Full Throttle Clean thoughts from a caffeine junkie
Standing in line at Wal-Mart, I noted that at every register there are a wide selection of energy drinks. Full Throttle is one of just a slew of energy drinks on the market - Full Throttle from Coca-Cola Company, Adrenaline Rush, Amp Energy drink, Double Shot from Starbucks, No Fear from SoBe and of course, RedBull which is the one first introduced in the US. European and Asia countries have been consuming these energy drinks longer than we have. ("who's this 'we' Tonto? Americans) On occasion I have had an energy drink but I considered RedBull, well, high test and not sure how I would react. It made me question, why do we need energy? a pick me up? coffee in the morning? In three words, "we never stop" I totally agree with the "I would rather burn out than fade away" but if God rested on the 7th day who are we to think that we don't need rest? Rest - It is a biblical principle that I think is being overlooked these days. We need down time and we need it regularly. There are so many principles to put into practice. Often we translate that into being active. That reminds me of a bumper sticker, "Look busy, Jesus is coming back." You have to stay busy even if you are not accomplishing anything. At least you look the part. It is hard in our society to just be, after all, we are human beings but we act like human doings. Physical rest, mental and spiritual rest are all necessary. It would do us good to learn from orthodox Jews about the sabbath rest. I do realize that they take it to the extreme but if we find a way to implement it into our lives I believe we will burn brightly for years to come, eventually coming to the burn out, not fading away or rusting out.
As I sit here, drinking my morning jump juice, I am realizing that this is what I am missing in my staying in one place longer than usual. When we move to a new place, all we have is each other. There is time to relax after the unpacking is done. We go exploring and each of us has time to spend alone and with each other. It is up to us to get to know other folks and we have in every place we have lived. The rest of my time here in G'ville will be more productive, if I make rest a regular part of my week. For today, there are routes to be routed, lists to be made, speeches to be polished and debates to be had in preparation for the Masters conference that we leave for in just 9 short days. I hope each of you find some time to rest this weekend. Pax, Catherine
6 Months in Gainesville and starting our 13th month in the Sunshine State. Sure there are other states to see but staying for a while longer than we are use to is an adventure too. Imagine, cooking a turkey without having boxes to pack in between basting the bird. Christmas with a real tree, of course, we still have our travel size "you can't have Christmas, GML tree" and it has taken a beating but still looks marvelous. I am ready to go when the time comes but for now I am content to stay. It is wonderful getting to work and serve along side my husband and children. For all of those who have welcomed us we can not thank you enough for your Gracious Gator Hospitality. PS If anyone up North reads this say Happy Birthday to our nephew Nicky who turns 17 today.
Pilgrim latest read, The Highlander's Last Song by George MacDonald Originally titled What's Mine's Mine I just wanted to post a few quotes before I return the book to the shelf.
One of them I am currently using in my email signature, "A love can never be lost; it is a true possession."
For those of us who are on the pilgrim highway, "God did not make the world to be dwelt in but to be journeyed through."
Those who long for abundant living, "...think she(Mercy) must, for she found herself in a region of human life drastically different from any she had ever experienced. Everything said or done seemed to acknowledge something understood. Life went on with a continuous lean toward something rarely mentioned, plainly uppermost. The mother and her two sons appeared to know things which her own people did not even suspect."
Fragile I have been to the post office a few times in the past 2 weeks. The second time I was in line with a few things to mail. Some of them needed to be weight and mailed off with the proper postage. Of course the clerk asks the usual "anything fragile, hazzardous, liquid or perishable?" I don't think I said anything and the clerk stamped on the front of a certain envelop "fragile," as if she could see on my face that part of my heart was in the 6x9 envelop. I walked out in a sort of dream like state. Am I that transparent? Then I remembered a little section from the latest George MacDonald novel that I just finished reading: "It is the desire to call things ours - the desire of company which is not of our kind. We call the holding in the hand, or house, or pocket, or purse, or the power, having. But things so held cannot really be had. Having is but an illusion with regard to things. It is only what we can be with that we really possess. A love can never be lost; it is a true possession. But who can take his diamond ring, or his piece of land, in to the life beyond? These are not possessions. Thus, only love, and only God can be ours perfectly. Nothing called property can be ours at all." Although, the card and the words that were written are an expression of my love they were not fragile in the world's definition however in the spiritual world the contents were indeed precious and would be handled with much care.
