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Daily Positive Thread for Friday

Be sensitive to the feelings of others and show the same forgiveness and compassion
that the Lord gives to you. Lord, give me the wisdom to know when to speak
and when to listen.

Scripture for the day:

"Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and
slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another,
tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as
Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and
sacrifice to God." ~Ephesians 4:31-5:2

Meditation for the day:

We cannot believe in God and keep our selfish ways. When we believe
more strongly in God, we begin to abandon our selfish ways. The old
self can shrivel up and die, and God's image can become much clearer.
The gradual elimination of selfishness in the growth of love for God and
our fellow human beings is a wonderful goal in our lives. As the
picture grows, we can reveal more and more of the likeness of God until
those who see us can see in us the power of God's grace at work in a
human life.

Prayer for the day:

I pray that I may grow in my likeness to God. I pray that others may
see in me some of the power of God's grace at work.

Hello my friends! Hope you all had a good day today. Around midnight or soon after Nick was called home - he was ready to go, and now he is at peace with Jesus. On his Mom's birthday Monday - he sang "Happy Birthday" to her! He never made it home on hospice, now the family is preparing his funeral which will be on Saturday. It'll be a sad Christmas for the family, just like when Linus' sister's husband died on the 19th of Dec. and his funeral was the day before Christmas eve. Please lift up Nick's family in prayer for support. He got his Miracle - to be with his God! I had a wonderful blessing today - Georgia was here and she colored my hair - I gave her a five dollar tip, so it came to $30.00 for the trim and color. It would have been $63 at the salon. - It's really a nice red color - she used two tubes, half of each, and we all like it!! Praise God!! I served her some coffee, and we had a nice visit, and afterwards, Lori was planning on picking me up for work, but Georgia offered to take me so Lori wouldn't have to, and I got there just in time before Lori had to leave for her own massage. It was a shorter day today. Tomorrow starts early and ends at 4:30.
Tomorrow night Lori is taking us for a fund raiser dinner for cancer.
Got an email from Sister LaDonna today - the dr. said she should see a Podiatrist since the fracture is on the bottom of the foot. Her pain is much better and she is staying off her foot. She has Dr.appointments coming up.
People in her apt. are very good to her and take care of her needs too! Praise God!! He sends help when help is needed.

Homily of the Day

December 16, 2010

Why Is God Still Talking to You?
by Monsignor Dennis Clark, Ph.D.

Is 54:1-10 / Lk 7:24-30

Bad news comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s expected, and other times it comes, as the Gospel says, like a thief in the night. In a single moment our lives can go from light to night as we learn that a loved one is dead, or that we are ruined, or that we have lost everything we care for.

But what worse news could we ever hear than to have the dread last words of today’s Gospel pronounced over us: “They defeated God’s plan in their regard”? Just think what that means in the concrete: God loves us deeply; He has entrusted special gifts to us with which we are to build a life that can be shared with others; God had special work for us to do on this earth, and He had a special place reserved for us in his heart for all eternity. And then we defeated and frustrated God’s beautiful plan for us!

How does that feel? Horrible! We mustn’t let it happen! The only way to prevent it is to listen intently to what God is trying to tell us. Listen, draw courage from the fact that He still wants to talk to us, despite all our mistakes, and then do what He asks.

God lives in the eternal now, not in the past. Let Him help you create a new present to live in. It will lead to a future without end.

Words of Encouragement

Crucified and Raised!
by Mark Shea

Romans 6:3-4

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Baptism, whether we realize it or not and whether we like it or not, does something to us. It is not a mere ritual, not a mere symbol, not a mere splash of water on the forehead. In baptism, we die with Christ and rise with Him. A real metaphysical and miraculous event takes place that changes us forever. We receive the life of grace, the Holy Trinity, Who comes to live in us and change us into “little Christs.” Merely because the rite looks ordinary, or trumpets do not sound, or the earth does not shake, we should not be deceived. The average baptism in your average parish on an average Sunday morning is a greater miracle filled with greater power than the parting of the Red Sea. It is what Jesus died on the Cross and rose again to give us.

Christmas Bells

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The Carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;
‘For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


A man realized that he could not hear very well and that he had to buy a hearing aid. But he did not want to spend much money on it. So he went to the store and asked the clerk, "How much do hearing aids cost?"

"Well" said the salesman, "it depends. They run from two dollars to two thousand .'' "Let me see the two dollar model," the man said.

The clerk hung a string around the man's neck. "Just put this button in your ear," he said, "and stick this string in your pocket." "How does it work?" asked the customer. "It doesn't work. But when people see it on you, they'll speak louder."

