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My Wide Blue Seas

Its All About The Journey


Name~ Hokule'a Kealoha

Short Bio~Hokule'a Kealoha is the Nom De Plume of a writer that formerly lived in Hawaii and is now living a life of adventure on the highways and byways of the American South . I am a Born Again follower of Jesus, as well as a wife, mother of cats and dogs,jeweler, entreprenuer, photographer and pilgrim...

Age~ Old enough to know better

Status~ Newly Single after 13 years of marriage,fur mom to the loving and devoted mini ShihTzu doggie Annabelle, born 6-11-2007 RIP 2-25-09, and the beautiful Abigail born 2-14-09

Hair Color~ natural brown/grey

Mood~ I ALWAYS have a mood, try me...

Loving~ Jesus, Hawaii, my furry friend, Abigail, my Pen Pals, Jewelry ,Blogging ,Writing anything,my Ipod,and being outdoors surrounded by my wonderful natural surroundings

Hating~ Boom Box Cars, Earspray, Abuse of Power,

  • Bible

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  • Underwired! Louisville's magazine for Women

  • In Store~The Magazine for the American Jeweler

  • Books in Progress...

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  • Just Finished Reading

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  • Jesus, Divine Mercy ~
    Learn About The Divine Mercy
    I Trust In You~

    My Favorite Past Posts~Relive The Journey!~
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  • 2008~
  • Be Thankful

  • Colateral Damage

  • Make Lemonade

  • Home Is Where The Heart Is

  • The Poor With Us

  • Because Its The Hardest Thing I Can Do

  • We Have All Become Victims

  • Lest I Forget

  • The Most Important Words

  • Family Values

  • Familiar Places

  • May Perpetual Light Shine On Them

  • A City In Motion

  • 2007~
  • The Quiet Storm

  • Fellowship of the Cane

  • Like Dead Unremembered: A 9-11 Tribute

  • The Medicine Machine

  • One Giant Leap

  • In The Steps of St. Francis

  • Too Much Information

  • The Un Choice

  • 2006~
  • The Holly and the Ivy

  • The First 9-11, Dec 7,1941

  • Small Moments of Silence

  • Peaches to Winnipeg

  • Dreaming of Hawaii

  • Memorial Day

  • Scattered Values

  • The White Line is the Lifeline for the Nation

  • Warnings of a New Civil War

  • I Will Be True To The Promise I Have Made

  • The Snowy Bloody Day

  • Cats in the Cradle

  • 2005~
  • The Journey

  • Rebirth of a City

  • For Posterity's Sake

  • The New Civil War

  • Every Mother's Son

  • And There You Stayed, Temporarily Lost at Sea

  • The Lone Rider

  • The Bible Is Not the Fourth Member of the Trinity

  • Rome Wasn't Built With Union Labor

  • Happy Birthday Mom ~revised~

  • A Beautiful Noise

  • Even Now

  • The Wearing of the Red

  • Night Ranger

  • The Joyful Traveler

  • Hoiliili "To Gather Up"

  • Ke Makakilo (My Observations)

  • He Giveth Sleep

  • Save The Children

  • 2004~
  • Lux Aeterna

  • December 2004

  • You're Joking, Right?

  • Ground Zero

  • I Am Not A Failure

  • O,To Grace, How Great A Debtor

  • Lost In Translation

  • One Small Step for Man

  • The Rainbow's End

  • Profanity

  • Taps

  • The Journey

  • Makoa's Song

  • No Aloha For The Weakest

  • The Paradoxical Comandments

  • The Time Is Now

  • 2003~
  • When No Fruit Is On The Vine

  • Photobucket
    St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
    St. Edith Stein~Pray for Us

    Religion Link List~

  • My Secret is Mine

  • Ignatius Insight-Online Magazine

  • Fr John Corapi SOLT

  • Dr. Scott Hahn St Paul Center

  • Fr. Mitch Pacwa~ Ignatius Productions

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  • Political Link List~
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  • Arkansas Link List~
  • Little Portion Hermitage

  • John Michael Talbot website

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  • 1st United Methodist Church Bella Vista

  • Northwest Arkansas Guide

  • Mimi's Cafe

  • Metro Woman Business Directory of NW Arkansas

  • River Grille

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  • Interactive Links~

    Live WebCam Feed from the Mauna Lani Resort, Kohalla, Big Island of Hawaii

    Click here for Aloha Joe!Live Hawaiian Music 24/7

    St Damein of Molokai'i,Patron Saint of Hawaii, Pray for us

    St. Damien of Molokai'i, Patron of Hawaii and the Outcasts among us, pray for us....

    Hawaii Links~ ~
  • For more Hawaii links Click Here

  • Volcano Updates (Pele's Mood Meter)Hawaii Volcano Observatory

  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

  • Volcano Watch Archives

  • Mauna Kea Observatory

  • Pacific Tsunami Museum

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  • Technorotica for Blogging~

    Blogarama - The Blog Directory

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  • Globe of Blogs~Blog search engine

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  • Wikipedia

  • Nuzio's Place on the Web

  • Commutefaster.com

  • PING ME!

  • MWBS Wordpress Edition

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  • Technorotica for Jewelers, and the Jewelry Trade~

  • Gemological Institute of America

  • The Drouhard National Jewelers School

  • The Conner School

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  • December 31, 2006

    The Blessings Of Obedience~Deuteronomy 28:1-14

    Late Fall at Lake Avalon

    Deuteronomy 28:1-14

    Blessings for Obedience

    And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

    The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

    December 28, 2006

    The Diet Deception

    Sunny Dahlia Descanso Gardens. Its OK for flowers to be fluffy but not people

    Message on my phone....Hoku, I don't want you to worry but I am going to ER, the guys at work are making me. I feel a little puny and my chest hurts a bit but I am ok. I don't want you to worry...