Let the stories be told For those of you who I write a letter to on a semi regular basis, you know the kind that comes via the US Postal Service, well I wrote most of it in October and then my computer got sick. It is still in the computer shop waiting for a transplant. The machine is ancient (nearly 4 years old) so you have to wait for parts longer when they are that old. At present each person in our family is writing their own novel. We are doing NanoWrimo which is writing a novel in the month of November 50,000 words is the goal. You read that right FIFTY THOUSAND. Each of us has over 25,000 words that is well over 125,000 (I think each of the children have over 30K each). WOW. This is my time on the computer to get some writing do but instead I am posting here. Perhaps I will go put the coffee on and then get into my book. The Title is Identity Theft (subtitle) It is not your number they want but the name that they refuse to give you. A futuristic story of the US being in the midst of civil war, families are becoming a thing of the past, all children are wards of the state and some refuse to let the government tare their families apart. Recently, Michael got to meet one of his favorite author's Lemony Snicket aka Daniel Handler on a surprise trip to Atlanta with me. The girls went to St. Pete's (St. Petersburg, FL) to meet one of their favorite authors (most of Grace's favorites are dead and Angie is fully alive) Angela Hunt. Katie is the one who really introduced us to her writing. The written word in both the reading and the writing of has always been important to our family but now for the month of November anyway, it has taken first place. Time to brew in more way than one. Pax Vobiscum, Catherine
Time to start writing a little more regularly. I have haphazardly been posting on my other blog www.xanga.com/macgrill but I think that I probably won't be posting there anymore since xanga has the rights to whatever you write – hence here I am. Since my last posting we have had many life-giving experiences which I will not go into right now. The day before yesterday I opened a box marked "after G'ville" which to me meant after we left G'ville in late September which obviously did not happen. (We are on “assignment” in G’ville for now, possibly staying through May.) The box had books in it and they are treasures to us. Since hitting the road we do not own a lot of things but we do love books and when we pull them out, it feels like pulling out a little piece of home. Our family has thoroughly enjoyed reading together. Currently we are reading Brother Andrew’s “Light Force” which is about his experiences in the Middle East where he has met with Jihad and Hezbollah leaders, among others in order to dialogue with those in the Muslim world. I opened the box and immediately came upon 3 books, one by Francis Shaeffer, one by Edith (his wife) and one by Susan (his daughter). Grace is almost finished reading The Tapestry, a book about the Shaeffer family. So we were blessed. The book I started to read is For the Children’s Sake by Susan Shaeffer Macaulay. It was a book I had read years ago when our children were small and that book made Susan an encouraging friend. I am sure I have a copy back in MA somewhere (since we have books in about 4 different places thanks to my book keepers :-) but seeing it on the bookshelf for sale at McKay’s used bookstore for 2 dollars I bought it just to have on my shelf. I started to read it again. Mind you it is not for those faint of heart. It is meaty, right and true but it can be a challenge to those who have not changed their philosophy of education since being “a typical student” themselves. We continue to meet homeschooling moms who are burnt out on doing “school at home” and attempting to fill their children’s minds with facts instead of training them to become life long learners. So as I started to reread this book, I thought about my most recent encounter with those who actually work in the government schools. Santa Fe Community College, here in Gainesville offered a free workshop to any educator interested in the ACT testing available to all juniors and seniors across the country. Since, Grace will be taking the SAT’s, I thought why not check it out. I exchanged pleasantries with the woman beside me and then the woman in front of us turned around to join in. This “lady” was obviously strongly opposed to those of us that educate our children at home. As soon as I said that I educated my children at home she started raising her voice, pointing her finger at me and using “you” statements, I finally found something to help us laugh which put an end to what felt like 20 minutes but was most likely about 2. She then turned to the other gov’t. worker and started in on some shop talk, by and large a list of complaints. I found myself thanking God silently that we as a family have not had to deal with all that endless red tape. At first, I felt assaulted but soon I realized that it had nothing to with me personally. Her whole line of “shoulds” implied that I was depriving my children from all that government schools have to offer as if Dan and I do not have sole authority over the direction of our children’s education. To many in the government schools, we are the enemy. I don’t see them as my enemy, in fact, as I sat there listening to these two women who are constantly swimming up stream, lacking creativity because the bureaucracy has tied their hands and I felt sad for them. As much as some public educators’ love children they can not and must not treat children as individual persons with different learning styles, strengths and weaknesses. They can not truly love them because they are forbidden to honor these dear precious lives.
