May 25, 2008
Land of Lincoln~A Memorial Day Post
"The Knob Creek Place" Believed to be the cabin where Abraham Lincoln spent his early boyhood years. Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site
"I was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families—second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks.... My father ... removed from Kentucky to ... Indiana, in my eighth year.... It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up.... Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher ... but that was all A Short biographical sketch by Abraham Lincoln himself to a reporter."
Tonight I hear a man say that we shouldnt honor those fallen in war but rather those fallen in the cause of right and peace. I have mixed feelings about this statement as I believe that any one who chooses to put on this nations uniform is deserving of the nations gratitude...But what of those that served the cause of justice and preserving the peace? Yes the should receive all honor and respect but let us go first to that man that lead the nation through its worst crisis, and sacrificed much to lead our nation through a terrible war
As I walked around the Lincoln birthplace I was astounded at the primitiveness of the cabin and the surroundings. It was a rough life, a impoverished life on the frontier. But that built a character in Lincoln, that perhaps no other lifestyle would have. Now having lived in the region for a few years I know that the elements are harsh and that those that lived off of the land eked out barely an existence.
While living on Knob Creek near the road that ran from Bardstown (the territorial capital at the time) to "Hodgkins Mill" now Hodgekinsville) the boy Lincoln saw Slaves being driven to market, and solders going off to the frontier to fight the Indian. His Father was a tenant farmer, a sharecropper, who later moved his family to the Indiana territory so he could actually own the land he worked. Being of a lesser class and seeing how those even less fortunate than himself made an impression that lasted throughout his life. The inequalities of his day were innately wrong in his eyes even at a young age.
There is much more I could write but it is information that is well known. He was perhaps the most religious of any of our former Presidents, and he leaned heavily on his faith during the trials of his life. He prayed for inspiration, and I believe that God granted his requests. A poorly educated man, the work that framed his literary reference was the King James Bible. You can see that in his most famous work, a speech written in one draft on the back of an envelope with no corrections. ( I have seen that rough draft in Washington DC) But God and the Bible inspired this speech which I post for the Memorial Day...
The Gettysburg Address
November 19, 1863
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
May God Bless our Service Men and Women today and especially those in harms way...
The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Memorial,Sinking Springs farm, near Hodgkinsville KY. Inside this "temple" is a 16 foot by 18 foot mud and timber cabin that for many years was believed to be the cabin where Lincoln was born. Turns out that this was a newer cabin built about 1840, but nearly in the same spot as the older one stood
Labels: History, Kentucky, Quotable Quotes
Matthew 26:36-46~Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
The Roadside Cross at Our Lady of Gethsemani Monestery, Trappist KYJesus Prays in Gethsemane
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.”And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled.Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Labels: Catholic, Kentucky, scripture
May 20, 2008
Beautiful Hibiscus Blooming in Louisville KY
Im pumping gas at a local station. The speakers are blasting the Beach Boys on a Oldies Station. The sun is warm and the breeze is cool on my face... I think..."I could be in Santa Monica, Huntington Beach, or even Hilo, or Lahaina, as I see the pot of hibiscus blooming nearby.
I go for a drive, winding my way down the main drag into Downtown. I pass the University, and the brick three story walk ups that house the Greek communities and a few blocks over a vibrant boutique shopping area...Am I in Orange or Westwood...?
Once in Downtown I went up and down the one way streets. New museums and condo developments line the streets. Pedestrians are free to walk in traffic free zones and just in the line of view, a sparkling waterfront with small craft (100 feet or less) marina. A street fair is going in the Riverfront Park... but for the lack of surf I would have thought that I was on Coronado Bay driving through the Gaslamp corridor and in and around San Deigo, the city I think that most resembles this amazing gem of a city.
Yes I have fallen in love with Louisville. I am lovng the Metro and the surrounding counties. Last weekend I took a drive...(gas was only 3.79 so why not?)around the city while Annabelle was getting her hair done and marveled at the many different districts each with its own flavor, architecture and atmosphere. LA has pretty much lost this and where we are living now the city is too new... it all looks the same. In fact, whre we live in Bella Vista resembles the subdivision that I am living in now.
Things are going better for us here. School is going well and I am finally beginning to do some projects that will actually amount to something. Just like learning to play the piano, where there is the dreaded exercise book with drills and scales to practice... that part is hard and I have a critical taskmaster. BUT I have to say that he will tell me when I get it right and now that is more and more common.
I have had one huge issue here. For weeks now the neighbors have called me concerned that Woody wasnt seen, like he was hiding out in the house. He sounded depressed or something. When a neighbor called and said it has been two weeks since the trash went out and no lights have been seen in the house that I checked with the Cat Hotel people. Sure enough Mak and Nani have been in boarding since Mother's Day and my husband has been AWOL for two weeks.
