Archive for August, 2011

Google No More

August 31, 2011

One of the greatest compliments to any brand name product, is making it into a verb.

Google is a search engine.

The word “google” is now a verb in our culture, as people say to one another now, “google it.”

I admit, their system is top-notch.

Unfortunately they are discriminating against Christians.

I recently learned about their unwillingness to permit Pro Life advertisements to appear on their site.

It was on that day I disabled my Google tool bar.

One nice thing about that is when one disables it, they ask why.

I’ll let you guess if I had courage enough to give them a piece of  my mind.

If you are hearing this for the first time I have a new word for you.

“Ungoogle it.”

Yahoo works fine.

And tell them Jimmy sent you.


My Nicest Complement

August 30, 2011

As some of you know, sitting behind the wheel of your car, I spent a few years peddling them here in Pittsfield.

I remember well the day I walked into the dealer’s office, it was a Saturday, and told him, with complete confidence, “I’d be one of his best salesman in less than a year.”

I lied.

It was less than six months.

There was another younger sales rep there at the time, quite talented, let’s call him Simon.

Not only that, Simon was a distant relative, so I could not help but like him.

We Lebs are like that.

I don’t remember what it was that inspired Simon to say this, but when he did, I never forgot it.

He said something like:

Maz…you’re just like E.F. Hutton…when you talk…people listen.

E.F. Hutton was a stock brokerage firm, that had a succesful TV commercial campaign…a client would be out in public listening to his Hutton Broker and everyone else in the general vicinity would lean in to hear what he had to say.

Now you know why I like Simon.

In today’s Liturgy there are several references made about the benefits of rightly spoken words and edification.

Check this out.

I Thess 5: 11: Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.

Luke 4: Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”  Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm.
They were all amazed and said to one another,
“What is there about his word?  For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” 

It’s never the wrong time to edify someone.

It’s also never the wrong time to live in the authority of the Word of God.

When we do either, we enable good to be what it was created to be.

Simon says.

The Morning After…

August 29, 2011

Across the east coast today, millions of Americans will be heading out of their homes for the first time in 24 hours.

Like well-behaved citizens, we hunkered down waiting for Irene to pass.

Ironically, after the eye of the relatively tame storm had traveled over Pittsfield, bearing down on Vermont, the tail end, the most southerly band, kicked in and knocked out our power.

Still, we here in Pittsfield, were saved from the worst.

My prayers, that our city would be spared severe damage, were answered.

We call that God’s Grace…there’s no other explanation.

For one to pray, even if faith is tiny, like a mustard seed, that itty-bitty thought has great potential.

Check out the results of this pending supernatural event, from today’s first reading in the Liturgy, I Thessalonians 4,  coming to a world near you.

For the Lord himself, with a word of command,
with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God,
will come down from heaven,
and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left,
will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air.
Thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore, console one another with these words.

With a hurricane, even if we pray, there’s no guarantee we’ll escape the effects of nature.

With salvation from God’s wrath, when we pray, there is.

Because of the saving nature of Christ’s death and the promises of redemption to those who follow Him to Calvary’s great altar, we can predict future events.

Yes, it is still Grace, but, this newsworthy event is written by us in advance.

(Batteries, flashlights, water) & (faith in His death and resurrection.)

The last group is really all you need.

Good Morning Irene

August 28, 2011

I feel a bit like a reporter, compelled to share the facts.

It’s the Sunday morning of the day Irene the Hurricane entered New England.

The swath of this storm is so wide, 500 miles, that the steady rain began last night in the Berkshires around 11 pm.

It has not let up.

The wind still has not come, which means we have power.

Today’s first reading, from Jeremiah 20, (luckily I went to the 4 o’clock Mass Saturday) might as well be my “About” page here on WordPress.

Whenever I speak, I must cry out,
violence and outrage is my message;
the word of the LORD has brought me
derision and reproach all the day.

I say to myself, I will not mention him,
I will speak in his name no more.
But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,
imprisoned in my bones;
I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.

Like others, with a burning passion to speak Truth, we’re called to constantly let it drop…like steady rain.

Eventually, after enough of it falls, everything is soaked.

There’s a powerful focal point to hurricane rain…it’s the eye of the storm.

Big mouth preachers like me, indignant about injustice…well…you read the Scripture…we can’t hold it in, because we’re close to the eye and we believe Him.

If the world mocks our positions…well…consider the source and consider what our enemy is fighting to hold on to…an eternal soul.

God has His plans, even for hurricanes.

One of the best families in Pittsfield happens to own Carr Hardware.

I went there yesterday around noon to buy flashlights.

I’ve never seen the store so crowded with people not haggling over the price of anything.

They were just buying.

I liked that. 

Survival is a fairly high priority these days.

Thank you Lord, for Truth you put in our hearts that burns.