For those who enjoy newsie type post I hope you enjoy my last entry which I just re-read . . . it seemed a little bit of rambling to me. It had been over a month so I wanted to let you know I was still alive, well and continuing on our adventurous way even though we are still in FL.
This July Grace put on a successful speech and debate workshop and from that doors have opened, phones are ringing and the inbox is filling up. In Tallahassee I found myself in several interesting conversations with parents who are new to world of forensics (formal argumentation, not CSI style). As we prepare to help start a club here in Gainesville, I realize that there is so much that I don't know but apparently I know enough that other people want to pick my brain. It is a place of responsibility and one that we are embracing and at the same time being very dependent on the Lord.
If you think of the Mullaney Pilgrims please keep us in your prayers and we will keep our seatbelts on as we hang on for the ride.
Three weeks on the road, the first 2 with Grace, the 3rd with Katie and Michael. Our children are growing up fast. It was great being with them. During TeenpactJudicial (www.tpjudicial.org) we made new friends and served along side one another. Some say I am a bit of a sergeant but it is also true that those who may be heavy on discipline are also sustained by a deep love for people. It is getting things done that you want to accomplish that frees us up to have a bit of fun. Inky and I surprised Grace with cake and flowers for her birthday and a room full of people to help us celebrate. Perhaps a Chinese fire drill for good measure as well. Grace's second surprise came in the oldest established city in the country St. Augustine Florida where we met up with Dan, Katie and Michael to celebrate the girls birthdays. It was a fun filled 22 hours before Grace and I needed to head to Miami Florida. Have you ever been there in the height of the summer? Step outside the door at 7:15 am and for us people who tend to sweat, you instantly start melting. The Tellez family hosted us in that lovely south Florida city where we attended CFC (www.communicatorsforchrist.com ) Grace is an alumni of the program and was able to work with the staff. So that makes me an alumni parent, so I helped the parents who hosted that conference. I also got to visit with some of our dear friends from Naples. We even had dinner with a number of them followed by a taste of heaven while we worshipped the Lord after our meal and before we parted ways. Tallahassee Florida, Tallahassee, Florida . . . our states capital (yes, the good Floridians have adopted us and made us one of them) seriously, the Floridians we know have loved us like one of their own. Katie, Michael and I had a great time in Tal. Karen Kovaka said to Katie and Michael, "there are more Mullaneys?" They were endeared to the staff through their older sister Grace. We really bonded with the CFC staff especially since it was my second week on tour with them, they were ready to take me to VA with them but there is more to be done in Florida. So we said our good-byes until next time. Besides we are gearing up to help establish a speech and debate club in Gainesville. It is an exciting adventure that includes the whole family. We can't wait to see what the Lord will do next . . . if you think of us, we would appreciate your prayers.
This morning I turned on the FoxNews - wanting to know what is going on in the middle east. Mostly, they were showing the Americans being evacuated from Beirut. It is serious and it is also, more of the war on terrorism. The battle may be between Lebanon and Israel but the war is between the terrorists and the rest of the world. It linger in the back of our minds. However, with click of a button, I find myself at the British Open in Liverpool, England where my maternal grandmother was from. On to the next channel, I found Zig Ziglar encourager extrodinaire, putting in the plug for his new book, Better than Good! Interest we can literally tune out those things that have the capability of effecting us in the near future or for the rest of our days. Sometimes we don't want to know and other times like when I first picked up the clickah, we feel compelled to know what is going on in our world, in our Father's world. The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. We are His children, agents and warriors. What is my part? What is our part? How am I to respond? If you were a fly on my wall, you might say well look at Catherine, she has gone and made a T-time for tomorrow (that TEE not Tea, so I will be picking up a club not putting on the kettle). Yet, the fly has no idea what is going on in my heart and mind. Lots of things go on in my mind, like should our family be getting passports, fire arms, and bullet proof vests? Is WWIII just around the corner? Will our children be going to war? My heart cry is COME Lord Jesus COME . . .watching and waiting for the day of HIS RETURN. Pax Vobiscum, Catherine