He returned but never gave it up on where he was or who he was with. I had to practically wrench it out of him. He said that this is my faault as he wanted to go and didnt want any crap about it. I told him he was selfish and a liar. Every night we talk which he says justified his not telling me that he was calling from someplace in California yes he drove to California from Arkansas and told no one what his plans were. How stupid is that? What if he had health issues or an accident... And his causual lies... I told him that I felt he was cheating... only a cheat would lie like this. He hotly denied it but I said that he opened himself up for this by not being upfront. By not talking to me about things like this, he rips down the progress that I thought that we were making and makes me to look like a fool in front of everyone I have talked to, to try to get ideas to "help him". I am so mad but what can I do. It seems like he can do what ever he wants and I cant do anything about it. And please dont email me about divorcing him. That will only make my life worse. Married to a sociopath in a state where the divorce laws are years behind the times... Since we are all the other has somehow he needs to understand that he isnt a world unto himself. I will be picking out his nursing home one day so he'd better shape up.
Then there is Annabelle, who is thriving and will be a year old soon. I have us signed up to take some training classes on Sunday afternoons. Very exciting. She will love it. She is already such a good doggy that she really only needs help with leash manners, as she drags me up and down the block. She is open and friendly with everyone and a real love. Plus she has a really groovy hair do...
Annabelle at 11 months
Labels: Annabelle, Conner School, Kentucky, Louisville, Marriage, Woody
May 18, 2008
Genesis 18~ The Old Testament Trinity
Country Lane Near Seneca Missouri
1And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.”And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly.Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.”The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way.The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave,I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”
Labels: Missouri, scripture
May 12, 2008
The Donkey and the Farmer~ A Fable
Blue Grass Fields Pastures near Loretto KY
As I have time in the evenings I am continuing my studies in Catholic thought, and so have been reading both a novel about St Teresa of Avila
as well as her own biography "My Life
I have found this anecdotal story in one of these as well as a book of her quotations. It seems to describe the situation that I find myself in
There was a Farmer who had a donkey that didnt mind him promptly and irritated him everyday. The donkey would finally do what he wanted and he did get a lot of work and profit from the beast, but he was annoyed at the way the donkey went about things. One day, the donkey, not watching what he was doing stumbled and fell into the well. The Farmer sighed, and said, "You know, I have just about had enough of this stubborn donkey that doesnt mind me so I will just bury it in the well and be done with it" With that, as the donkey was braying its distress, he got a shovel and began to fill in the well with dirt. His three sons hearing the donkey braying and seeing the father shoveling dirt into the well came running up and asked him why he was filling in their only well and what was the donkey doing in there. The Farmer snapped "Dont ask questions about what I am doing or why, just get a shovel and start digging. I am done dealing with this disobedient donkey. So the sons got shovels and started to help their father fill in the well
The Donkey, meanwhile, had stopped braying as dirt would get into his mouth when he had it open. He closed his mouth and shrugged off the dirt and rocks the muck and mire that was being thrown on top of him. Eventually the donkey was able to pull itself up and stand on the dirt that was being shoveled down the well. With every shovel full, he shrugged it off to his feel and scrambled up. This infuriated the Farmer who yelled to his sons to work faster. By nightfall, the men were exausted and the well was filled in. The Donkey scrambled out of the now filled in well and onto the grassy yard. He ambled out of the gate and into the pasture where he began to eat his fill of the sweet grass, to rest and be ready for another day...
Of course, St Teresa was the donkey and the Inquisitors were the Farmer and his sons. For me I am the Donkey and the Father and Son that run the school are the Farmer and his sons. Its a sad situation that I find myself in, families struggling with issues not really in their control, that may be causing them to not make the most rational decisions, is a painful deal.
But I have to be the one to shrug it off. I only have 7-8 more weeks that I have paid for. I need to make the very most of this that I can. I may not be able to stay for longer even though I would pay for the time. I know that I annoy him. Like the donkey I dont seem to be able to follow the directions with the alacrity that is expected. Partially it is because I do some process and do not think it is up to standard, then backtrack and do things over again and cause the instructor to think I am not doing the steps in order. I was told by him that he doesnt do One on One instruction, but then later he said that after every step he wants to see what I am doing... The rules change and it annoys him that I cant keep up, that I messed up the timetable by being sick all of those days and that I am not the shining star that the last two long termers were. Again I find that I am in a position of disapointing. People seem to have HUGE expectations of me that I can never meet and the disapointment tends to sour the relationship forever.
