have such limited time, but a focused 15 minute session accomplishes wonders for me. I actually started in the kitchen on Saturday. The freezer in our fridge has died and we will be getting a new one, but in the mean time, this one is staying put because Harold is in the field right now. I seriously decluttered some scary looking stuff yesterday. Today I am working on the right hand side of the top shelf, and the full shelf underneath.

Word of the day:
Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, pope and doctor of the Church


Lk 17:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck
and he be thrown into the sea
than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard!
If your brother sins, rebuke him;
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times in one day
and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’
you should forgive him.”

And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
God, from the very beginning, gave us the freedom to choose. But for choice to exist, there must be something to choose between. It is one thing to love God - but quite another to choose to love God - because love without choice is not truly love. God does not enslave us by making us automatons who have no choice but to do his will. That is not blessing. That is slavery. But with freedom comes responsibility. We do not live in a vacuum. Our actions have consequences - for ourselves and for others. When we sin, it grieves God, but when we cause others to sin, the grief is intensified. God does not expect perfection because we cannot be perfect this side of heaven. But he did send us Perfection so that, even though we sin, on the other side of repentance are the loving arms of Jesus.

God bless the troops!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Headed out for my walk, update later.

Daily Stats:
Type: Walk/Jog
Route: Deadend and back

Time: 25 minutes
Average heart rate: 122

Max heart rate: ? - now my watch just died. grrrrr
Up 2.4 pounds from last Sunday :(

Word of the day:
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
This ancient basilica commemorates the first public site of the “mother church” of Roman Christianity—a large meeting hall on the Lateran Hill donated by the Emperor Constantine. It was dedicated in 324 under the title “Church of Our Savior.” Later, the ancient building was replaced by a new church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, popularly known as St. John Lateran. This is the pope’s church in his role as bishop of the city and province of Rome.

Jn 2:13-22
Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,
as well as the money-changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,
and spilled the coins of the money-changers
and overturned their tables,
and to those who sold doves he said,
“Take these out of here,
and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,
Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
“What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews said,
“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his Body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this,
and they came to believe the Scripture
and the word Jesus had spoken.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
When a person lives authentically, every action flows from that person's core beliefs. Here we see one of the few instances of Jesus exhibiting righteous anger. The key word here is "righteous." This is not the anger of one who has lost control, but rather the anger of one who sees a wrong being committed against God's people. In this case, the poor were being disenfranchised. If they couldn't afford the temple offering, they couldn't enter. Jesus, in overturning the tables and driving out the moneychangers, is far from being out of control. So is God, for that matter.

God bless our troops!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

We got an order for 13 tealights last night. Whoo hoo. The stocking orders have come to an abrupt halt. We have done 98 so far this year. Last year I did 65. We had 3 sources of orders this year; Country Sampler, Etsy, and Ebay. I would like to do at least 2 more to hit an even 100, but 98 is good. My Christmas money is earned and the girls have a little for their shopping. (They did the hand sewing this year.) We only have time to do about 20 more anyway. It's just strange that last week's Ebay listing netted absolutely no orders. That's a first. But then, people began ordering in September and that's never happened before either.

I have fudge and white chocolate snack mix to make for the 3 remaining shows we have. I finish off the stockings, get them sent out, and start work on that. It's my tradition to make gift baskets for our friends for Christmas. The girls and I used to have a marathon session on the day after Thankgsgiving, but since we started doing craft shows in the fall, we have all of that done ahead of time. This is one of my favorite times of the year. I love making gifts and gift baskets.

I think the cold is on its way out and I think the Zicam may have done its work. My nose is stuffy, still, but I'm not miserable like I usually am with a cold.

The kids will be here in a bit to celebrate Harold's birthday with a breakfast. I am on pancake duty. I've gotta get crackin. Update later.

Word of the day:

Saturday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 16:9-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.”

The Pharisees, who loved money,
heard all these things and sneered at him.
And he said to them,
“You justify yourselves in the sight of others,
but God knows your hearts;
for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Mammon is an Aramaic word for wealth. Wealth in and of itself is not a bad thing. It is when wealth supplants God that the problems begin; and wealth doesn't always mean money. When anything takes precedence over God, it becomes our "mammon." When we serve "things" instead of using things to serve God and others, then our priorities are skewed.

God bless our troops!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I woke up this morning with a stuffy nose and an achy head. There's lots of crud going around. I started the Zicam the other day so I am hoping that this is not going to hang around a long time.
The girls seem to be doing well with the 11 day challenge. It's not working so well for me, but I've been sick off and on and haven't really given it a fair trial. My blood sugar seems to tank a lot. I think I need to go back to what I was doing, and - as Nina said - find something and stick with it. Blood sugar issues are the main reason I have trouble doing that.

Hopefully I will be in a better mood tomorrow.

Friday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 16:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one.
To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of wheat.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than the children of light.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
If you look at history you will see that the most despicable despots and dictators were those who had a shrewd sense of human nature. Take Hitler for example. In order to accomplish his goal, he had to be a brilliant psychologist of sorts. He took a depressed county, found their weaknesses, played up them and rose to terrible heights. He gathered crowds when they were tired and hungry and most susceptible to his skewed philosophy. He sought out the disenfranchised youth and promised them power. He demonized a people and set them up as the "fall guys" for everything that was wrong with the world. In the end he was defeated, but oh what terror and destruction he left in his wake.

Those who would spread God's word need to be just as attentive to people as are the despots of the world. If we were to use that energy we have and operated from a place of love rather than from a desire for power - what marvels could be achieved in this world.

God bless our troops!