A Crack in my soul There is a crack in the new glass coffee table and we have been here just over 24 hours. It really doesn't matter how it happened. My knowing the cause will not mend it. A slight disturbance does not need to become anger at one of my family members ~ funny, I just really liked the piece of glass as a whole and now it is in two pieces. People's lives have many cracks in them. We don't like a lot of what we see in ourselves and others. As pride-filled humans we do our best to hide most of these cracks from one another. The longer I live, the more I realize that we all have broken places and some of them have just surfaced within the last day. Accepting the cracks in ourselves and others enables us to grow in our relationships with one another. Some of these flaws we need to bring to the Lord and ask for healing or guidance or perhaps we are in need of discipline - we are to bring our burden to Him. It is not up to us to tell the Lord to fix something in our brother. Sure we can pray for him and ask the Lord to help him but it is more effective in our relationships if we ask for grace and acceptance to love our brother right where he is. For me the most painful cracks are the ones in my personal relationships. Some are really obvious to myself, the other person and anyone who knows both of us and our history. Others are the most personal in nature, there is a crack in the foundation of the relationship and it can only be mended if both parties are willing and I believe there needs to be a mutual surrender to the Lord. It will be a healing touch from the hand of God. There are requirements for us _ forgiveness, grace and understanding however it is God who provides there for us. When God is the foundation of a relationship, it has exactly what it needs to withstand the storms that happen in the best of relationships. Moving on and knowing that new relationships are on the horizon, I've been looking back over this past assignment in Naples Florida at a number of friendships that have developed over the last 2 years. Some bring joy to my heart, some have wounds that are healed and the relationship continues to grow, some cracks are sharp and particularly painful and others are broken in such a way that I don't have much hope for restoration. There is a question in my mind about a certain relationship in which I need to say something but I am not sure what to say, when to say it and how to even approach the issue of the crack. In my humanness, I want to shake the dust off of my feet or wash my hands of the whole thing - move on in my heart and mind as well as my hands and feet. Yet my spirit in agreement with the Lord's says, this needs healing - do your best to work it out - at least from your side. So that means some "soul searching " for me in the next week or so. Please pray for me. Pax Vobiscum, CM Catherine Mullaney copyright 2006
"We here highly resolve to remember that the dead that lay here did not die in vain" this is the inscription that is in the arch of the amphitheatre behind the tomb of the unknown soldier. Below is a marble chair where children were taking one another's pictures. They were smiling and posing not really thinking about where they were as they took their photos. One of the girls was about to walk past me and I asked her, "did you read what is says in the archeway?" She said, that she was about to go up to read it. I told her that she would not be able to see it if she went up there. She read it, looked at me with a more somber smile. I said, it was because they died you can be here free to take pictures and do what you like. She thanked me and I prayed that she would reflect on not only the words but also the sacrifices that fellow Americans make for us everyday.
It is wartime and still children frolic.
Daily those who have served their country are buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.
The Road is calling..... Whatever you do whether packing or cleaning do it all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, we have got a good 1/3 or so of our packing done, we leave for VA for Nationals at the end of the week, return, finish packing and hit the road again.
A closing chapter by Catherine Mullaney (May 21st,2006) Yesterday we attended a very nice high school graduation of seniors who were educated at home. There were 15 grads and we got to see a glimpse of who each one was through music, speeches, interpretations and of course DVD (the 21st century medium). Each grad received their diploma from his/her Mum and Dad. It was an honor for us to be invited by 3 of the grads who have become our friends over the last two years. One of the dad's (not one that we know personally) who is a pastor was slated to give the charge, an exhortation if you will, to graduates. Instead, he was an opportunist - seeing that we were in a church sanctuary he failed to get out of his box and gave a sermon. I have a pretty high tolerance for these kind of things but my son was very agitated and whispered when is this guy going to finish his sermon. Then I started thinking about what this man was saying and how Michael felt about it. Here were a group of young people most of whom are much more mature than their contemporaries and they are handed an exhortation in the form of a sermon. These are Christian kids who probably here a sermon most Sundays and this weekend they get a double billing. I guess being a speech and debate mum has made me a little more critical than I use to be. Most of the content was good, but the packaging (delivered as a sermon) was distasteful to me. Perhaps I am old fashion and if you are going to go through all the hard work of cap and gown, procession, wonderful decorations including personal picture collages of each graduate, use of the building, invitation and the like, but you don't hear words from the keynote speaker, that are something along the lines of "you are our future," then perhaps they might want to rethink who it is that will charge your students at the next "traditional graduation" from a non-traditional education. On a more personal note: It was great to be there and to celebrate with these few families that we have gotten to know over the last two years. Our oldest daughter is not too far away from graduation herself, so the touching moments during the ceremony reached me. Blessings, prayers and kudos to the Mock, Moore, Morrow families!!