    I try to call but true to form his phone is turned off...Later He calls and I answer

    " Well they are offering me the option of being admitted or signing a waiver and taking pills""
    "Woody, why the pills, what are they saying is wrong with you, and don't even think of signing anything!"
    "Well, they are thinking I may be having some sort of heart related episode, and they have found some anomaly on the chest X ray they are concerned about."
    "You aren't leaving and you aren't signing anything. You let them look you over and I will bring you your stuff after work, or do you want me to come now..."
    "No you don't need to come now, they have me in this little room there is no place for a visitor to sit and hey they just brought me lunch, so other than all of the IV's stuck in me and the monitors I am fine...Really"

    I started to write a report of Christmas, but a bigger news item hit us broadside yesterday. Woody is in the hospital, with what may be... Who knows? This morning he had a treadmill test and did very well considering how heavy he is. That is the unique thing about him. He's no couch potato. On his feet, in all weather at the car lot, and running around on our days off, he likes to keep moving and do things...Which also includes great food and a lot of it. So this is the issue, and perhaps it has finally come home to roost.

    Woody had been seeing a diet doctor in Oklahoma, behind my back for about a month. The drugs this quack prescribed caused the chest pain and shortness of breath. Once they were out of his bloodstream his symptoms wore off. The Cardiologist that saw him admonished him to pitch the pills and try to do this weight loss a tad bit more sensibly. He was in very good over all physical condition other than his excess weight. Blood pressure was great if a bit on the low side is no longer a problem, cholesterol an amazing 169 (bad to good was a bit wonked and he is going on meds and is eating more fish, which he is good about. Blood sugar never got above 100 any time he was tested in the 48 hours he was there. So appearance and mobility are the only motivator for him to try to lose weight... The spot on his lung turned out to be poor imaging, a retake of the scan showed the"spot to be a part of his ribcage. He was discharged declared healthy and ready to go back to work the next day. Praise God for that

    I find myself in a similar position, with low blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar readings that are enviable in a family of diabetics. At Woody's Christmas party I managed to dance for several hours nearly continuously which surprised us both. The Sleep Doctor was also astonished that all of this is so, as Sleep Apnea tends to hasten the onset of these conditions and has earned the name "the silent killer" as a result.

    So why do two obviously obese people seem to be in such good shape? The answer is simple... We aren't glued to the tube. I walk a minimum of an hour five days a week and continuously move and streach. Woody has never held a job where he wasnt on his feet all day. I gave him a pedometer for Christmas so he could see how much he walked and to satisfy my own curiosity. We get out and go and do, sitting in a movie or spending the whole day watching sports inst our idea of fun.

    Woody went to this quack diet freak at the urging of coworkers at the Toyota store. When his boss called me to find out how he was I told him that if I ever found out that Woody was threatened, or cohersed in any way by the dealership to go and do this thing, I would own them. They could have killed him just as surely as if they popped those pills in his mouth themselves. Fat discrimination doesnt fly here and I am not going to put up with it. They endangered themselves and their patrons (imagine Woody having a heart attack on a freeway test drive or a car swap,scary stuff)

    The "Obesety Epidemic" is true and false. Americans, in fact the whole world is getting both larger and fatter due to better nutrition and availability of food. More people are getting enough to eat than ever before in man's history. But our food is filled with so much unnatural stuff, and our lives are so compressed that poor eating habits and poor nutrition are the norm rather than the exception. Putting the nation on a diet is a lovely idea but like shipping out 20 million illegal aliens not fesable. There are no quick fixes. Government regulation of fast food, or lap banding for everyone who's BMI is over....how do you judge that anyway? I saw a photo once of 30 women all sizes ages and races in workout gear and the caption said " all of these women are over their BMI by at least 15 percent" I was stunned there wasnt an ounce of fat on these gals. I turned the page and they were all in the uniform of the Yale Rowing Team. It was an ad for women to get help for eating disorders...

    I was "encouraged" by a family member while in California to get "help for my weight" "Surgery, Hoku, you can get a lap band and your problems will be over". Since I know about 20 people that have had Bariatic surgery and know that it is no picnic, and you are never the same again, I asked her "Why would I mutilate myself". I have looked into it and while I believe that surgery can fix a lot of things... like my having La-Sek on my eyes. Yes it wasnt easy and I paid a lot of money out of pocket but my vision went from 20-500 to 20-15 better than normal vision. Id do it again in a minute.

    But why would I pay to have my stomach stapled, so that I can eat two spoons of food every four hours, and starve myself to death, cutting years off my life and having uncontrolled diareaha, osteoporosis, ruining my skin and hair. Never being able to eat a cookie or a peice of bacon cause fat will cause you to be ill.. in fact most foods will cause you to be sick and you dont know which ones... This is torture reserved for those who have no other options. Like a freind of ours in California who was dying. She had Gastric bypass and lost 100 of her nearly 500 lbs in the hospital. She was severly athsmatic all of her life and was to the place where she couldnt move hardly at all, was eating less than 800 calories a day and still gaining wieght, the steroids she had taken for 20 years for her lungs had caused huge amounts of excess tissue to form in her abdominal cavity (I have had this happen to me some of this crud is my throat and may have to come out.) We watched her lose a total of 325 lbs BUT she suffered horribly, and now exercise and weight management are her whole life 2-3 hours in the gym a day, if not she starts to gain again. 1500 calories is her limit she must measure every mouthful of food. She is off all meds for her breathing but her immune system is still shot and she lives in fear of every cold and flu season...

    Im not there and I am not going there and neather is Woody

    So here we are. Both of us are making gentle changes. I gave up most sweets, Ice Cream and such due to bad teeth and I know that helped my blood sugar as well as my waist line. It is thought that by raising my oxygen levels (I have very low blood oxygen a sure sign of sleep imparement Im told and why I bruise so easily)that will help my weight loss a great deal. I am more thoughtful about what I put into my mouth...But a rigorous diet is out. I know they dont work, fat comes back like the sun rising. One day we will have more answers to this deilema but until then, I wish those who dont have the problem would quit judging those of us that do, or is it really a problem? After all, it wasnt so long ago that a well fed person was considered healthy and skinny person was considered unhealthy? Its all about what is in fashion, I guess. Perhaps one day my body type will come back in style again, just like it was in the 1890's....

    Lillian Russell The image of female beauty for nearly 50 years

    Lillian Russell...Vive le Differance!

    December 25, 2006

    Prayer Before The Manger Scene

    The Holy Family.