Actually most of our communication problems are not due to people speaking too softly, Most of us are not good listeners. Big companies know that people want to be listened to. One company uses the motto: "We listen better, and another company says, "We hear you."

As one little girl promised, "I'll try to listen louder."

Ready For Christmas

"Ready for Christmas," she said with a sigh,
As she gave a last touch to the gifts piled high.
Then wearily sat for a moment and read
Till soon, very soon, she was nodding her head.
Then quietly spoke a voice in her dream!
"Ready for Christmas! What do you Mean?
When only last week
You wouldn't acknowledge your friend on the street."

"Ready for Christmas, while holding a grudge!
Perhaps you better let God be the judge.
Why, how can the Christ child come and abide
In a heart that is selfish and filled with pride?"

"Ready for Christmas, when only today
A beggar lad came and you turned him away
Without even a smile to show that you cared!
So little he asked, he could have been spared."

"Ready for Christmas! You've worked, it is true,
But just doing the things that you wanted to do."
"Ready for Christmas, your circle's too small.
Why, you are not ready for Christmas at all."

She awoke with a start, and a cry of despair,
There's so little time, and I've still to prepare!
"Oh, Father, forgive me, I see what you mean;
To be ready means more than a house swept clean."

"Yes, more that the giving of gifts and a tree,
It's the heart swept clean that He wants to see,
A heart that is free from bitterness, sin,
Ready for Christmas means ready for Him!"


Origins of Christmas

Around December 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere marks the shortest day of the year as measured between the times of sunrise and sunset. In 274 AD, Roman Emperor Aurelian declared December 25th as a cause for celebration because the sun begins anew its journey toward longer days... and so the Winter Solstice pagan festival (or Yule) was born.

The early Church, which was being persecuted by ancient Rome, believed they could convert some pagans by assimilating this holiday into Christian beliefs. As the Pagans were celebrating the Light and the rebirth of the Sun, early Christians took this opportunity to teach them about Jesus, who is the "Light of the World". (And so Christians started Christmas in 336 AD.)

(Many scholars believe that Jesus was born during the Feast of Tabernacles, which is around September.)

Even the popular Roman pagan festival Saturnalia led to a Christmas tradition. Saturnalia was held in mid-December to honor the pagan-god of agriculture, Saturnus, with feasting and gift giving. Early Christians found the gift giving tradition endearing, because it is a reminder that God gave his only Son to save us.

Let us pray:
Father, help us to prepare the way of Jesus, the Light of the world.
May we, who believe He will come again, always serve You.
Let us proclaim this mystery of faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

- - -
John 8:12 - "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness."

John 3:16 - For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.

Is Anyone Missing Baby Jesus?

About a week before Christmas, the family bought a new nativity set. When they unpacked it, they found two figures of the Baby Jesus.

"Someone must have packed this wrong," the mother said, counting out the figures.

"We have one Joseph, one Mary, three wise men, three shepherds, two lambs, a donkey, a cow, an angel and two babies. Oh, dear! I suppose some set down at the store is missing a Baby Jesus because we have two."

"You two run back down to the store and tell the manager that we have an extra Jesus. Tell him to put a sign on the remaining boxes, saying that if a set is missing a Baby Jesus, call 7126."

"Put on your warm coats. It is freezing out there."

The manager of the store copied down mother's message and the next time they were in the store they saw the cardboard sign that read, "If you are missing Baby Jesus, call 7126."

All week long they waited for someone to call. Surely, they thought someone was missing that important figurine. Each time the phone rang, mother would say, "I'll bet that's about Jesus.", but it never was.

Father tried to explain there are thousands of these scattered over the country, and the figurine could be missing from a set in Florida or Texas or California. Those packing mistakes happen all the time. He suggested to just put the extra Jesus back in the box and forget about it.

"Put Baby Jesus back in the box! What a terrible thing to do!" said the children.

"Surely someone will call," mother said. "We'll just keep the two of them together in the manger until someone calls."

When no call had come by 5:00 PM on Christmas Eve, mother insisted that father just run down to the store to see if there were any sets left.

"You can see them right through the window, over on the counter," she said. "If they are all gone, I'll know someone is bound to call tonight."

"Run down to the store?" father thundered. "It's 15 below zero out there!"

"Oh, Daddy, we'll go with you," Tommy and Mary began to put on their coats. Father gave a long sigh and headed for the front closet.

"I can't believe I'm doing this," he muttered.