Extraordinary It has been a while since I have posted. We just returned from GA where Grace competed in Region 8 Invitational Tournament. Let's just say we were very proud parents!! To God be the glory! It was also our pleasure to stay with old friends of ours in Marietta, Todd and Judy Marek. This week we are doing our best to just be (I could elaborate if you want me to - just ask). Next week we will start packing to move and then we will all be going to Nationals and when we return we will finish packing and hit the road again.
I finished reading The Barbarian Way by Edwin Raphael McManus Some more quotes: "You are the recipient of the God who cannot be tamed and of a faith that must not be tamed. You are no longer a prisoner of time and space, but a citizen of the kingdom of God - a resident of the barbarian tribe. God is not a sedative that keeps you calm and under control by dulling your senses. He does quite the opposite. He awakens your spirit to be truly alive. ....you are most fully alive when you are on an adventure with God."
"Jesus was anything but the poster child for status quo."
"To see from a kingdom perspective is to know that there is a conflict of invisible kingdoms and that people's lives are forever changed by what happens in the unseen. We are called to be warriors of light in dark places. We are mystical warriors who use weapons not of this world."
When you understand what Jesus means when He says that you must follow Him, you finally realize that this is not a cattle call. He is not calling you to the same life that everyone else will live. He's not even calling you to the same path that every follower of Christ will walk. Your life is unique before God, and your path is yours and yours alone. Where God will choose to lead you and how God chooses to use your life cannot be predicted by how God has worked in the lives of others before you."
"Is it possible that the transforming power of the church has been lost because we keep inviting people to step into the comfort, safety, and security of Jesus Christ? We've created a religious culture in which - even though we're the most blessed society in the history of the planet - our best selling literature still focuses on how we can be more blessed. May we need to step way back to the beginning of this movement."
"When barbarians travel together, . . . they walk together as free individuals joined not by standardization, but by spirit."
"When the Spirit of God comes to live within you, you strangely become aware of your inadequacy and your extraordinary potential. "
"Rhinos moving together at full speed are known as a crash. Even when they're just hanging around enjoying the watershed, they're called a crash because of their potential. You've got to love that. I think that's what we're supposed to be. That's what happens when we become barbarians and shake free of domestication and civility. The becomes a crash. We become an unstoppable force."
Teacher leave those kids alone.... I just finished reading for the second time Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto. I probably read it the first time in 1999 perhaps 1998. The subtitle is The Hidden Curriculum of Complusory Schooling. The author, New York State Teacher of the Year and this book sheds so much light upon the public school system that half way through the book you know that it is not necessary to "do school" to get a real education. In fact, JT Gatto contends that "education and schooling are, as we all have experienced, mutually exclusive terms." This slender volume packs a powerful punch. Don't take my word for it. Read the book. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes: "Curiosity has no important place in my work, only conformity."
"School is a twelve-year jail sentence where bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned."
". . . networks, even good ones, drain the vitality from communities and families."
"It's just impossible for education and schooling to be the same thing."
"By preventing a free market in education, a handful of social engineers - backed by the industries that profit from compulsory schooling: teacher colleges, textbook publishers, materials suppliers, et al. - has ensured that most of our children will not have an education, even though they may be thoroughly schooled."
"Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your road map through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die." Since Mr. Gatto taught school (not english as he thought he was going to) in the NYC school system, he is basically outing compulsory schooling and taking us behind the scenes illuminating a philosophy of education which has little to do with learning. As I continue to travel the road that I am on with my husband and children, more and more I see how this little book had a great impact on our freedom to educate our children at home and to live by the spirit and not by man-made schooling philosophies.