    "No one,whether shepherd or wise man, can approach God here below except by kneeling before the manger at Bethlehem and adoring him hidden in the weakness of a new born child"
    Pope Benedict XVI, quoting from the catechesm of the Roman Catholic Church 563

    Lord Jesus, as I kneel before your manger in adoration... let my first Christmas word be: "thank you". Thank you,Gift of the Father, for comming to save me from my sins.

    Without you, I do not know how to even be human. The characteristics of your human body express the Divine Person of God's Son. And in that wonderous expressions, Lord You reveal me to myself. Thank you for that saving revelation in your sacred humanity. As in the Christmas liturgy proclams,"in Christ man restores to man the gift of everlasting life" Thank you for comming as one like myself to save me from myself.

    You come as a baby because babies are irresistable and adorable,You come as a baby because you want our first impression of God incarnate to be that of one who does not judge. How I long to be united with you in every way. May I never be attracted to the alluerments and charms of the world. May I love you always,at every moment,with all of my heart, soul , mind and strength.
    May the tenderness, the dependency, and the mercy that you reveal in your infancy become the hallmarks of my life.

    Newborn Saviour; the very silence of your incarnation proclaims that the answer to the misery, the strife and the meaninglessness of life cannot be found within us. You alone are The Answer. As I kneel before you, Eternal King, I surrender to you all of my selfishness, self absorption, self indulgence self righteousness self assertion and self exaltation. Even as I adore you on this night of your birth, rid me of the nagging desire to be adored.

    Word became flesh and You made Your dwelling among us. Yet, You do not live your life for yourself, but for us. And you enable us to live in you all that yourself lived. Help me to embrace this truth with all of my mind and heart.Coma and live your life in me. Empty me of my willfulness, my petulence, my hardness, my cynicism, my contemptuousness. Fill me with your truth, your strength, your fortitude, your purity,your gentleness,your generosity,your wisdom, your heart and your grace.

    O Emmanuel, may the assurance of your unfailing Presence be for me the source of unending peace. May I never fear my weakness, my inadequacy or my imperfection. Rather, as I gaze with faith hope and love upon your incarnate littleness, for God is with us. Endow my life with a holy wonder that leads me ever more deeply into the mystery of Redemption and the meaning of my vocation and my destiny.

    Longed for Messiah, it has been said that in the act of reverancing your birth we are also celebrating our own new birth. From this night on may my life be a dedicated life of faith marked reliance, receptivity, and resolition. May I make of my life a total gift of self. May my humble worship of your nativity manifest how much I seek the Fathers kingship and his way of holiness. The beauty of your holy face bears the promise that your Father will provide for us in all things. This Christmas I renew my trust in God's goodness, compassion and providence. I long for the day when you yourself will teach us to pray..."Our Father..."

    May your Presence, Prince of Peace, bless the world with peace, the poor with care, the disparing with hope and confidence, the grieving with comfort and gladness, the opperessed with freedom and deliverence, the suffering with solace and relief. Loving Jesus, you are the only real joy of every human heart. I place my trust in you.

    Oh, Divine Fruit of Mary's womb, may I love you in union with the holy Mother of God. May my life be filled with the obedience of St. Joseph and the missionary fervor of the shepards so that the witness of my life may shine like the star that led the Magi to you manger. I ask this with great confidence in your holy name, Amen

    the Manger Scene in my home

    Christmas As I Knew It

    Winter Farm near Caldwell Arkansas

    Christmas As I Knew It

    One day near Christmas
    when I was just a child
    Mama called us together
    and mama tried to smile
    She said you know the cottoncrop
    hasn't been too good this year
    There's just no spending money
    and well at least we're all here
    I hope you won't expect a lot
    of Christmas presents
    Just be thankful that
    there is plenty to eat
    That's quite a blessing
    that'll make things a little more pleasant

    And us kids got to thinking
    how really blessed we were
    At least we were all healthy
    and best of all we had her
    Roy cut down a pigapple tree
    and we drug it home, Jack and me
    Daddy killed a squirrel
    and Louise made the bread
    Reba decorated the tree
    with popcorn strings
    before we went to bed
    Mama and daddy sacrificed
    cause this Christmas was lean
    But after all there was the babies
    Tom and Joanne
    babies need a few things
    I whittled a whistle for my brother Jack
    and though we fought now and then
    When I gave Jack that whistle
    he knew I thought the world of him
    Mama made the girl's dresses
    out of flower sacks
    And when she ironed them down
    you couldn't tell
    that they hadn't come from town

    A sharecropper family lived
    across the road and
    didn't have it as good as us
    They didn't even have a light
    and it was way past dusk
    And mama said "Well I bet they don't even
    have coal oil
    or beans to boil
    A log or
    apples oranges and such

    Me and Jack took a jar of coaloil
    and some hickery nuts we'd found
    We walked to the sharecropper's porch
    and set 'em down
    A poor old ragged lady
    eased open the door
    She picked up the coaloil
    and hickerynuts and said
    I sure do thank ye
    and quickly closed the door

    We started back home
    me and Jack and about halfway
    we stopped and looked back
    And in the sharecropper's window
    at last was a light
    So for one of the neighbors
    and for us it was
    a good Christmas night
    Christmas came and Christmas went
    Christmas that year was heaven sent
    Then daddy put on his gumboots
    waited for the thaw
    back home in Dyess Arkansas

    Johnny Cash

    December 24, 2006

    The Proclamation of the Birth of Jesus

    The Chancel and Altar First United Methodist Church Bella Vista Arkansas

    In the formal liturgy for Christmas day, in the opening of the Midnight Mass there is a formal announcement of the birth of Jesus in the style of a proclamation. It begins with Creation and relates the birth of the Promised One to the major events personages and times of sacred and secular history.The particular events contained in this proclamation help to situate the birth of Jesus in the context of Salvation history.

