Good Friday After The Garden

April 18, 2014

On the night Jesus (the bread of life) was arrested, He went to the Garden of Gethsemane and lied prostrate in prayer, waiting to be taken away.

Even for our Lord, falling to His knees wasn’t enough.

Sometimes even the best of us have to literally lie with faces to the ground, begging for deliverance.

But when we do, something special happens.

First, nothing can get between us and the earth, as we’re as low as possible from a Holy God.

That’s cleansing in and of itself, a type of shaking out of the good from the bad.

Second, our personal Gethsamane, which in Aramaic means “take the wheat,” reminds us of Christ’s words from John 12:24, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

Christ knew He was facing crucifixion, and that His death alone could feed the world, thus lying prostrate with the earth beneath Him fulfilled prophecy.

Remember, to thresh wheat, they used wooden branches, slamming them against giant stones.

The Holy Cross on which our Lord died was made of wood; the place of death, Golgotha, was a giant rock mound; after breathing His last, He was placed (planted) into a tomb inside the earth.

Tonight our 4 clergy lied prostrate at St. Mark’s, before we all venerated the Cross.

It’s at this service that nothing seems more real than our Lord’s love for those so far beneath Him; He truly was becoming Bread for the world.

good friday 002

 

Holy Thursday–No Place For Cold Feet

April 17, 2014

Though I wasn’t the best of altar boys, there was one memorable Holy Thursday at St. Mark’s around 1970, that caused my father to be proud.

Monseigneur Johnson had invited Dad to be one of the honored guests to have his feet symbolically washed during Mass…again.

Actually, this was one thing he always dreaded…because he HATED his feet being cold.

Ed was one of those big guys who never left the house in winter without rubbers hugging his wing tips, claiming they kept the heat in.

When he found out I was serving, in an ominous drill-sergeant cadence, he instructed me to let the hot water run in the Sacristy sink for 20 minutes, until it got piping hot, before filling the foot carafe.

Apparently he had been burned, or should I say “iced” in the past.

I can still see the steam rising from the basin as I filled up the stainless steel pitcher, following instructions perfectly.

Since Dad wasn’t one to cause a public scene, I had to wait until after Mass to find out how the plan worked.

He was thrilled.

“Great job Habibi” that’s what he called me…”for the first time in 30 years I didn’t have a near death experience on Holy Thursday.”

In so many ways, Jesus could’ve easily gotten cold feet as he sensed the shadow of the cross the night of His last supper.

With all the power in the world to mitigate pain on Calvary, no favors from His next of kin were requested, other than the giving of His blessed mother to the care of John the beloved Apostle.

Thank you Lord that your lack of cold feet let us live forever…thank you St. Mark’s hot water heater that you let me live past the age of 10.

IMG_1369[1]

Our 2 Priests and 2 Deacons Washing Feet

 

Heaven Is For Real Movie Review

April 16, 2014

The road to heaven sometimes requires going out of State.

In this case, Natalie and I had to visit Rensselaer, NY, to see Heaven Is For Real.

Turns out Pittsfield area theaters weren’t offered the film, even though at least one showed the trailer a few weeks ago.

Little Colton Burpo, played by Connor Corum, is the best part of the movie.

He deserves a baby Oscar.

There’s something about the innocence and honesty of a child I find irresistible.

It’s no wonder God came to earth as one.

There’s really nothing to give away in this review either.

The spoiler is that the eternal bliss you’re hoping for is given up by a four-year-old with no agenda.

See it if you can, it’s worth the trip.

And if you decide to investigate the local blackout, give the manager the benefit of the doubt, remember, he knows only Christians would call to complain…or I should I say, “politely State our case.”

Jesus

PS…this movie is fine for children of all ages…the PG rating made no sense to me.

 

Muslims We Might Want to Support

April 15, 2014

Just when you think it’s safe to make sweeping generalizations about people with whom we don’t concur, something happens that makes you think again.

Imagine that 17 or 18 Presbyterian cab drivers in Cleveland walked off the job over a religious conflict?

Could you guess why?

Here’s a hint…some promoting a lifestyle that caused such a stir recently sued a photographer for doing the same thing…refusing to engage in what she considered morally objectionable.

Truth is, there were no Presbyterian cabbies…they were Muslims.

Are they being violent?

Hardly.

Are they threatening death?

No evidence.

Are they making a personal sacrifice in the name of God?

Hard to argue they aren’t.

Are they doing what most so called Christians wouldn’t?

Maybe.

You know what…Allahu just got a little bit more Akbar in my book.

Thank you Habibis…I’m proud of what you did…and God is never mocked.

Or should I say played games with?

http://www.19actionnews.com/story/25217664/cab-controversy-some-cleveland-cabbies-refusing-to-promote-a-major-event

I wonder how many of these cabbies will be slapped with a law suit?

Or do the lovers in question only harass Christians because they’re less likely to take revenge.

Hmmm…vengeance is really God’s anyways.

It’s much more civil that way.