Yesterday, we watched the end of the Nabisco Classic LPGA Championship....(just hang in there with me if you are not into golf - ladies) Lorena Ochoa had been leading the whole tournament until the last back nine, Michele Wee, Natalie Glubis and Karrie Webb(a verteran who was the first LPGA player to ever earn $1 Million) were in the hunt. Karrie Webb approached the 18th and chipped it in for eagle from 116 yds. to take the lead at 9 under. The other 3 were on the 16th fairway and it was if Karrie said, come and get me girls. Ochoa ended up tying with an eagle herself. IT was sudden death playoff back to the 18th Tee. Karrie won leaving the young ones to gear up for the next tournament. What captivates us? It wasn't so much the golf...although it is more enjoyable when you understand the sport.... it was the drama of it all........the let's step it up girls and give it our all....let's give the crowd what they came for... a great performance.....and the message for this warrior of the King, daughter of Zion was that when I am given a task to do or take on anything that I do it whole-heartedly. When we are willing to listen, the message can come from any place. Thank you Lord. We can not put you in a box. CM
DON'T BE ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL "When you understand what Jesus means when He says that you must follow Him, you finally realize that this is not a cattle call. He is not calling you to the same life that everyone else will live. He's not even calling you to the same path that every follower of Christ will walk. Your life is unique before God, and your path is yours and yours alone. Where God will choose to lead you and how God chooses to use your life cannot be predicted by how God has worked in the lives of others before you." The Barbarian Way by E.R. McManus Mr. McManus is talking about our Christian life, pilgrimage, His will for our life....for me as a follower of Christ - a pilgrim who educates her children at home along with her husband will contend that this is just as true about why and how we educate our children. My philosophy of education is to be as individual as my walk with the Lord. In fact, I believe that how and why we educate our children at home is an extention of our spiritual life. If someone were to have looked at my life from beginning to age 23 (when I had my first child), a number of people (including spirit filled Christians) would say that I was NOT a good candidate to be a "home educator." Recently, my children and I were some place where a number of homeschoolers were and one of mine said, "everyone but us is doing this." I said, "that's right." It was simply an observation. And it is simply an observation in this post. It does not mean that you can't encourage me and I can't encourage you in your path . . . in fact, we do need to encourage one another however, there will be times when the road seems long and lonely but we are to remember that Jesus says "Follow me." The Lord will always be with us as we walk with Him..Remember when Peter was speaking to Jesus after the Resurrection. He said to the Lord, "what about him (meaning John the beloved)?" In paraphrase Jesus said, that is none of your business. YOU follow ME. It is so easy to be overly concerned about what others think of us. The proverb writer says that it proves to be a snare. So, I want to encourage every follower of Jesus Christ to continue to follow HIM even when the herd you have been traveling with starts heading in a different direction. I will end with another quote from Mr. McManus: "We are called to a path filled with uncertainty, mystery, and risk."
The Invasion "To belong to God is to belong to His heart. IF we have responded to the call of Jesus to leave everything and follow Him, then there is a voice within us crying out, "Fight for the heart of your King!" Erwin continues to talk about the tribe called to action. He uses the following verbs to describe these tribesmen: "Come" "Go!" "Forward" "The invitation of Jesus is a revolutionary call to fight for the heart of humanity. We are called to an unconventional war using only the weapons of faith, hope and love." "...invisible kingdoms are at war for the hearts and lives of every human being who walks on the face of the earth. And times of war require barbarians who are willing to risk life itself for the freedom of others." "It is time to hear the barbarian call" from chapter 1 of The Barbarian Way by Erwin R. McManus
WARNING: This post my be hazzardous to your religious life This past Sunday Grace and I heard in certain local preacher give a sermon about Jesus the Lion of Judah (I am almost positive that was not his title, but for time sake I am not going to go looking for my bulletin). Let's just say that more people need to be talking, preaching, and teaching about who the real Jesus of the Bible is and our identify in Him. It is neither passive nor wimpie!!! As you can see I am currently reading The Barbarian Way, I want to share a word or two from it and I want to encourage my readers (the strong and the few ;-) to live for the King, The Warrior of the Cross who has equipped us for the battle we enter into each day. "The civilized build shelters and invite God to stay with them; barbarians move with God wherever He chooses to go. The civilized Christian has a routine; the barbarian disciple has a mission. The civilized believer knows the letter of the law; the barbarian disciple lives the spirit of the law. The religiously civilized love tradition; the barbarian spirit loves challenges. The civilized are satisfied with ritual; barbarians live and thrive in the mystical. For the civilized disciple, religion provides stability and certainty; for the barbarian , a life in God is one of risk and mystery. And maybe even a little insanity. There's no way to escape that barbarians can appear out of their minds. No reasonable person would ever fully follow God everywhere He calls. God is simply unreasonable." The Barbarian Way by Erwin R. McManus