    Proclamation of the Birth of Christ

    from the Christmas Martyrology (Roman Rite)

    The twenty-fifth day of December.
    In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year
    of the creation of the world
    from the time when God in the beginning
    created the heavens and the earth;
    the two thousand nine hundred and
    fifty-seventh year after the flood;
    the two thousand and fifteenth year
    from the birth of Abraham;
    the one thousand five hundred and tenth year
    from Moses and the going forth
    of the people of Israel from Egypt;
    the one thousand and thirty-second year
    from David's being anointed king;
    in the sixty-fifth week
    according to the prophecy of Daniel;
    in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
    the seven hundred and fifty-second year
    from the foundation of the city of Rome;
    the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
    the whole world being at peace,
    in the sixth age of the world,
    Jesus Christ the Eternal God
    and Son of the eternal Father,
    desiring to sanctify the world
    by his most merciful coming,
    being conceived by the Holy Spirit,
    and nine months having passed
    since his conception,
    was born in Bethlehem of Judea
    of the Virgin Mary,
    being made flesh.
    The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ
    according to the flesh.

    Luke 2:1-40~ - The Birth Of Jesus

    the rose window. First United Methodist Church Bella Vista Arkansas

    Luke 2:1-40

    The Birth of Jesus Christ

    In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.And all went to be registered, each to his own town.And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

    The Shepherds and the Angels

    And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people.For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

    "Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"

    When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

    And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

    Jesus Presented at the Temple

    And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord" and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

    Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
    according to your word;
    for my eyes have seen your salvation
    that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
    a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and for glory to your people Israel."

    And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed, and a sword will pierce through your own soul also, so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed."
    And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin,and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

    The Return to Nazareth

    And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.

    December 23, 2006

    In The Bleak Mid Winter

    Silent Sunlit Snow

    The presents are bought, and the holiday treats are in the fridge... The fireplace is going and we have snow flurries in the forecast. I cant belive the year is nearly over. Woody and I are ensconced at home for the weekend at last. Our tree softly glows fades away and then glows again with the new colored lights that I purchased for it this year. I like it so much better than "blink blink" lights that I had on there for years and years...

    It hasnt been easy getting ready for the holidays. Time has been in short supply notso much because of work or social commitments, but by the time I get home, I have so little energy left I just colapse into a chair and watch the fireplace, or worse the TV.

    I am still in a sort of funk, but really think a lot of my problem is my poor sleep. I have days when I feel like if I close my eyes I will fade away immediatly, or if I laid down on the carpet under my desk I would fall asleep before I could take my next breath. I am looking forward to the new year and getting this sorted out.

    But the grief process seems to be moving forward. Writing cards this year seemed to be easier than I thought, I didnt get them all done but tears didnt slow me down, just volume and lack of time.

    I have been following the discussions about saying Merry Christmas rather than "Happy Holidays". Since I work in about the most politically correct company imaginable, they have a ittybitty holiday lunch and whince at every gift exchange and Merry Christmas. Most departments ignore the eye rolling and have holiday gatherings, and Secret Santa gift exchanges. One of the larger groups sponsored a gift tree for disadvantaged kids and there were dozens of cartons of items shipped to the troops in Iraq... The few Muslim and other religions seem to take it all in stride and display no ill will, as long as we invite them to the party, which we do of course.

    This past four weeks there have been a lot of activities at the church, from a carolling party at a local nursing home, to a special "Blue Christmas" service, sponsored by the Grief Recovery Group that I was a part of this fall. This was a service in which a persons feelings of grief could be shared in light of the holidays I found out that this was a nationwide event, and felt that it was quite helpful.

    In the morning Woody and I are taking part of the opening of the service, lighting the Advent Candles and reading. Finding that many in our church are struggling with lonliness and disconnection, we as a body have really tried to make a place for everyone to feel welcome.

    I feel some of the strangness of Christmas Past hover around me like Marley's Ghost, but for the most part, I know that like everything in life Christmas is what you make of it. The truth is, in giving, you receive, and it helps to ease the pain of past disapointments. I know too, that focusing on the real meaning of the season and realizing that all of the "stuff" that has been piled on this time of, what should be, a renewal of our spiritual commitment, is ment to drive you into a guilt trip so you will go out and try to fill that void with the false promise of "if I could just have THAT, I would be happy". No material thing will ultimately do that, and perhaps that is the biggest lesson for us living in the third millenium. We need to sit back and take a long look at that poor family in Bethlehem and realize that relationship to God and to each other is the true gift. And in that we can go on.

    In the bleak midwinter,
    frost wind made moan,
    earth stood hard as iron,
    water like a stone;
    snow had fallen,
    snow on snow, snow on snow,
    in the bleak midwinter,
    long ago.

    Our God, heaven cannot hold him,
    nor earth sustain;
    heaven and earth shall flee away
    when he comes to reign.
    In the bleak midwinter
    a stable place sufficed
    the Lord God Almighty,
    Jesus Christ.

    Angels and archangels
    may have gathered there,
    cherubim and seraphim
    thronged the air;
    but his mother only,
    in her maiden bliss,
    worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

    What can I give him,
    poor as I am?
    If I were a shepherd,
    I would bring a lamb;
    if I were a Wise Man,
    I would do my part;
    yet what I can I give him:
    give my heart.

    That is my longing and my hearts true desire...

    holiday brightness

    December 22, 2006

    O Come , Emmanuel

    O Christmas Tree! The Advent Tree Decorated with symbols of Christianity both old and new.

    In my Ecumenical wanderings, I came across the writings of Kathleen Norris. Poet, Born again Christian and Benedictine Oblate, she introduced me through her writing to the richness of Litugical worship expression. I was an am continually surprised at how these sometimes ancient words permeate our hymns and prayers. Such is this Carol. Likely one of the oldest of all hymns that are in use today, O Come, Emmanuel,is a version of the "O" Antiphons. These hymns are sung, one each day for the seven vesper services prior to Christmas describe attributes of the Infant Jesus in His Kingly Diety, framed by the longing of Israel for the appearing of the Davidic Messiah

    "O Emmanuel" or "God With Us" Declaring the mystery of God taking on human flesh

    O Emmanuel, God who did not think it a lessening of His Godhood to take on human flesh within the Virgin's womb. Save us and be near to us, our Lord and our God Amen

    O come, O come, Emmanuel,
    And ransom captive Israel,
    That mourns in lonely exile here
    Until the Son of God appear.

    Rejoice! Rejoice!
    Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

    "O Sapientia" or "Wisdom" Discribing the eternal Wisdom of God...