I found myself avoiding him, avoiding asking questions or disturbing him. Six weeks with this unstable manic depressive recovering alcoholic has turned me back into the cringing, people pleasing over acheiver that really wants to be invisible for fear of failure and ... well... Its sick and must end. There is too much at stake and I cant believe I can shed 20 years of recovery so easily. Like I told Woody, I am likely going to need therapy when this is over... pretty amazing.
On the other hand...I have found that God is no waster of anything. Perhaps I am going to learn at long last to trust Him hourly... To leave the day behind when I walk out the studio door at 5, knowing that it really will be a new day in the morning. No grudges seem to be held and the mood swings are so wide that its a given that it will be a a different place the next day. Again its all about trusting God with the future. I can literally feel my fingers being peeled off of my future, like a childs hands being pulled off a toy or a car door handle...one finger at a time. I am struggling against the Hand that is doing that peeling off, so that He can give me something better.
I know that I am learning something that will take me a lifetime to perfect. But with what I have now...even now I can go home and start my business and make a go of it. That is very exciting. I may not get the Certification that I wanted... but I have no diplomas in anything else that I do either. I just know that when I closed my mouth, stopped crying and looked at the peices that I have worked on, the happiness of future customers who can have their treasures back to enjoy will be affirmation enough. I am just plowing a field right now, the harvest will come after the labor has been put in...I can count on it
Labels: Faith, Louisville, Quotable Quotes
May 11, 2008
Isaiah 32:1-8,15-18~ The Coming of The Spirit of The Lord
Fire From Heaven Spring Sunset over Holiday Island Arkansas
Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
and princes will rule in justice.
Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
a shelter from the storm,
like streams of water in a dry place,
like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will give attention.
The heart of the hasty will understand and know,
and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.
The fool will no more be called noble,
nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.
For the fool speaks folly,
and his heart is busy with iniquity,
to practice ungodliness,
to utter error concerning the Lord,
to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil;
he plans wicked schemes
to ruin the poor with lying words,
even when the plea of the needy is right.
But he who is noble plans noble things,
and on noble things he stands.When
the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.
Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
And the effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
Labels: Scenic Arkansas, scripture
May 07, 2008
The Selling of Memories
The Old Downtown of New Albany Indiana, where I am attending jewelers school. This is the heart of a community revitalization project that has brought 50 new businesses employing 300 plus people (including the school which moved there from another city last September)to this nearly 200 yearl old city on the skids. Sadly, things are not going well as the dismal economy is taking its toll. With the elections held yesterday both candidates spent a lot of time here, people hoping for a Democratic win and renewal through "change"...
"Please I really need as much as I can get... you still buy gold dont you?..."
Charlie nods as the harried looking woman with her school age children in tow, drops a baggie full of chains and earrings and other jewelry on the counter. Charlie dumps the bag out and begins to sort and test each peice of gold. As she waits she stikes up a conversation with the retired watchmaker that comes in two days a week. The state of Indiana has a law that during the winter, your power and heat cannot be turned off for any reason, but after May 1st, you get a three day notice. This lady was one of a number of people that came in with desparation on their faces...
There was quite a bit and the final total of a lifetime of gifts and treasured momentos was..."$534.89...I'm sorry I wish it was more but we buy for scrap only and the stones are not counted. If you want them they will be two buck a peice to remove..."
"Its not enough, I owe 1600 dollars to the power people, maybe I can stave them off... ok I will do it." Her ID is copied, and a release is signed...A check is written and she went on her way. Charlie sighs... and mutters "I wish I could do more..." as he dumps the little containers with the various karat weights into the storage boxes that eventually go to the refiner to be melted down...
I wonder sometimes if I really understand. I know what it was like to be in that kind of a situation. We sold a timeshare we loved, a pick up truck, a riding mower. I put hundreds of personal belongings into consignment and sold much of the stuff our mothers gave us...let alone the store inventory that I sold for a song when we needed money during those fateful years in Paradise. Woody had a job that due to the low wage and the expenses of just getting him to the job and keeping him there dragged us into the hole every six weeks... the money crunch was a nightmare. We nearly lost our house, and would have come back to the mainland with suitcases as so many people do. But God delivered us...
I am not like the lady that sold her wedding rings off of her finger yesterday. Young and expecting, with a husband in Iraq, she was laid off and was facing losing her apartment because she cant juggle all of her bills now that she has just the money he sends her. Her prospects of getting a job in her condition are slim to none. Charlie tried to tell her to just pawn it because 250.00 was all he could give her. She took the money and signed her lovely ring away. Charlie took it and put it the safe... "If her husband comes home he may want to buy that back... dont tell anyone I just did that." I wanted to cheer.