Our wide path is a good thing.

It touches more people.

And, when the eye of the storm hits them…that’s when the “mea culpas” multiply.

FYI…7:36 am…the winds are starting to pick up, just a tiny bit.

Editor’s note…this is blog number 500…a coincidence.

Porgy and Bess at Tanglewood

August 27, 2011

Last night my wife and I were given Shed tickets to see the Gershwin musical Porgy & Bess.

Since all the songs were done by true operatic voices, I confess, I initially had difficulty understanding some words.

After three or four numbers, I picked up on the banter.

It was “Gullah” dialect, a nickname blacks in Charleston, SC came up with for slaves descended from Angola, being sung in the most difficult of all medians–Opera.

The African-American community must be extremely proud of their singers, skilled enough to perform in this most famous of all American Operas.

The audience was enthralled, the 100 member BSO chorus, a backdrop of white folk, dressed in white, was comic relief in nearly every scene.

As I sat there, realizing the President had just cut short his Massachusetts Martha’s Vineyard vacation, just a few miles away, I could not help but think, he and the family would have loved this production.

I’m not being facetious.

This was a big time opportunity for him to promote the accomplishments of African-Americans.

I’m convinced the only way the President can make a valid point using race is when he discusses the victories of his people, not the victim status.

Liberals have a hard time grasping that concept.

There’s a great line in the Opera by one of the men from Catfish Row.

He sings something like, “how can I send my chillun to college if I don’t work hard to earn money?”

The mind-set was quite different way back when.

Hardships cultures endure are not punishment, they’re opportunities to sharpen their blades, so they can eventually cut through inferiority lies Satan throws their way.

Thank you Boston Symphony Orchestra…it’s summertime and the livin’ is easy.

“Shrinking” Pedophilia

August 26, 2011

I’ve been trying to ignore this story.

It keeps resurfacing and yesterday I read an article that helped me realize this topic needs a bit of exposure to the Truth.

It seems there’s a creepy growing movement to remove the stigma of adults who are attracted to children.

Psychologists and Psychiatrists are furthering the cause, like it or not, with new terms to round off the harsh edged sounds of the cursed behavior.

They now call it “minor attraction.”

I call it “major mistake.”

A family in France recently allowed their 10-year-old daughter to appear in Vogue magazine wearing ridiculously provocative makeup and attire.

What the heck are these people thinking?

Many of us with daughters or a sister, remember the days when she would parade around the house in mommy’s high heel shoes, dress and hat, with pretend lipstick from the candy store.

It was cute because it was done privately in the home and was spontaneously generated by a child’s simple curiosity to be a grown up.

No one took their photos and uploaded them to anything.

Opposites are the norm now.

Pedophiles have cute new names and parents are dressing up children, then setting up fan pages for the masses to see.

Here’s a bit of Biblical perspective.

Luke 17:2;

It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.

Here’s the deal…

When little ones sin, because of an adult’s reckless behavior, they’re not the ones on whom God places the most severe punishment.

Rightfully, the wrath goes to the elder.

Anything we might do, even curiously clicking on the fan page of one of these abused children, if it encourages her behavior and causes her to sin, you guessed…miller time.

Since I have no idea how to do a windsor knot with a millstone, I think I’ll just stick to when browsing the net.

As far as Shrinks are concerned and those poor victim souls suffering from “minor attraction”…you’ve been warned.

Are You My Mother?

August 25, 2011

There’s a cute book my mother bought me as a child called Are You My Mother?

It was about a little bird who walked around asking everything and everybody it saw…”Are you my mother?”

Instinctively, most living things yearn for a loving mother.

I don’t know the scientific reason.

I do know the spiritual.

God our Father created us in His image, to have what He has, i.e. a family life.

As Catholics, we embrace Mary as our mother.

In the Old Testament, historically speaking, when we examine the children of Israel, the Queen was actually the mother of the King, not his wife.

That’s why she was called–Queen Mother.

When a man was anointed by a prophet, as was Solomon and David, the most important and revered vessel through which they came, their mothers, were also promoted to Queen Mother.

So, when anti-Mary folks criticize Catholics for honoring Mary as our Queen Mother, they are denouncing an Old Testament Hebrew tradition and mocking Christ’s privilege to see His mother blessed, just as those before Him were.

If you’re yearning for a mother, you are no different from the rest of us.

She was there all the time–you just didn’t recognize her.

Or, if you did, some ill-advised Christian gave you bad information.

Race Card–No Trump Card

August 24, 2011

I love families who stick together.

One cannot help but admire them.

I get all googly-eyed myself, whenever sports heroes like Doug Flutie, or celebrities like Danny Thomas are mentioned.

It’s not racism, to favor your own that is; it’s colloquialism.

