May 2018

sun with flowers and buterflies

HUMOR

What type of shoes does a frog wear? Sandals which are open-toad

CHURCH BULLETIN: Our minister is retiring from our church this Sunday. Will you please send in a small donation? The congregation wants to give him a little momentum.

Among the questions on the job-application form was one asking whom to notify in case of an accident. One job seeker wrote, “Anybody in sight.”

Sometimes we forget to turn off the sound when our minds go blank.

Apple pie and speeches are improved with shortening.

I’m not in love with the present – For the good old days I pine – When the government lived within its income – And without so much of mine.

I could have listened to that introduction all evening, and for a while I thought I would have to.

A gossip is a person with a keen sense of rumor.

I owe my life to Justin Bieber. I was in a coma for two years, until a nurse played one of his songs on the radio, and I just had to wake up and turn it off.

As the minister was leaving the execution chamber containing the electric chair, the condemned man asked him to hold his hand.

EDITORIAL OPINION – CREMATION

My wife, Dorothy, chose to be cremated after the death of her body rather than be buried in a casket.

This made it very easy for me. I asked my niece, Linda, to contact a funeral home and make arrangements. All I did was pay the bill.

And I did not get involved with making plans with the Bryn Athyn Church for a burial, Cathedral service, with music and a minister. Nor did I get involved in planning for a reception after a memorial service. My thinking was that the angels were taking very good care of Dorothy and if anyone cared to comfort me, they would do so. And they have, including our NOT “holier-than- thou” pastor.

I did not need any period of closure, whatever that word means. I know that Dorothy is in the spiritual world and I am in the natural world. I accept this reality and this is very stabilizing to my emotions.

Dorothy had Alzheimer’s disease for about seven years and I was strengthened by the Lord to take care of her every day at our home over that period of time. She never took any medicines for this disease with their nasty side effects.

The last nine days of her life were spent in a most wonderful hospice, (Jefferson Health Home Care and Hospice) in Warminister, Pa.

And Dorothy never had any bodily pain. Nor did she get mean-spirited.

She wanted to go home to her childhood friends and her Mommy. And as I saw her reaching the very end of her journey in the natural world, I stoked her forehead gently and said sweetly, “It’s time to go home to Mommy now.” And she did.

EDITORIAL OPINION – HOLDING HANDS

Two weeks after Dorothy entered the spiritual world, I was taking my daily walk around Pine Run Park. And suddenly I became aware that Dorothy was holding my hand, as was her custom during our eighteen years of marriage. This sensation continued until the end of our walk.

I had not intended to tell anyone of this wonderful experience but one day I did e-mail my wife’s sister, Barbara, about what happened to me.

Here is her response: “I truly believe Dorothy was holding your hand. When my mother died I was walking the track at the high school and I felt Mother hold my hand all around the track. I never forgot it. Dorothy is watching you. She loved you so….”

Not only did she love me, I believe, but she still loves me. And I love her, my “forever wife.” I thank the Lord for bringing us together and I hope to dwell with her to eternity in heaven.

During the last few days in hospice care, I told Dorothy that I thought it would be a good idea to make a flower garden this spring. Although she could not speak, I saw her face brighten. And I went on to tell her that I would do the hard work of digging the garden but that she, if she wanted to, could pick out the flowers to buy. Then she could plant them as her artistic sense guided her.

I could tell that she really loved this idea. I mentioned it several times as she lay in her bed and she always warmed to hear of these plans.

But I knew that she would soon be in the spiritual world, and I thought that I would plant some flowers in the natural world as she prepared to so in the spiritual world. Yes, I am sure that is what we will do.

Below are the first and last verses of a poem by Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) entitled Parting.

There’s no use in weeping,
Though we are condemned to part.
There’s such a thing as keeping
A remembrance in one’s heart.

So there’s no use in weeping,
Bear a cheerful spirit still;
Never doubt that Fate is keeping
Future good for present ill!

And below are some ideas from St. Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556.

LORD, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve You as You deserve:
To give without counting the cost,
To fight without heeding the wounds,
To toil without looking for rest,
To work without asking for reward,
Except the reward of knowing
That I am doing Your will.

MY COUSIN, TOM ILIFFE

Tom, now 69 years old, is still a professor of marine biology at the Texas A&M University in Galveston.

Here is some recent information he wrote about his life: “Around the globe, from Australia to the Mediterranean, from Hawaii to the Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean, I have explored more than 1,500 underwater caves over the last 40 years. The experience can be breathtaking. When you are down 60-100 feet in a cave that has zero light and is 20 miles long, you never know what you are about to see as you turn the next corner….

“My primary focus is searching for new forms of life – mostly white, eyeless crustaceans – that are specifically adapted to the totally dark, food-poor environment.

“It’s field work that can be a matter of life or death. I have had some close calls over the years, and sadly have lost several good friends and researchers in cave accidents.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tom and I are extremely different. He is a brave adventurer and ever since I almost drowned at age 15 in Lake Erie, I refuse to swim in any pond, lake or ocean.

HUMOR

I’ve had a request – but I will speak anyway.

My extra sensitive toothpaste doesn’t like it when I use other toothpastes.

IDEAS FROM NEW CHURCH LIFE – March/April issue

Below are some qualities of a humble person taken from a list on pages 150 & 151:

“Never holds others in contempt.

Speaks the truth.

Obeys the Lord’s commands.”

“In fact the Lord allowed Himself to be crucified not to appease the wrath of an angry, jealous Father, but to allow the evils and falsities of human arrogance to be exposed and to overcome those evils and falsities in the resurrection so that once and for all we could appreciate His Divine love, mercy, patience, forgiveness and wisdom.” (Page 118)

“The things that Jesus experienced, especially the suffering at the hands of his accusers, was a physical representation of how people had come to treat the Word.” (Page 110)

On page 173, we find this quote of the Writings through Swedenborg:

“In the following work, by the name LORD is meant the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, and Him only; and He is called ‘the Lord’ without adding any of the rest of His names. Throughout heaven He is acknowledged and worshiped as Lord because He has all power in the heavens and on earth. He also commanded His disciples so to call Him, saying, ‘You call me Lord, and you say well, for so I am.’ (John 13: 13) And this is what His disciples called Him after His resurrection: ‘the Lord.’” (Arcana Coelestia 14)

JUDGE NOT

Pray do not find fault with the man – who limps or stumbles along the road – unless you have worn the shoes he wears – or struggled beneath his load.

Don’t sneer at the man who’s down today – unless you have felt the blow – that caused his fall or felt the shame – that only the fallen know.

Don’t be harsh with the man who sins – or pelt him with word or stone – unless you are sure, yes, doubly sure – that you have no sins of your own.

ADVICE

If your troubles are deep-seated and long standing, try kneeling.

MORE ADVICE

Whenever you pass a church, always make a visit, so that when you’re carried there someday our Lord won’t ask, “Who is it?”

LOOK UP

When I am tempted to do evil – I look to the left and the right – And backward glance, then forward – Contented that no one’s in sight.

How much worry and grief I’d avoided – How often I’d kept out of sin – If only I looked up towards heaven – And felt God’s great power within.