I have been broke. when newly single in 1988, I joked that I needed 2.5 dates a week to get by and thank God for free food at Happy hour at Acapulco because I ate there a lot. It helped me make my 280.00 a week go just a little further. I have gone hungry, and have found bags of groceries on my front porch delivered in the dark by kind friends. But I have yet to sit in the dark or face the cold for lack of heat, nor ever slept in my car like friends I know have at times in their lives. I fear that sort of thing... it gnaws at me
So here I sit in my lovely apartment with my fuzzy little yipper, thankful, but wary because this is a national trend, check out this article
We have been doing this slowly for years, selling things to pay off other bills and I fear that we will be reduced to this. Woody doesnt understand how to live like this, on the edge, and has no words of comfort for me. He tells me I am stupid to think this way. Im not. It could happen to any of us.
Labels: Conner School, Current Events, Hawaii, Marriage
May 04, 2008
Psalm 17~You Have Tried My Heart
The Inner Courtyard of the Little Portion Monestery Prayer Garden. This area and the building in the background was destryed by fire this week. Berryville ArkansasPsalm 17
A Prayer of David.
Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry!
Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
From your presence let my vindication come!
Let your eyes behold the right!
You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night,
you have tested me, and you will find nothing;
I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips
I have avoided the ways of the violent.
My steps have held fast to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my words.
Wondrously show your steadfast love,
O Savior of those who seek refuge
from their adversaries at your right hand.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who do me violence,
my deadly enemies who surround me.
They close their hearts to pity;
with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
They have now surrounded our steps;
they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
He is like a lion eager to tear,
as a young lion lurking in ambush.
Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him!
Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
from men by your hand, O Lord,
from men of the world whose portion is in this life.
You fill their womb with treasure;
they are satisfied with children,
and they leave their abundance to their infants.
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
Labels: John Michael Talbot, Little Portion, Scenic Arkansas, scripture
May 01, 2008
Through the Fire
The beautiful Charity Chapel,Little Portion Hermatage, Berryville AR
I dont get emails from John Michael Talbot often, and only a handful that were not a part of a greater distribution, So I was surprised to see on in my inbox. He was to be on tour until summer, so it was unexpected
John Michael Talbot
the message was worse
From JMT - Written on Tuesday, April 29,2008
Last night the sleep of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, Monastic, was interrupted close to midnight as a raging fire burned our Chapel and Common Center to the ground. Viola and I were the first on the scene as I saw the orange/red glow through our hermitage's back windows. Upon arriving we found there were no hoses capable of stopping the raging flames. I ran up the hill and woke up the community, and we started the almost futile task of spraying down the part of the Common Center that had not yet burned and retrieving anything from inside we could still find.
A Photo of the Chapel and Commons going up in flames. the loss is devestating
He went on to say that the Chapel, Refectory, Library and offices for the various ministries as well as Troubadour For The Lord Records and its inventory were a total loss. However praise be to God that while there is smoke injuries No one was killed or injured. They are so far up in the hills that it took the fire dept nearly 30 minutes to respond to the fire and sadly the community was not prepared for a fire like this.
The bell tower of the now destroyed Charity Chapel Little Portion Monestery, Berryville AR
I am praying for these dear people who mean the world to me. JMT said to me at the last retreat as we were sharing a meal that he really wanted to focus on the Community in the comming years, That he has loved every minute of his 50 years of performing recording and playing music, it wasnt the thing he knew God was doing in his life anymore full time. How interestng that all of the awards, trophies, memorabelia, photos and archives of the past 30 years vanished in an hour. This man who would tell you he owns nothing and cares only for the people God has entrusted to his leadership, has seen a devastating personal loss of stuff, but perhaps a freeing up to do more. For example, the community has been concerned for years about the wooden buildings, and have slowly as funds allowed rebuilt in durable stone more in keeping with the enviroment here. The fire has been ruled accidental and there was proper insurance. They can rebuild more quicklly this way but it was a painful way to get to this point.
If anyone is interested in donating to the building fund you can click here
this takes you to Troubadour For The Lord ministies website and is secure. Thank you for your prayers and intrest weather you give or not
This is a community that has weathered many storms, has stood through controversy and misunderstanding and even distain. JMT has seen it all and as I have said before that one of the many reasons I have admired him for much of my life is that "he walks the talk..." .Perhaps this latest trial is yet another way to show the world this radiacal way to love God and to live out that love totally by serving others. When I get discouraged, I will remeber this, and through the fires of our lives with the help of God we will see it through to the end...
With a Little Help From our friends... receiving a gift from the brothers of Subiaco Monestery, The Monastic Brothers and Sisters of Charity,( yes including the kids!)Berryville AR
Labels: Breaking News, Catholic, Faith, John Michael Talbot, Little Portion