Over the past few days, two Black Congresswomen, Maxine Waters of California and Frederica Wilson of Florida, have attacked the Tea Party, in ways reminiscent of the worst kind of racial comments.

Frederica said yesterday, at a town hall meeting, “we know who the real enemy is…the Tea Party.”

Didn’t Hitler say that of the Jews?

She did get one thing right and that is the Tea Party wants to make President Obama a “one-termer.”

Listen up ladies…the disbelief in Barrack’s ability to lead have nothing to do with heritage, but everything to do with policies.

They’re not working.

Not only are his ideas bad, they’re making the hole in the bottom of the ship larger every day; or should I say every minute?

The revelation yesterday, that the national debt is rising 3 million dollars per minute, is the trump card all politicians should be playing right now, to reform our giant government overreach.

The race card, thrown down by Frederica and Maxine, is nothing more than the instruction card you throw away.

It’s wasted paper that no one even looks at, having no impact on the game.

You go girls..away that is.

Maxed Out…By Maxine

August 23, 2011

First order of business;

Dear Maxine Waters,

My prayer for you is that you will be saved and know God for eternity.

My prayer for all liberals, including the President, is the same.



I remember the days when the word “Hell” was so offensive to say or use, society avoided it.

It was almost like the word “Voldemort” in Harry Potter.

It was the name we dare not say.

Here are some of the things we called it.

  • Hades
  • H.E. Double Hockey Stick
  • The Other Place
  • The Bad Place
  • Gehenna
  • Down There

Congresswoman Maxine Waters must not have had Sister Maria Francis as a teacher.

This has been quite the week.

First she taunted the President about spending too much time on the road, visiting parts of the country where the black community is non-existent.

She then asked her constituents for permission to criticize him to do more for unemployed African-Americans.

I’m sure the President’s followers appreciated her asking permission, before sending him “down there.”

My dad often said, the only person to whom it was “O.K.” to say “go to hell” was the Devil…because that was his home, and we were just sending him back where he belonged.

Otherwise, saying such things to any human being, broke all the rules.

Maxine, you don’t seem that young, but is there any chance your parents are still around, to hear your comments to fellow Americans?

If so, my guess is your folks aren’t too happy.

When you say, “The Tea Party,” who exactly do you mean?

If you mean me, I say, thanks, but no thanks.

I definitely deserve to go to “the bad place,” but by the mercy of Jesus, I am redeemed.

No matter who we are as Christians, it is our job to lead others to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Politics are never as important as eternal things.

Romans 10 makes a few interesting points and even shows us another way to say…you know…that bad word.

6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’”(that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’”(that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

I forgive you Maxine.

You seem so stressed.

The Mark of the Triathlete

August 22, 2011

I really do admire people with enough discipline to compete in the triathlon.

I need to make that clear up front.

Because from here on, I’ll be making an analogy about them, just to make a point, and, if they picked up this article midstream, it could make them mad.

This is pure analogy, nothing more.

As my wife and I checked into the Sheraton in Burlington, VT, over the weekend, to finish delivering son number two back to College, we noticed a giant triathlon sign in the lobby and amazingly fit people walking high-tech bicycles around.

Each one, in addition to physiques like Michael Phelps, also wore giant painted numbers on their arms and legs.

I have no idea what kind of paint they use, but it must be good, as we still saw it on arms at breakfast the next day.

I mentioned to my wife, there’s a unique trait all these great athletes inherit.

When one gets close enough to them, it jumps out at you.

From a distance, their bodies are void of excess calories, unlike mine.

They really do resemble 17-year-old cross-country runners.

But, up close, while waiting for a table for breakfast, one can clearly see the effects of weather and wind on their faces.

From the neck up, they seem to age fast and their lines are deep and leathery.

Surely the incredible time spent battling wind and sun take their toll.

They don’t seem bothered by it though.

In the  long run, they’ll win the battle of health over Lazy-Boy spuds like me.

It truly is a culture of dedication and extreme discipline.

Anytime I see a number mark on someone’s arm, I can’t help but think about the Book of Revelation and the coming mark of the Beast.

I’m not an eschatology professor, so don’t expect an explanation on when and how, etc…

But, I have to think, in some way, when he does come, those who follow him will look great from a distance.

It’s prophesied that he will  promise them safety and security from a God he claims has failed them.

We believers know that’s a lie.

And, when one turns their face toward darkness and sin, the effects are impossible to stop.

Their will be a terrible cost to those who believe in him as their savior.

The mark will never wash off and the pain of separation from God will be eternal.

Lord, help us be your Light to the world, speaking Truth, to those who turn to the wrong one.

We must not be silent, nor act in ways that neutralize our testimony.

We too must have the discipline to run the good race, pointing to a far greater finish line where eternal life is the prize any pilgrim can win.