Friday, July 28, 2006

Comic Relief

And another one from my e-mail box, courstesy of Catherine Garcia:

**********

If you're not familiar with the work of Steven Wright, he's the famously erudite scientist and comic who once said, "I woke up one morning and all of my stuff had been stolen and replaced by exact duplicates." His mind sees things differently than most of us do, to our amazement and amusement.

Here are some of his gems:

1 - I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
2 - Borrow money from pessimists; they don't expect it back.
3 - Half the people you know are below average.
4 - 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
5 - 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
6 - A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
7 - A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
8 - If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.
9 - All those who believe in psycho-kinesis, raise my hand.
10 - The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
11 - I almost had a psychic girlfriend, but she left me before we met.
12 - OK, so what's the speed of dark?
13 - How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?
14 - If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
15 - Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
16 - When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
17 - Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
18 - Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.
19 - I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
20 - If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
21 - Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
22 - What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
23 - My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
24 - Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
25 - If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
26 - A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
27 - Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
28 - The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
29 - To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
30 - The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
31 - The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
32 - The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.
33 - Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have film.
34 - If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?

The Scent Of God

While I have normally waited until Sundays to post a story like this, with my longest absence from 'blogging to date, I think the message is too important to leave until then. Again, a forwarded e-mail from an acquaintance, with slight editing:

++++++++++

In Dallas, Texas the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery. Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.

At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs.

"I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one."

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.

"No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.

But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw', the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there. At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, "Do you smell that?"

Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain."

Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?"

Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like rain."

Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest; and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Cat In Heaven

Catherine Garcia has posted this joke on her 'blog.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Guest Comedianne

Julie D. at Happy Catholic posts jokes on a very regular basis. Here's the lastest.

And the geek will inherit the world?

Where In The World

I have a Frappr map now on the 'blog. Visitors to this "infinitesimal corner of the universe" are welcomed and encouraged to "stick their push pin" in it. While I have an idea of where some of my readers' hometowns are, I am curious to know how far flung my small voice has reached.

Some Soul Food

Much of my personal library consists of self-help/inspirational titles, most of which are of a secular nature. I do look for ways to become better (the "pray as though...work as though..." mindset). An acquaintance sent me a link to an interest presentation. Based on a poem from an unknown author, much like "Footprints", it is a reminder that God is here with us.

Here is "The Interview With God".

There is also has another presentation called "Pathways To Peace", a series of quotes from various people which topics includes some of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

These two are the beginning of a series of five such presentations from a group called Get Inspired Now.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Prayer Suppliment

Wolftracker, the 'blogmaster at Kansas City Catholic (a fine source of what's happening in the Kansas City, MO area on things Catholic), puts together a short "on this date in Church history" post. He points out it was this day in 1917 the third visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the children of Fatima, Portugal occured. It was on that visit the children were asked "to add to the end of each decade of the Holy Rosary" this prayer:
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Your Mercy.
Again, "Behold Thy Mother."

A Defense Of Faith

Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you.
1 Peter 3:15
As that is the meaning of the above verse, are you ready to apologize? I have struggled with the rhetoric of Jehovah's Witnesses, missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and sola Scripture fundamentalists because it is usually in a "context" of debating (the win/lose model). It would be more beneficial to my emotions just to "speak the Truth in love."

With that in mind, from the website Our Catholic Faith, here is "An Open Letter To Non-Catholics", which explains why the Church is the "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church" founded by Jesus Christ.

(Fedora Doff to Moneybags at A Catholic Life.)

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Praying Rock



A little over a year ago, an acquaintance sent me this image. It is a well done optical illusion. If you haven't discovered it yet, the secret is to tilt your head to the left until you see the reflection join the rock formation. You will see a woman and child praying.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

It's All Grace

I received a call last night to be the Lector for the 10:30 AM Mass today. Not a lot of prep time, but the readings for today were short. Today's Second Reading (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) struck a chord with me, especially these words:
"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness."
At times I speculate if the only thing as strong as the grace of God is our free will and ability to say "no" to it. At times I wonder how much grace I have wasted in my life as well as saying, "There but for the grace of God go I." At times I contemplate on this lack of faith and pray to be strengthened.

I need all the help I can get.

"Lord, I do believe; help my lack of faith."

Friday, July 07, 2006

Mid-Summer Chuckle

This just found my way into my e-mail box, courtesy of fellow B-Teamer Catherine Garcia (who gets a Fedora Doff). While I have heard it before, it is still amusing.
The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note and posted it on the apple tray:

"Take only ONE. God is watching."

Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note:

"Take all you want. God is watching the apples. "

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

My First Day

It is now official, as of the date stamp (as best as I have been able to piece together the story).

I have existed in this world since this date in 1962. My "coming out" party, in a sense.
What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him?
You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor.

Psalm 8:5-6
May God grant me the grace to give Him glory and honor in the way I live my life. May this coming year be worthy of a life lived for Him. May I be blessed as He sees fit.

I ask this through Christ my Lord. Amen.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Kudos To Boston

One of the better 'blogs going in St. Blog's Parish.

Domeninco Bettinelli has now been posting for five years. Check out his first post. Also, check out that layout. (My how things have changed.)

By the way, Dom is still looking for work. I encourage you, if you have it in your means, to help him out financially while he searches. The two ladies in his life (Melanie and Isabella) have got the right guy in their lives. All would appreciate the support.

Halftime Speech

This is the 183rd. day of the calendar year. We are half-way through 2006.

Go back to your New Year's resolutions, if you made them. How are you doing with them? Which ones have you successfully completed? Which ones are still a work in progress but moving steadily toward your goal? Which ones have faltered, even though they still are worthy of your effort?

Take an honest look at where you were, where you are, and where you would like to be. Have you seen a change, even though it may seem imperceptible?

Perhaps now is the time to renew your resolve and commitment, whether with what you are striving to accomplish or some new challenge.

As Theodore Roosevelt stated, humanity is at its best when it is in striving for something:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Go Forward.

UPDATE (7/5): I goofed. July 2 is the half-way point of the year. The message still stands.