NYC Mosque

 

Shake, Cattle and Role Reversal

April 14, 2014

Last week conservatives everywhere were shook-up over the Bureau of Land Management’s attempt to corral a Nevada rancher whose family had been grazing cattle on the same tract of land for over 100 years.

But…thanks to the new media’s internet stampede, the Government blinked and gave up their wild west mission.

http://m.sltrib.com/sltrib/mobile3/57810957-219/amp-cattle-bundy-blm.html.csp

In my book, in spite of their initial PC position, Obama and his people made the correct decision to saddle up and ride on home.

I don’t care about their motives.

In a bitter irony, the Nevada Republican Party has dropped a long time Pro-Life plank from their platform.

http://www.lifenews.com/2014/04/14/nevada-republican-party-strips-pro-life-language-on-abortion-from-its-platform/

Conservatives in the herd are mooing pretty loud.

Are they going to repent?

I sure hope so.

But if not, that golden calf of an idea won’t buy too many votes.

Cattle Ranchers in Nevada

 

A Private Message to Pregnant Women in Crisis

April 13, 2014

First of all, if you’re an ardent Pro-Choicer, please don’t read this article…it’s not for you.

Surf over to Huffington Post or MSNBC or something…this is a private matter between me and my pregnant readers in crisis.

I’m dead serious…go away!

Are you gone?

Good…

Now listen ladies…a local Pro-Lifer wrote a letter to the editor yesterday that I liked.

Here’s an excerpt.

While my aunt lay dying she told me that she had two abortions and never had a day gone by that she hadn’t thought about the two children she had aborted.

Liberals, like the ones I just shooed away, like to argue against “playing God” saying “a woman has the right to choose” to kill her own child, because it’s “her body”.

Hypotheticals are a huge part of their argument.

“What about rape, incest, or the life of the mother?”…all of which are very real, but still, less than 1% of the reason for millions of abortions each year.

May I ask…is that one of your reasons?

I thought not.

Would you be so kind as to permit me to make one very short hypothetical argument?

Good…thank you.

Let’s just say a lady Panda Bear is pregnant.

And let’s imagine she’s decided to start pounding away at her stomach with a large branch from an oak tree, to kill her unborn cub.

Who would dare argue that a zookeeper is “playing God” if he or she tried to stop her?

Everyone agrees that unborn Panda is very rare and part of an endangered species, worth fighting hard to keep alive.

Have you ever imagined that your blood line is just as rare?

That you and your children are as important to God and your family as that Panda cub is to the zoo?

Fact is, and it’s not hypothetical, Jesus came to earth to die for the sins of murder, rape and incest.

The blood of Christ can make everything right in your life…even if you’re afraid to carry full term…He won’t forsake you…just pray for help…it will come, because the Bible says your child has Angels to protect him.

But…and this is a big “but”…just as surely as Christ’s blood can heal your life…the blood of your child can ruin it, breaking your heart every day, as he calls out to you from the grave.

Is it really worth stopping your bloodline to keep things convenient in your life?

If things are that bad, there are adoption centers that will embrace you and help your baby find a great home.

Just try.

You will never, ever, regret doing the right thing.

Think about that poor innocent Panda Bear inside her mother’s womb…waiting to be loved.

Who could possibly explain to that little Bear what was really going on with it’s mother, when all that precious creature knows is love for the one who’s carrying him.

Baby Panda

 

 

 

Shoe Throwing At Hillary…No Soul Deserves That

April 12, 2014

There may not be many folks you know further to the right than me.

Obviously I’m no celebrity pundit, like Limbaugh or Hannity, but I am public about my leanings, and chances are, if you read this obscure and at times annoying blog, you know me.

Thank you by the way for your charity.

A few days ago, a woman with some type of grievance tossed a shoe at Hillary Clinton, who was on stage at an event in Las Vegas.

To be fair…if Hillary Clinton eventually does run for President again, I’ll likely be the first to point out her shortcomings as a leader.

But…I won’t throw things at her, nor encourage anyone else to behave beneath the dignity of a Christian lady or gentleman.

If you want to make a loud statement, write a letter to the editor, or organize a peaceful protest, or simply talk about what you believe to your friends and family, with or without the internet…all well within your 1′st Amendment rights.

But…stooping to childish and potentially dangerous antics, like the tossing of footwear, which could’ve easily injured Mrs. Clinton’s eye…that makes me crazy.

God please remind us all, that debate actually does become hate, when it’s accompanied by violence.

Every soul God created deserves dignity and respect from their fellow man…whether we know them personally or not.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/shoe-hillary-clinton-woman-accused-105652.html

Clinton and Idiot Shoe Thrower

Muhammad vs Ali

April 11, 2014

I miss the golden days of boxing.

Heavy weight fights between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier were probably my all time favorites.

I feel privileged to have lived through that era.

What made the man’s fights so intriguing was his sold-out rejection of war.

Ali never did jail time, but he did lose three years of his prime, for refusing to serve in Viet Nam.

Yet when the man entered the ring, he was a cunning warrior.

Fast forward to another version of Muhammad…the radical Muslim community.

Their influence over Brandeis University makes me feel ashamed to be from the same State.