    O, Wisdom, you came forth from the mouth of The Most High, and reached from end to end and disposed of all things sweetly and mightily: Come and teach us the way of righteousness Amen

    O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
    Who orderest all things mightily;
    To us the path of knowledge show,
    And teach us in her ways to go.

    Rejoice! Rejoice!
    Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

    "O Adonai" or "Lord God Almighty" Describing Jesus as Lord over the Law

    Lion of Judah, Mighty Son of Righteousness, Your comming completed the Law and redeemed us from the penalties of disobedience. O Adonai, and Leader of the House of Israel, You appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the law on Mt. Sinai, come deliver Your people through the power of your outstreached arm, Amen

    O come, O come, great Lord of might,
    Who to Thy tribes on Sinai's height
    In ancient times once gave the law
    In cloud and majesty and awe.

    Rejoice! Rejoice!
    Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

    "O Radix Jesse" or Root of Jesse Decribing Jesus Right by Lineage to rule Israel as her Messianic King.

    O Root of Jesse, Who stood as a sign for the people, before You, kings shall remain silent, and to you all the Nations of the Earth shall make supplication, Come and deliver us, and delay not! Amen.

    O come, Thou Root of Jesse's tree,
    An ensign of Thy people be;
    Before Thee rulers silent fall;
    All peoples on Thy mercy call.

    Rejoice! Rejoice!
    Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

    "O Clavis David" or "Key of David" Describing His Eternal Soveregnty over sin and death

    O Key of David and Scepter of the House of Israel: What you shut, no one can open and what You open no one can shut. Come, and lead forth from his prison the captive sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, into the light of Your Presence, Amen

    O come, Thou Key of David, come,
    And open wide our heavenly home;
    Make safe the way that leads on high,
    And close the path to misery.

    Rejoice! Rejoice!
    Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

    " O Orens" or Dayspring Describing Our Lord's appearing as a brilliant Sunrise

    Just as You waited to come to the world in the darkest of the days of the year, Your Light illuminates the darkest of the hearts of men. O Dayspring, Light Eternal and Sun of Justice, come to us and enlighten we who sit in darknes and in the Shadow of Death, Amen

    O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
    Our spirits by Thine advent here;
    Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
    And death's dark shadows put to flight.

    Rejoice! Rejoice!
    Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

    "O Rex Gentium" or King of the Nations Describing Jesus as the Unifier of Creation whom all that are created will bow down and worship

    O King of the Nations and their Desired, The Cheif Cornerstone and Maker of All Things, Come and save our race, whom You formed out of clay,and deliver us into Your Everlasting Kingdom, World without end, Amen.

    O come, Desire of nations, bind
    In one the hearts of all mankind;
    Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
    And be Thyself our King of Peace.

    Rejoice! Rejoice!
    Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

    We praise you Lord for Your willingness to come to this world and be born as a human being. Let us with reverence approch Bethlehem's manger with awe and wonder, Amen.

    O come, Thou Lord of Nation's, free
    Thine own from Satan's tyranny;
    From depths of hell Thy people save,
    And give them victory over the grave.

    Rejoice! Rejoice!
    Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

    December 19, 2006

    Where Wisdom Lies- An Advent Meditation

    Modonna of the Streets, one of my favorite images of Mary and Jesus as poor travelers.

    "The Virgin, harboring a mystery under her heart, remains in profound solitude. In a silence that almost causes the perplexed Josepeh to dispair. Incarnation of God means condecension, abasement, and because we are sinners, humiliation. And he already draws His Mother into these humiliations. "Where did she get this child?" People must have talked at the time, and they probably never stopped. It must have been a sorry state of affairs if Joseph could find no better way out than to divorce his bride quietly. God's humanism at once begins drastically. Those whose lives God enters,those who enter into His, are not protected. They have to go along into a suspicion and ambiguity they cannot talk their way out of. And the ambiguity will only get worse, until at the Cross, the Mother will get to see what her "Yes" has caused and will have to hear the vitriolic ridicule to which the Son is forced to listen.

    In a Greek tragedy there is the chorus that comments on the events, and it can be either sad or celebratory. In the Christian drama of Christmas, the angels of the "Glorias" are the chorus;they comment on the heavenly truth of this poor earthly scene in the manger: Glory is due to God in heaven, but joy is given on earth to those men who elight in his good pleasure.

    Fr.Hans Urs von Balthasar 1900-1988

    December 18, 2006

    The Holly and the Ivy

    English Holly, unknown photographer

    The Holly and the Ivy!

    The version of the Holly and the Ivy that we are familiar with today was first published by Cecil Sharp. The Holly and the Ivy is thought to have Pagan origins and could therefore date back over 1000 years. It is most unusual for a carol like the Holly and the Ivy to have survived over the years especially during the stern protestant period of the 17th century. The Holly and the Ivy have always been taken indoors during the winter the hope being that the occupants would survive difficult conditions just like the hardy Holly and the Ivy. The colours of the Holly and Ivy, green and red are traditionally associated with Christmas. The author and composer of the Holly and the Ivy are unknown

    " Tell us about Christmas in Hawaii" asked a number of the guests at the Holiday parties we attended asked us. I know that I have said it before on the blog that for the most part Christianity and the customs surrounding the Faith were well accepted by the Native Hawaiians. From the very beginning, when the Chaplain of the "Resolution" shared the Christmas story, the Hawaiians loved Christmas, and took many of the English customs to heart, from the carols to the hanging of the greens. There were, of course, substitutions. For example, only the rich white people wore shoes that required stockings and had homes with fireplaces. Cooking was done in the cook house away from a dwelling, to prevent fires. So the story of Santa Claus is a modern phenomina, but the giving of gifts, already a part of established Hawaiian culture took on a whole new demention, Feasting and singing, and celebration, all incorporating the Seasonal message florished first in the Victorian Monarchy, then as an American Territory and State.

    Climate and culture aside, what I remember was while there were fewer exterior decorations, lights ect. because of the incessant rain, the homes I visited during the holidays were richly decorated inside, with the Christmas tree as the focal point. If you were lucky and had the money you had a live tree, Most of the people we knew did not, but had an artificial tree insted. Ginger would be in bloom and the smell of it and evergreens together in the house was like the smell of heaven. Cooking smells, some familiar like Pumpkin pies, others like the smell of fried noodles, smoked pork and steaming Lau Lau or Tamales in our neighborhood, sold door to door by the wives of local papaya growers filled the air.

