Friday, May 28, 2010

"Spiritual" but not Religious?

This is the best refute to that silly claim that I've read so far. I especially love this paragraph:

But why bother to be “spiritual” at all? Why not be at least agnostic? Being “spiritual” is a kind of natural default position. “Spiritual but not religious” provides a comfortable compromise between the two sides of our natures, our desire for God and our desire to be God ourselves.
Doesn't common sense dictate that you can't be spiritual without a spirit? The problem, for the "something for nothings" in our society, is that when you look to a spirit for guidance, he/she/it is telling you how to live & what to do...and then you can't live the way you want! Problem: you can't have it both ways.

Then this:
Being “spiritual” does not do us any good. As I recently wrote elsewhere, it works fairly well when you are healthy and have enough money to enjoy life, and just want from your spirituality the feeling that all is well with the universe, particularly your corner of it. But it doesn’t help you much when things go from good to bad.

The man wasting away from pancreatic cancer will get no help nor comfort from the “spiritual,” which will seem a lot less friendly and comforting when he feels pain morphine won’t suppress. He has no one to beg for help, no one to ask for comfort, no one to be with him, no one to meet when he crosses from this world to the next. He wants what religion promises.

And he is right to do so. The dying man is the true man, in the sense of being the one who reveals to us what we essentially are. We are on our death bed from the day we are born. To paraphrase Pascal, dying men want not the God of spirituality, but the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Win-Win

I can't think of a lot of words to describe this piece by The Anchoress. I just pray that I'd have the courage to trust in God in a situation like this. I also pray for many of the commenters who don't seem to grasp the concept of faith. Their references to "the 'real, existing' human" are troubling, yet conspicuously define our culture.


And that's a good thing! I have such a black thumb, I never thought I could ever have a successful garden. Well, I don't want to speak too soon, but the fact that I've already gotten some sprouts from seeds is far more successful than I've ever been before!! I attribute my husband's beautiful garden boxes he built for me and the soil that we put in them. Planting directly into our soil is a nightmare. It's full of clay, rock, and sand. It's miserable. And I can't believe how quickly they sprouted! Again...trying not to get my hopes up too much, but so far, so good!

Unfortunately I had to put the chicken wire around it because of our dog, "Princess Samantha". She thinks everything we do around here is for her enjoyment and she already dug up a few of my pepper sprouts. She's so lucky to be alive.

I'm going to do another post on the making of the garden boxes, but for now here is what's happening:

The first box with "poultry netting" (as the package called it!)


Li'l cucumbers

And even SWEET CORN!! I'm most excited about this. Hearkens back to the good ol' days growing up in Indiana!

And this is the "garden section" of our yard. Note the beautiful new fence in the background!

Batting 1000

Jack's first t-ball at-bat!

Walking for Life at the Beach

I spoke at a rally for the Walk for Life in Lewes, DE a couple of weeks ago. What a great event! I'm so thrilled that the passionate folks in Southern DE have been inspired to put an event like this together. I see it only getting bigger and bigger every year.

Just starting out

Save the humans!

And not a bad location either!

Big things for the Boilers

As good a coach as he was, this is what Gene Keady always struggled with - recruiting. I don't know why...I'm not an analyst. But it already seems like Matt Painter has a gift for getting the top players from his own state. And it's a big pond! Indiana high school basketball is a motherload of talent. Just watch Hoosiers and you'll know what the hype is all about!

How education SHOULD work

Check out this amazingly inspirational story from a network of Catholic (private) schools across the country. Not only is this some positive news coming out of a Church that is suffering from scandal and criticism right now, but it's also an example of how an educational system can work effectively without all the government bureaucracy interference. When you combine real education like science, reading and math with real-life lessons like hard work and determination, you get 100% graduation and college attendance rates.

And most of the kids who go to these schools are from poor minority households - kids who would have gotten lost in the public school system and left behind. Plus, the schools aren't plucking the best, smartest, highest-achieving kids from the public school system. They deliberately choose the kids in the middle of the pack. It's just such a wonderfully positive story. I wish we could see more of this around the country.

AZ Gettin' Tough!

I LOVE this story! For the record, I completely support AZ's immigration law. I don't believe it will result in racial profiling...the law prohibits it. I do believe it simply reiterates the federal laws that are on the books. All you have to do to is carry your driver's license around - you have to do that anyway!! Unfortunately the Feds aren't doing their jobs, despite Jan Brewer's pleas for help. Arizonans are getting hurt and killed by illegal immigrants and states have a right and duty to protect their citizens.

Unfortunately many people, institutions, and cities who aren't on the illegal immigration front lines as Arizona is, think they know better than Arizona. One such city is Los Angeles, which has threatened to boycott some of Arizona's industries. Too bad for LA that Arizona supplies 25% of the city's electricity!! Gary Pierce, AZ Corporation Commissioner has written a letter to the mayor of LA threatening a "boycott" of his own - he'll cut power to LA if they follow through with the economic boycott! I love it when people get tough!

BEST political ad ever!