Hard Drive......woes Well, unless my brother-in-law can perform a miracle my hard-drive is dead. I am hoping for a Lazarus. Anyway..... If any of you read this please send me an email so that I will have your address to my gmail. It is firstname.lastname@example.org (my kids said, "real original Mum") - I still have macsgrill but nowhere to story addresses so that is why I would like you to email me at gmail. I think it(the boring email addy) is probably my more serious side, practical and maturing side that caused me to do such a thing. You see, I don't consider myself boring or bored - as I have said several times to my children, when they have said, "I'm bored." My reply is no you are not, only boring people get bored. So, it is never a dull moment around here(wherever that may be at the moment) or shall I say, on the pilgrim highway. This is me from Grace's computer and I need to get off now. I look forward to hearing from all my faithful readers. If I missed your bday or anything it is because I don't have your email addy memorized please forgive me. Pax Vobiscum, CM
Individuals "Statistical evidence is overwhelming that millions of American children, including those graduating from high school, cannot read. When a disorder affects so many people, one calls it an epidemic. An epidemic is always caused by external forces, not by defects in the individual….When so many children are affected by the same disorder, the explanation cannot possibly be individual psychopathology." Dr. Hilde Mosse
Seeing the affects of Katrina 1st installment New Orleans: Nearly 5 months later Written on January 22, 2006 On our day off between speech week and debate week, our friend Jennifer Foreman’s husband Collins was able to put us in touch with relief worker Bonnie Nelson from Arkansas. We went to New Orleans proper and picked Bonnie up at School of Urban Missions which is being used as an Emergency Relief staging area. Bonnie and her husband Rich have been working in the relief effort for the last 4 months. When they first arrived it was very dangerous, there were snipers everywhere but they lived in the safest part of town with the biggest protection, the FBI sharp shooters who were able to take out all of the snipers. Leaving New Orleans proper we drove through what the locals call, “The West Bank” this particular neighborhood sustained very little damage and they were the only neighborhood that was not flooded. Now they call themselves “The Blessed Bank.” The first place we visited was the lower 9th ward. Each house has been searched twice and while we were there the authorities were on the third round. Each house is marked with four quadrants in the top one many were marked with TFW (Toxic Flood Waters) in the bottom was a number usually a zero and lots with a zero with a slash through it meaning no bodies found on both first and second sweep. In the right-hand quad. It would often be marked with a “C” or “D” if a cat or dog was found. In the left number of firearms found. Much of the city still is without electricity. There are no children in New Orleans. Throughout the lower 9th there were a ton of stop signs because of the lack of electricity. There maybe 10 houses worth restoring here, but who would want to when the rest of the neighborhood needs to be leveled. Many homes, including ones that will never recover from the flood damage had professional signs that read, “No Bulldozing!” There was trash everywhere. A set of stairs on a postage size stamp of land that led to the house that now sits in the middle of the street 200 yards away. Someone’s couch set on a tipped over 18 wheeler. Former homes piled together from the surge that broke through the levee and push them together as if they were Monopoly pieces. To drive through this place and see it for myself was very sobering. 21st century live coverage can not even do the devastation justice.
SURPRISE!! (ON JANUARY 15, 2006) Shortly after my 37th birthday, we left family, good friends and all that was familiar to become pilgrims. I had been to a few “big birthday parties” and I always enjoyed them. It had crossed my mind when I was perhaps 35, that I would not object to having one myself come my 40th or 50th. (I have heard that 40 is the new 30 and 50 the new 40. I think that means we are not over the hill till 50. So youthful for another 10 years I will be. Yay!!) Anyway, as some of you may know, my initial birthday celebration was quiet and intimate. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and did not feel deprived in the least.
Little did I know that planning and scheming were happening right under my nose. There indeed was a surprise party in store for me. It hasn’t been quite three years since we started traveling. God has given us friends in Florida who treat us like with are family. (Truth be told we are family in a very real way through our all being children of The Father.) My party was billed as a get together under a few different headings, “A Masters’ send off” “fellowship with the Scofields” “lunch with the Scofields.” The very day of the party we were leaving for Masters and meeting at the Scofields. This meant Grace and I would be leaving, Dan, Katie and Michael for 2 weeks. There was a lot to get done before leaving and in order to leave. I left my packing till Sunday morning (we were leaving in the evening). I threw a few monkey wrenches in the last 24 hours leading up to the party but my family had help in getting rid of them so that the guest of honor would make it to her Surprise 40th Birthday party.