    And while people did buy presents, as we saw in our store, so many took pride in the homemade gifts lovingly crafted by family members... In the building our first store was housed in, the people lived in 10 by 10 rooms and shared a bathroom. These poorest of the poor of Hilo had less than nothing, but I remember the pride of one mother who along with her husband and three preteen kids were living in one of those rooms because they had lost their rental home (it was sold out from under them, you only have 10 days to vacate under those circumstances) and the husband his job all at once. She had hand sewn Aloha shirts for her husband and son and beautiful Muu Muu's for her two daughters and herself, sewing during the day on the steps near her doorway in the brightest light. She worked at the fabric store cleaning for the cloth and would not take a handout from anyone... By the time we moved to a new location they were back on their feet once more, both parents having found work, and the landlord found a house for them to rent, no small feat in a town with zero vacancy rates for rentals.

    But as I was saying the Hanging of the Green was observed in many churches and the English carol "The Holly and the Ivy" sung. The legend of the Holly and the Ivy is well suited to Hawaii for while it seems like paradise and yes in many ways it is, it has never been the easiest place to live. No island is. Most of those people had never seen Holly or English Ivy, except as artificial flowers at the craft store, but we all sang heartily as the church was decorated..

    The holly and the ivy,
    When they are both full grown
    Of all the trees that are in the wood
    The holly bears the crown
    O the rising of the sun
    And the running of the deer
    The playing of the merry organ
    Sweet singing of the choir

    The holly bears a blossom
    As white as lily flower
    And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
    To be our sweet Saviour
    O the rising of the sun
    And the running of the deer
    The playing of the merry organ
    Sweet singing of the choir

    The holly bears a berry
    As red as any blood
    And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
    To do poor sinners good
    O the rising of the sun
    And the running of the deer
    The playing of the merry organ
    Sweet singing of the choir

    The holly bears a prickle
    As sharp as any thorn;
    And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
    On Christmas Day in the morn.
    O the rising of the sun
    And the running of the deer
    The playing of the merry organ
    Sweet singing of the choir

    The holly bears a bark
    As bitter as any gall;
    And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
    For to redeem us all.
    O the rising of the sun
    And the running of the deer
    The playing of the merry organ
    Sweet singing of the choir

    The holly and the ivy
    Now both are full well grown,
    Of all the trees that are in the wood,
    The holly bears the crown.
    O the rising of the sun
    And the running of the deer
    The playing of the merry organ
    Sweet singing of the choir

    December 17, 2006

    Matthew 1:18-25~ And It Happened In This Way...

    Christmas Pointsettas Cooper Chapel Bella Vista Arkansas

    Matthew 1:18-25

    Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

    "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel"(which means, God with us).

    When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

    December 12, 2006

    Roses in Winter

    The Tilma. The actual cloak of Juan Diego preserved at the Bascillica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City Mexico

    Roses in Winter

    Juan Diego had seen a lot in his 57 years. He was alive 10 years ago, just barely, when the White Men came, and conquered the ruling classes of Tenochtitlan. He survived the sickness, the red spotted fever and the dreaded block spotted fever that killed thousands upon thousands of the native Mexicas, He had, after much thought, committed himself to the Mission, and to the brown robed brothers that worked the land and cared for the animals. He didn't understand all that they believed, religion had always been the province of those that were of the higher classes in the stratified society that had been the Aztec Empire, where he and his parents, who had been not much more than slaves, had wispered in hushed tones, of the ceremonies held in the great temples of Tenochtitlan. How slaves and captives had been marched up the steps and had their hearts cut out to honor the gods and goddesses. Since the time of the old King, who had built the great Temple of the Sun and dedicated it with the living beating hearts of 80,000 men. Then for the years there after, every one of the 300 cities and towns of the Aztec Empire, one thousand sacrificial victims were required every year. Day and night, the drainage troughs ran red with the blood of human sacrifices. One in three children born were thought to have been given for sacrifice at birth. He shuddered, imagining the living beating hearts of little children in the hands of the pagan priests. Yes, better was the faith of the Spanish, who worshiped The Captive Sacrifice, and celebrated His torture and death. One Captive...instead of thousands, One Victim, instead of many, including himself. The black robed priests cleansed the blood off of the high altars and celebrated their rites to the God Man that was the Ultimate Victim. Better to serve the foreigners, the white men, and know that perhaps his children had a chance at life

    But the world was not better. In the villages, people were sacrificing to the old gods still killing children and babies, hoping that by this terrible offering they would gain the upper hand against a more powerful enemy. There were raids, then, they would go into a town or onto a hacienda and kill any white people that they would find. In turn, the white mans army would retaliate killing many more of the people, Years now, this had been happening.There seemed to be no end to the bloodshed For protection he, his wife and elderly uncle had fled to the Bishop's hacienda, and placed himself in his service, for as a "conversio" one who had been baptized into the White man's religion, his death was assured should he be caught in a raid by his people.

    Juan Diego, was walking through Tepeyac Hill located in the higher ground above the great City. Thinking about his sick uncle and all that was going on aound him, he saw, out of nowhere a young mexica woman standing there on the hillside. She was clothed in an indio garment belted with the black sash that signified that she was pregnant. The Woman told Juan to have a church built on this spot. This was startling to him for the name of the place in the Aztec language means " The place where the goddess kills the stone serpent", or "Guadalupe". It was holy ground to his people.

    Twice Juan Diego went to his master, the Bishop, only to be told in exasperation to ask for a sign from this woman. Embarrassed, Juan Diego, didn't return to the hill for some days. His uncle was still very ill and he couldn't leave him. When he was finally well enough, Juan Diego took his leave of the old man and trudged up Tepeyac Hill.
    When Juan saw the Lady again, he told her what the bishop had requested, that the Lady gave a sign. Juan felt very bad about this, but told Mary what the bishop asked. She told him not to fear, but return in a couple days and she would produce a sign. Unfortunately, Juan couldn't return for a few days because his uncle was gravely ill again. When he saw Mary again on Tepeyac Hill, she was surrounded by bushes covered with roses. She reassured him his uncle would be fine, and bid him to gather roses by the hill. He did so and she wrapped them in his cloak, called a "tilma". She told him to return to the bishop and show him. When Juan did, the roses fell to the floor and the image of Mary was seen formed on the cloak made of cactus fiber.