Only in a world gone mad can one standing up to atrocities imposed on women be invited to speak at Brandeis University and then summarily uninvited because of politically correct cowardice.

Thank you Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for fearing no man or institution.

Like my favorite fighter of the past, you must stick to your principles, no matter the cost.

History will remember the truth.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/ayaan-hirsi-ali-speaks_786719.html?nopager=1

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Muhammad Ali

 

 

Cleveland Browns Management Style

April 10, 2014

One of the easiest ways to tell how things are going with an NFL team is to count how often coaches are turned over.

It’s time we start comparing the Obama Administration to the Cleveland Browns.

With flashes of greatness every now and then, but a predictably disastrous end, year after year after year, the Browns have been only consistent in replacing their head coaches.

Check out this graph from the beginning (to be fair, they’ve had new owners along the way).

# Name Term[N 2] Regular season Playoffs Achievements
GC W L T Win% GC W L Win%
1 Paul Brown 19461962 214 158 48 8 .767 14 9 5 .643 Four AAFC championships (1946, 1947, 1948, 1949)[11]
Three NFL championships (1950, 1954, 1955)[12]
Seven NFL Conference championships(1950–55,1957)
1949, 1951, and 1953 Sporting News NFL Coach of the Year[13]
1957 UPI NFL Coach of the Year[7]
2 Blanton Collier* 19631970 112 76 34 2 .691 7 3 4 .429 NFL Champion in 1964
Four Eastern conference champions (1964, 1965, 1968, 1969)
Three Century Division Champions (1967,1968, 1969)
3 Nick Skorich 19711975 56 30 24 2 .556 2 0 2 .000 AFC Central Division Champions 1971
4 Forrest Gregg 19751977 41 18 23 0 .439 1976 Associated Press (AP) NFL Coach of the Year[16]
5 Dick Modzelewski* 1977 1 0 1 0 .000
6 Sam Rutigliano* 19781984 97 47 50 0 .485 2 0 2 .000 1979 and 1980 UPI NFL Coach of the Year,[7]
AFC Central Division Champions 1980
7 Marty Schottenheimer 19841988 71 44 27 0 .620 6 2 4 .333 1986 UPI NFL Coach of the Year[7]
Three AFC Central Division Champions (1985, 1986 and 1987)
8 Bud Carson* 19891990 25 11 13 1 .458 2 1 1 .500 AFC Central Division Champions 1989
9 Jim Shofner* 1990 7 1 6 0 .143
10 Bill Belichick 19911995 80 36 44 0 .450 2 1 1 .500
[N 3] 19961998
11 Chris Palmer* 19992000 32 5 27 0 .156
12 Butch Davis* 20012004 58 24 34 0 .414 1 0 1 .000
13 Terry Robiskie 2004 6 1 5 0 .167
14 Romeo Crennel 20052008 64 24 40 0 .375
15 Eric Mangini 20092010 32 10 22 0 .313
16 Pat Shurmur* 20112012 32 9 23 0 .281
17 Rob Chudzinski* 2013 16 4 12 0 .250
18 Mike Pettine*

When the Browns fired Rob Chudzinski at the end of the 2013 season, after just one attempt, it appeared anyone thinking about taking his place would have to be pretty desperate.

Isn’t it about time Cleveland Browns fans stood up and said “enough” to the owners?

And today we learn that the disastrous Obamacare law, headed up by Kathleen Sebelius, is now her Waterloo.

That’s right, she’s resigning, or at least that’s what’s being reported.

And, is it not arguably still opening day?

Health care isn’t like a football season, it’s far more like a climate in the region, that lasts for centuries.

And who can argue that the health care climate is improving?

The whole idea behind the Affordable Care Act, was that it would be affordable, which it isn’t, caring, which it’s not, and would act, or in other words, work, which it isn’t.

Goodbye Mrs. Sebelius, your boss is the reason it failed,…but in this case, the people are so mad, they’ll allow you to shoulder some of the blame.

Obama and Sebelius

Brandon Spikes and The NFL Slaves

April 9, 2014

It’s hard to be surprised over anything a disgruntled NFL player says on Twitter.

I was a fan of linebacker Brandon Spikes when he was on the Patriots…he had several big games.

But he’s a Buffalo Bill now, making a bigger name for himself declaring he was “4 years a slave,” while working for Mr. Robert Kraft in Foxboro.

Does he understand what the NFL is?

Yes Brandon, you were “property” of the Patriots–then–when you became a free agent, you chose to become “property” of the Bills.

In fact, by your definition, there are 1,696 slaves in the NFL, 53 per team, earning an average salary of $1.9 million per year. (including your $3.25 million with Buffalo)

Fortunately, real slavery in America is dead and civil rights are alive, thanks to two Republicans named Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.

What’s not dead is overreaction to disappointment, and the habit some folks have of making inflammatory statements for no good reason.

Good luck in Buffalo Brandon…just watch out for those mean old Coaches with whistles…you never know when one might hurt your feelings by asking you to work a bit harder.

And as for Mr. Kraft…you couldn’t have asked for a better owner.

Brandon Spikes


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