I can’t explain how blessed we have been by the people we have met up and down the east coast of these United States, especially those in Florida. At times, the journey has been a little quieter and a little lonelier but we appreciate each place our travels have taken us. It’s a hoot for this New England girl to celebrate a winter birthday in the Florida sunshine surrounded by fairly new loved ones. Other random party facts *Grace even got my mother in on it by having her send a bunch of pictures of me from birth and onward. *My family went out at midnight to go to Wal-Mart to get last minute party stuff the night before… *My dear friend Barb Southwick whom I have known since I was 15 was there (she now lives in Naples with her hubbie and kids) *No one even alluded to a party *I was surprised!
Back from Louisiana I wrote the following on January 17th, 2006 in one of my travel journals. The event described happened on the 16th.
Last night we stayed at Ramada Inn in Pensacola – still in Florida after 2 days travel – before checking in we went to the beach and ate at Surfburger. It was a great time of fellowship for all. After the meal the kids went out to the beach, while Tom, Cory and I sat and talked a good while. The waitress cleared our dishes and left us to enjoy our time together and before we knew it the floor was swept, bar stools were on top of the bar and suddenly the lights came on – “Last call” I said and Cory laughed. The waitress and the cook were cashing out and practically ready to lock up before we headed out. It was time to find those kids. We walked down the stairs (at least 20 of them since the restaurant was on stilts) directly onto the beach. The three of us were wondering out loud and looking up and down the beach – no sign of our children. As we continued our conversation I thought I heard singing so I interrupted and said, “Listen I think I hear singing.” We happened to be standing directly in front of a pier – I looked and thought I got a glimpse of someone standing near one of the boats docked there. So I walked out onto the pier. I didn’t hear them singing right away but I could tell that it was a group of kids huddled together. The thought went through my mind “I hope those are our kids.” “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty . . .” seven teenage voices singing in harmony ~ it was the song on the wind I had heard just a few minutes before – I waved for Tom & Cory to come on – it was indeed our kids. We kept our distance & savored the moment letting them finish out their song. At the very end of the pier our children invited the presence of the Lord and He came. The three of us were humbled by the sight of our children (the Holy Huddle). Were those tears in Tom’s eyes while he declared to Cory and me “this is what the trip is all about.”?
A Masters Moment So many doing their share, so many showing how much they care, It makes little difference what it will take, but every bit how they communicate.
Their was one not like all guests, So worried about possibly getting messed by the work that was required by the rest. She did her best to look the part, Before my eyes I saw her heart. In a moment, I saw with My Father's eyes, this sister does not realize, that the joy is in giving and not in false show. She is missing out and may never know.
Have compassion on this one, who is missing out on all the fun. Look beyond her smug face, she does not live within my grace.
I have learned to live to Him, to work with others in a light that never dims. Often at times it requiring sweat, dirt and a mustard stained suit. Pulling together and who gives a hoot? Sweat will dry, dirt washes off, the new suit will fade. Hearts are knit together, the work is done, We've become family except for the one.
The selfish one has missed the joy, because she despises the tools I use to make life richer, fuller and true. Look with compassion, do not resent, You looked to me and there she went.
Putting on an apron to look the part, Thinking that she was being smart, She does not draw close to the Father's heart. Her actions said look at me, I am helping out here thinking she had nothing to fear. There I was behind the scenes, getting a sense of how at times He feels with what my own actions reveal.
I walked away smiling feeling sad for the girl, who cared more for her reputation than the pearl. The one not found in the oyster shell, but having such great value only our actions can tell. by Catherine Mullaney writing to you from Ponchatoula, LA
"God - let me be aware. Let me not stumble blindly down the ways, Just getting somehow safely through the days, Not even groping for another hand, Not even wondering why it all was planned, Eyes to the ground unseeking for the light, Soul never aching for a wild-winged flight. Please, keep me eager just to do my share, God - let me eager just to do my share. God - let me be aware.
God - let me be aware. Stabe my soul fiercely with others' pain, Let me walk seeing horror and stain. Let me hands, groping, find other hands. Give me the heart that divines, understands. Give me the courage, wounded, to fight. Flood me with knowledge, drench me in light. Please keep me eager just to do my share. God - let me be aware." by Miriam Teichner
This poem was quoted in my E. Stanley Jones in the devotional I just finish today. I thought it was good enough to share on my blog here in cyberspace. Pax et annum faustum, CM