    The tilma is a marvelous miraculous relic, which even today nearly 500 years later remains in excellent condition with the image intact. It has withstood several environmental hazards such as fires, smoke, floods, torrential rain, and more. Usually the tilma fiber falls apart after twenty-five to thirty-five years, but not this has not been the case with this fabric. In the image, Mary stands on the moon and in front of the sun. After Juan showed the tilma, he returned to his uncle. His uncle was completely cured, and explained a young woman appeared to him and told him to call her Santa Maria de Guadalupe. She also told the uncle that she sent his nephew to the city to show an image of herself.

    The Bishop believed the sign, and commissioned the church to be built. It was later destroyed by fire only to be rebuilt and rebuilt again. Today it stands, on that hillside, housing the miraculous image bearing tilma, which hangs above the altar, incased in bullet-proof acrylic. The huge Basillica built to house up to ten thousand worshipers, is, by far, the most popular religious pilgrimage site in the Western Hemisphere.

    But the real miracle of Tepeyac was not the tilma, or the roses in winter, or the appearing of Mary. It was the effect that it had on the indigenous people of the region. Within six years after this apparition, six million Aztecs had converted to Catholicism. The sacrificing of children ended, and gradually peace came to the land. It wasn't paradise, there are still many problems, and the divide between the rich and the poor is still as great as it ever was. But the people gained hope and something to believe in. They see in the image a glimpse of themselves, and can understand that the true God is for all people not just the privileged few or people of a certain color... And today, on this anniversary of the vision, the multitudes gather in that church to honor that reality. To sing praise and to recite the prayer of now, Saint Juan Diego

    Our Lady of Guadalupe,pray for holy Church, protect the sovereign Pontiff, help all those who invoke you in their necessities, and since you are the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the True God, obtain for us from your most holy Son the grace of keeping our faith, of sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life of burning charity, and the precious gift of final perseverance.

    Perhaps in this divided world we need to see a vision for our time. I pray for it...

    December 11, 2006

    Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

    An Ozark Morning Sky, Lowell Arkansas

    I knew Christmas would be somewhat unique this year... Hasnt it been every year for the last six or so, since we spent that first Christmas in Kauaii with my Mom in 2000. Like each Christmas since it has been a mixture of joy and tears, for many reasons... some a bit obvious... Sad due to being separated if not by miles then by circumstances or misunderstanding... happy because every year it has been a new adventure, challenge, or mystery waiting to unfold... I am trying to capture this feeling this year while I sort out my personal future.

    For most of those years I have been a "Stranger in a Strange Land" either in Hawaii or Arkansas, or with in myself... and funny its the even years where the strangeness was more within myself and the odd years more about my surroundings. 2000 was the Christmas we were sure that we were off to Hawaii and that something was terribly wrong with my Mom, more than we had ever known. She had allowed me to book the trip with just her and I alone, not telling me that she was unable to walk and semi incontinent. Thank God that John went along at the last minute and that this situation came to light. It was then that we made the decision to leave her behind in California where the medical care was better.

    2001 was the year of comming to Hawaii, and exploring a new land and a new culture that looks at everything a little bit differently. 2003 was our first Chirstmas in Retail with our own business, a streach of our faith in God and each other that we really could do this...2005 was, of course, our first year in Arkansas, our new home and our new church.

    just as the odd years were more happy than sad the even years seem to be a bit sadder than the odd. 2000 as I said above was filled with uncertainty ever as we celebrated the holiday on beautiful Kauaii...2002 was a hard Christmas filled with apprehesion...we were watching the jewelry store that I was working for to see how their holidays were sales wise as we were making plans for our own store that we were in the process of developing. We were holding our breath as we sunk what was left of our savings and mortgaging the house to finance this dream. 2004 saw the death of that dream when we realized that we were appointed to return to the mainland...Liquidating the store and selling our home... I remember walking up to the farmers market everyday to smell the evergreen trees mingled with the winter fruit and flower smells of Hawaii that are the olfactory signature of Hawaiian Christmas... Evergreen mingled with papaya, plumeria, pikake and white ginger... Winter vacationers and their suntan lotion adding a topnote to the perfume of Island holiday...The sounds of religious carols streaming from a predominantly Bhuddist business, the employees singing merrily

    2002 was the Christmas of developing my business trying to really make our Hawaiian dream a reality by being self employed and 2004 of closing the store and moving back to the mainland... also it marked the only time I was able to see my Mother during our sojourn in Paradise... A difficult visit it was too. I was to learn that some of the negative expressions I received while there were repeated towards other visitors so I know now in 2006 as I struggle with the changes in my self that it wasnt all about me after all

    And this year? with work and church and other things I really havent done all that I wanted to for the holidays. I have always believed that you gave each holiday its due, and you didnt start working on Christmas until after Thanksgiving... Hogwash, next year we will push Thanksgiving into Halloween which we dont do anyway... and maybe I will get my tree decorated before Christmas week...

    But on the whole, I see a turning and a settling in. While we are sad and have a bit of melencholy... the days are cold.. (we still have snow on the ground 9 days later very unusual for this area, most days last week were below freezing)we are not really prepared for it. But we have heat and we are snug in our little house and glad for it. Our tree is up and decorated... and a cheery glow comes from the lights. I have gone out and bought all new holiday music and that has brightened our home...and I found myself singing along...

    Have yourself a merry little Christmas
    Let your heart be light
    From now on, our troubles will be out of sight

    Have yourself a merry little Christmas
    Make the Yuletide gay
    From now on, our troubles will be far away

    Here we are, as in olden days
    Happy golden days gone by
    Faithful friends who are dear to us
    Gather near to us
    Once more

    Through the years, we all have been together
    If Our Lord allows
    Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
    And have yourself a merry little Christmas now

    I intend to....