I still think my dad should make one of these:

Argh! I don't know why it cuts off the right hand side. If you can't see it, click here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Asking for guidance

I had a meeting yesterday at which one topic of discussion got confrontational. I was pretty sure this topic was going to come up. And I was angry about it. I had spoken to the other party a few days before regarding the situation and got the feeling (s)he wasn't happy. I felt (s)he took some of my comments out of context and far too personally, and therefore, before yesterday's meeting even began, I had feelings towards him/her. I felt (s)he was being irrational.

So we began the meeting with a prayer. At the end of the group prayer, I considered saying a quick, silent prayer to the Holy Spirit for guidance should the topic come up. But in my vain anger, I brushed the prayer aside.

A few minutes into the meeting, the group's discussion was interrupted by the other party to confront me about this previous topic. In my flustered state of mind, I couldn't form a coherent response, and stumbled over words and sentences. I simply couldn't explain myself.

I think I eventually got my point across, but since the meeting, I've been stewing over "what I should have said." There were so many different examples I could have pointed to that proved my point, and that I think would have quelled any irrationality right off the bat. "WHY didn't I think of that during the meeting?!?" I keep asking myself.

Until I realized this: I had brushed off my prayer to the Holy Spirit because I was angry. Wow. Point taken. Had I put aside my pride and gone through with the prayer for help and guidance, I'm certain the things I'm thinking of now would have been stated clearly and concisely during the meeting.

Lesson learned. It's been 24 hours since the meeting and I can't get out of my head what I should have said. I keep wondering if I should call the other party and politely state myself in a clear manner, just in case (s)he wasn't able to decipher my code yesterday. Or should I just let it go and pray that the Holy Spirit conveys my message for me?

Probably the latter. Either way, I think it's time I get back to saying this on a regular basis.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"We" Fit!!

So puuuuumped! We finally got our Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board today and I've spent far too much time on it this afternoon. I mean, I had to set it up, right? Well, more than being excited about getting it was finding out my Wii Fit age! It's...drum roll please...30!! And that's 2 years younger than my real age! Woot woot! The reason I'm so ridiculously excited about it is because my Wii Sports age was 63. Yes. I know. Seriously, what?? To make matters worse, my husband's was like 18. Which is a real crock b/c his joints & back are totally broken! Eh well, who's laughin' now?!?

And speaking of 18, my 4-year-old set up his profile and that was also his Wii Fit age! Ha. I don't think they should give kids under, say, 8 Wii Fit ages. They don't understand the balance tests and other measurements. Oh well...I'm not too concerned. He's a very active boy...he's gonna be fine!

Where have I been??

Short answer: busy. But I have a lot to write about from the past couple weeks so hopefully I can work on a lot of that today and tomorrow.

Just a quick thought for today. My trainer has me on a rockin' arm program because my cousin is getting married in June and I told her I want buff arms. :) It will be nearly a high school reunion, know. Anyway, today's workout was called the "Killer Kombo." I'm hating my trainer right now. (A friend of mine used to have a saying, "Hate me now, love me later." We'll see.) It's a combo of body weight squats, push-ups, pull-ups, and jump rope. The first week I did 30 reps of each, with 2 min. jump rope. This was my second week...FORTY reps of each! IN A ROW!! So that's 40 squats, 40 push-ups, 40 pull-ups, then 2 min. of jump rope. It's appropriately named.

Anyway, my point is, that because I have a short attention span I was having a tough time mentally getting through 2 solid minutes of jump rope. (I know 2 minutes doesn't seem like a long time. Try it.) So I needed something to take my mind off of it. So I started a Hail Mary. Turns out I can say just about a decade in 2 minutes! So that's what I'm going to do: start saying my rosary during my "Killer Kombo!" (Appropriate?) I can say the intermittent prayers during my squats, etc. And I do 4 sets so I can do the last decade either during warm up or cool down. Just thought I'd pass along my fun fact for the day!

Happy & Holy fitness!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Meaning of Life

It's actually pretty simple! And Jen at Conversion Diary has a great post about it here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hilarious Contradiction

I was driving down a major suburban highway last week and I saw a car filled with bumper stickers. My curiosity always gets the best of me when I see such a car, so luckily we stopped at a red light so I could read a few. Most of the stickers had to do with animal rights stuff, like, "Love animals? Don't eat them" and other such nonsense. There were so many I didn't get to read them all, but fortunately, just before the light turned green, my eye caught one at the very bottom. It said, "Five Guys Burgers and Fries." Now, if you're not from the east coast, you may not know about Five Guys. Not the point. Obviously it's a burger joint! Wait...didn't you just tell me I shouldn't eat meat?? I'm left wondering if the driver was trying to play a satirical joke on all of us or simply just didn't get the contradiction!!

The power of advertising

I was shopping with my little guy the other day and since he was such a good boy at the store, I promised we could get a big soft pretzel. As we're walking to the pretzel store, Jack yells, "Look, mom, that's the place that puts your business on the map!" I didn't really understand what he said so I stopped, turned, and asked him to repeat it. He points to a sign in the Verizon store window and says, "The place that puts your business on the map!"

Ok. Seriously. He doesn't even watch any shows that have commercials!! So the only way he could have possibly knows that Verizon "puts your business on the map" is from watching sporting events with us. I swear! But man, if you think your kids aren't paying attention to what's going on around them - think again! They absorb everything!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Who says celebrities are out of touch?

Or just plain stupid? Check out this brilliant little ditty from Whoopie Goldberg.