Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Patience and Dreams

Ever feel like giving up?

Sure, we've all been there, and sometimes it right to give up and change course, but I suspect a lot of good things have been lost by quitting too early.

If there's ever a lesson about hanging in their and following the dream, it's this fine little story from the September 14, 2010, LA Times - "There Reward Is a Long-Time Coming" ... about long-term minor league ball plays who are finally called up to the majors. Click HERE to read.

Reminds me of something Jesus said: Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest ina very little is dishonest also in much" [Luke 16:10].

So hang in there friend ... keep the dream alive ... you may have to slug it out for years in the minors. But who knows when the time will come for you're call to the majors.


Merciful God, I pray thee to grant me, if it please thee, ardor to desire thee, diligence to seek thee, wisdom to know thee and skill to speak to the glory of thy name. Amen (Thomas Aquinas)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Remembering the Fallen Firefighters

From my very good friend and fine writer, Bob Orr - a tradition that began for him on 9/11:

Yesterday I got my bunch of sunflowers and prepared.  This morning (pre-dawn at 5 am)  I drove to our Canton Fire Station No. 1 and placed the bouquet outside their front door with a simple card "Remembering the Fallen Firefighters of 9-11 - Thank You".  I've done this for nine years now.  The memories are vivid of that day for many.  One of the things I remember is other fire departments (some many states away) sending firefighters to New York city to assist.  I remember my Dad and his career of forty plus years of service as a firefighter in my hometown in northern Indiana.  It's hard to imagine someone trained to race into a burning fire when our natural human instinct is to flee.  We can't thank them enough.
Peace and prayers, 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering 9/11

Nine years ago today, the Twin Trade Towers in Lower Manhattan fell to the ground, and with them, 3000 lives.

Today, we remember.

And we learn … as Lewis Carroll noted in Through the Looking Glass, “It’s a poor memory that only works backwards.

From Terry Jones, we learn the sad lessons of remembering backwards.

From Susan Retik, we learn the lessons of remembering forward.

“In the shattering aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, Ms. Retik bonded with another woman, Patti Quigley, whose husband had also died in the attack. They lived near each other, and both were pregnant with babies who would never see their fathers.

Devastated themselves, they realized that there were more than half a million widows in Afghanistan — and then, with war, there would be even more. Ms. Retik and Ms. Quigley also saw that Afghan widows could be a stabilizing force in that country.

So at a time when the American government reacted to the horror of 9/11 mostly with missiles and bombs, detentions and waterboardings, Ms. Retik and Ms. Quigley turned to education and poverty-alleviation projects — in the very country that had incubated a plot that had pulverized their lives” [“The Healers of 9/11” - By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, Published: September 8, 2010, New York Times op-ed].

On ABC this weekend, a remarkable story of some 9/11 children, who were only infants when they lost their fathers, now left with only their father’s DNA and mementoes of a man they will never know.

Yes, they grieve, as only a child can, with a remarkable degree of depth and innocence.

Their grief is holy, and we must not sully it with the debris of only a backward memory.

With you today, I remember – but more than what was, we best remember what will be, with decisions made like that of Ms. Retik, and millions of others ,who choose their better angels and build a better world.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

California Statehood - by Garrison Keillor

From Garrison Keillor's "The Writer's Almanac" ... for Sept. 9, 2010

On this day 160 years ago, California became a state. It was the 31st state admitted to the Union, just after Wisconsin and right before Minnesota.

It was a state born of the Compromise of 1850, an elaborate bargain between the North and the South over slavery. Under the compromise the territories of New Mexico and Utah would decide for themselves whether slavery were allowed, and California would be admitted to the Union as a free state.

In the late 1700s, California was settled by Spanish priests, who built missions up along the coastline. Mexico went to war against Spain to fight for independence, won, and so in 1821 got their independence. California was a part of the Mexican empire.

A couple of decades later, the United States was on its roll toward the West. In 1845, the U.S. annexed Texas, and California the year after.

The U.S. Congress declared war on Mexico, and sent in the U.S. Army and Navy to northern Mexican territory to crush resistance. The Mexican-American war lasted about two years.

When the badly defeated Mexican military gave up, and it was time for them to sign a peace treaty, the American troops occupied Mexico City. The U.S. more or less dictated the terms of the treaty to Mexico — the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo — and Mexico ended up losing a full 55 percent of the territory it had before the war.
The Gold Rush began in 1848, the population skyrocketed, and California became a state on this day in 1850, as part of that Compromise of 1850. It's now the most populated state America. And California's Central Valley is one of the most productive farming areas in the world, growing fruits, vegetables, and grains, and keeping a lot of dairy and meat cows. It's where about one-third of America's food comes from.

Non-California writer Truman Capote said, "It's a scientific fact that if you stay in California you lose one point of your IQ ever year." Comedian Fred Allen said, "California is a fine place to live — if you happen to be an orange."
Novelist Alison Lurie said, "As one went to Europe to see the living past, so one must visit Southern California to observe the future." San Francisco poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti called Southern California the place "where the American Dream came too true."

Garrison Keillor