    December 10, 2006

    Isaiah 7:10 -25~The Sign of Immanuel

    The Pulpit in Advent Dress. First United Methodist Church Bella Vista Arkansas

    Isaiah 7:10 -25~The Sign of Immanuel

    Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz,"Ask a sign of the Lord your* God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven."But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test." And he* said, "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.The Lord will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father's house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria."

    In that day the Lord will whistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures.*

    In that day the Lord will shave with a razor that is hired beyond the River—with the king of Assyria—the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also.

    In that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep,and because of the abundance of milk that they give, he will eat curds, for everyone who is left in the land will eat curds and honey.

    In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekels* of silver, will become briers and thorns.With bow and arrows a man will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns.And as for all the hills that used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear of briers and thorns, but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.

    December 07, 2006

    The First 9-11~~ Pearl Harbor Dec 7 1941

    Stately palms the break water at Lilioukalani Park Hilo Hawaii

    " We lived near Schofield Barracks, on Oahu...It was horrible, the planes were flying, shooting at anything that moved. We were playing outside, I was so small looking up and smiling at the shining planes with the red circles on them, Until my older brother grabbed me and dragged me under our house, which was up on post and peirs. People men and women were screaming... I could hear my mother crying, saying "What will become of us.." she knew...She knew...."

    ...I was sitting in my little jewelry store listening in fascination as a very elderly Japanese woman told me of that moment when her innocence ended... Of how the soilders came and interrogated every member of her poor plantation bred family, and how they were shunned by the Chinese, Portuguese and Flippino families that had been friendly neighbors just the day before. Many, native citizens of the Territory of Hawaii,found their lives in shambles. Some were turned out of their humble dwellings and lost their jobs even as they proclaimed their loyalty to the flag of the United states of America.

    Some of the first Internement\Interrogation "camps" for American citizens and POW camps in the US were set up on the Big Island. Kilauea Military Camp being one of them. Located inside Hawaii Volcanoes Natl Park, the area landscape was some of the most forbidding in all of the United States. A moonscape of razor sharp lava fields, impossibly deep lava tubes, and plunging cliffs all surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Prison in Paradise... You can still see the tiny huts, converted into vacation cottages now for visiting tourists. Groups of school kids go for a week at a time. ( they served a lovely steak dinner, family style on sunday nights... Woody and I visited often. ) We will never know all that went on there, but the facility its self is a bitter reminder of the ugliness of war.

    Woody and I both have been aboard the floating Battleship Arizona memorial, as well as the Battleship Missouri, now decommissioned and serving as a floating museum... The Second World War affected both of us radically differently,My father was a veteren while his parents were living in Panama and were not directly affected by the war at all. As far as we know we had no casualties in either family from it. But it was still very moving to see a small memorial service as the ashes of yet another veteren that survived the attack on the Arizona were lowered into the hull of the shattered vessel to rest with his fallen shipmates, a tribute and a honor allowed only those few that served aboard that great ship, and lived to tell the tale...As they rang the bell I thought that there are so few left of these men and now years later there are almost none left to remind us...

    I say all of this to say that there are those of us Americans that have not forgotten. That we remember that day, that moment that changed our country. I know that there will be little mention of it, which is really sad. We are really not so far removed from that morning, it was not that long ago. It could happen again, oh, it did happen... on another shore with our own aircraft. How can we forget?

    Its easy.. it seems.. We can just change the channel, and go on with our lives as though the Terror really doesnt exsist after all...

    Until the next time...

    December 03, 2006

    John 1:1-5, 9-14 ~ The Light And Glory Of Advent

    The Light in Winter Bella Vista Arkansas Dec 1 2006

    John 1:1-5,9-14

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.In him was life,* and the life was the light of men.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

    The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    December 02, 2006

    Snowed In

    Snowed In at the Hale (house) Bella Vista Arkansas

    We were snowed in today. Now I know that most of you have winters so severe that what we experienced in the last two days was a mild spring storm. But my city of Bella Vista, which is higher in altitude and full of switchback curves becomes a dangerous place to drive in and out of once the roads ice up. Most of the community holes up till the ice melts and things get back to normal... Many homes have steep driveways, and some subdivisions, like ours are literally carved out of a hillside so while our lots are somewhat level, the roads in are a terror!

    For Woody and I we have two ways to get to our street. One, where you have a series of rollercoaster ups and downs, then at the bottom of this carnival ride, you have a quick left and up a grade that has to be 12 percent. Straight up. I can only drive up it at 20 miles an hour on a regular day. The other way, off a less trecherous highway, decends down to our street. That would be ok, except that halfway along is a rather deep dip. During our unbelievable leaf drop this fall, the dip filled with mushy leaves, which neighbors were constantly blowing out. Well everytime a car went through it yesterday, more snow ice and leaves went down into it. The resulting mush looked like mashed potatoes with the skin on. It was as deadly to a car as quicksand and about as sticky.

    I knew this so I tried route one... got up about thirty feet and began to slide down the hill faster and faster. I managed to get my van stopped before it went into Lake Avalon.... and went around to Mashed Potato Bowl and got through it, and felt darn lucky. Woody had managed to get up the hill but barely and he stayed home today as he left his car outside and it is literally frozen to the driveway. Since he has to go to work tomorrow... it will be interesting to see him try to get out. I think he'll be in the ditch for sure...

    But even with the problems our neighborhood was stunningly beautiful. The ice clinging to the trees and the buildings and the fresh softsnow sparkled in the bight sunshine. The local animals left their prints like delicate lace on the surface of the snow. Birds intent on the remaining berries fluttered around the windows to the delight of the kitties.

    I am constantly amazed at the everchanging beauty of this area of the country and am often heard as I drive around " See how beautiful this place is..." Everyday the seasonal change provides a new view... When asked "How could you leave Hawaii?" I can point to days like this, and what a surprise the beauty of this area has been to me.

    And my Snowday was spent working, as I can do my new job pretty much at home. But Woody took our huge pile of filing in hand to get the office/ media room, cleaned up as I am buying three workstation type desks, two for the computer room and one for my little reading room, each equipped with two file cabinets that support the desks, where all of this paper will be going... I also got my laundry and other chores done... We were snug and warm and actually prepared to stay here for several days if needed...

    I would have loved it.

    Hokule'a at mywideblueseas@gmail.com

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