Tommy and Mary ran ahead as father reluctantly walked out in the cold. Mary got to the store first and pressed her nose up to the store window.

"They're all gone, Daddy," she shouted. "Every set must be sold."

"Hooray" Tommy said. "The mystery will now be solved tonight!"

Father heard the news still a half block away and immediately turned on his heel and headed back home.

When they got back into the house, they noticed that mother was gone and so was the extra Baby Jesus figurine.

"Someone must have called and she went out to deliver the figurine," my father reasoned, pulling off his boots.

"You kids get ready for bed while I wrap mother's present."

Then the phone rang. Father yelled "answer the phone and tell 'em we found a home for Jesus." But it was mother calling with instructions for us to come to 205 Chestnut Street immediately, and bring three blankets, a box of cookies and some milk..

"Now what has she gotten us into?" my father groaned as we bundled up again. "205 Chestnut. Why that's across town. Wrap that milk up good in the blankets or it will turn to ice before we get there. Why can't we all just get on with Christmas? It's probably 20 below out there now. And the wind is picking up. Of all the crazy things to do on a night like this!"

When they got to the house at 205 Chestnut Street, it was the darkest one on the block. Only one tiny light burned in the living room and, the moment we set foot on the porch steps, my mother opened the door and shouted, "They're here, Oh thank God, you got here, Ray! You kids take those blankets into the living room and wrap up the little ones on the couch. I'll take the milk and cookies."

"Would you mind telling me what is going on, Ethel?" my father asked.

"We have just walked through below zero weather with the wind in our faces all the way."

"Never mind all that now," my mother interrupted. "There is no heat in this house and this young mother is so upset she doesn't know what to do. Her husband walked out on her and those poor little children will have a very bleak Christmas, so don't you complain. I told her you could fix that oil furnace in a jiffy."

My mother strode off to the kitchen to warm the milk while my brother and I wrapped up the five little children who were huddled together on the couch. The children's mother explained to my father that her husband had run off, taking bedding, clothing, and almost every piece of furniture, but she had been doing all right until the furnace broke down.

"I been din washin' and ironin' for people and cleanin' the five and dime," she said. "I saw your number every day there, on those boxes on the counter. When the furnace went out, that number kept going' through my mind... 7162... 7162."

"Said on the box that if a person was missin' Jesus, they should call you. That's how I knew you were good Christian people, willin' to help folks. I figured that maybe you would help me, too. So I stopped at the grocery store tonight and I called your missus. I'm not missin' Jesus, mister, because I sure love the Lord. But I am missin' heat. I have no money to fix that furnace."

"Okay, Okay" said father. "You've come to the right place. Now lets see. You've got a little oil burner over there in the dining room. Shouldn't be too hard to fix. Probably just a clogged flue. I'll look it over, see what it needs."

Mother came into the living room carrying a plate of cookies and warm milk. As she set the cups down on the coffee table, I noticed the figure of Baby Jesus lying in the center of the table. It was the only sign of Christmas in the house. The children stared with wide eyed with wonder at the plate of cookies my mother sat before them.

Father finally got the oil burner working but said "you need more oil."

"I'll make a few calls tonight and get some oil."

"Yes sir, you came to the right place," said the woman...

On the way home, father did not complain about the cold weather and had barely set foot inside the door when he was on the phone.

"Ed, hey, how are ya, Ed? Yes, Merry Christmas to you, too. Say, Ed, we have kind of an unusual situation here. I know you've got that pick-up truck. Do you still have some oil in that barrel on your truck?"

"You do?"

By this time the rest of the family were pulling clothes out of their closets and toys off of their shelves. It was long after their bedtime when they were wrapping gifts. The pickup came. On it were chairs, three lamps, blankets and gifts. Even though it was 30 below, Father let them ride along in the back of the truck.

No one ever did call about the missing figure in the nativity set, but as I grow older I realize that it wasn't a packing mistake at all. Jesus saves, that's what He does.

With that, I'll say Good night to you all and may you have sweet dreams and good day tomorrow!! Enjoy your blessings!!

Closing prayer:

Prayer while Wrapping gifts

Dear Lord, I am tired. I sit here surrounded by ribbons and paper, gifts and tags and I struggle to feel the spirit of giving. I can barely remember which gift is for whom and at moments it all seems so far from your birth. Help me to take this moment to think of the many gifts you have given to me, the many ways your grace has blessed my life. Help me to remember that each gift is a tiny mirror of the generosity I see so clearly in your life and of the many ways you shower me with such lavish and undeserved love. Let me sit here for just a moment and feel that joy in my heart. Thank you. Thank you.