Archive for March 31, 2016

How Societies and Governments will be Judged

The Thursday Thought for today comes from a man whose philosophy and achievements are celebrated today, Cesar Chavez:

“History will judge societies and governments — and their institutions — not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.”



Wednesday is a Red-Letter Day

It’s been awhile since I’ve inflicted what I think is an interesting phrase-derivation on you.  Today I offer “Red-letter day,” which, of course, is a day of special importance or significance.

The phrase really was begun in church, and not because some minister saw an overly packed church on a day other than Christmas or Easter.  Actually, it comes from the days when dates of a church festival would be marked in red on its calendars.  The first mention in America was in the early 1700s, when “red-letter day” was used in the diary of one Sarah Knight.  Way before that, though, William Caxtyon used it in The boke of Eneydos (translated and printed in 1490).

In 1549 the first Book of Common Prayer had a section with a calendar of holy days.  These holy days were emphasized by being printed in red ink.  In other words, those were “red-letter days.”

Now you know–whether you wanted to or not….

Happy “hump day,” by the way.  And keep your mind out of the gutter.  Every Wednesday is a red-letter day because we’re over the “hump” of the work week.



Love at First Site (Re-Posted With Correct Video)

This video fascinated me. A photographer throws strangers together, people who likely would not even say “hello” to each other as they passed on the streets, people who seem quite different from each other.  What happens makes me think about what could occur if such pairings were made on a large-scale basis.


Life Without Muslims

Let’s collect all the Muslims and ship them out of our country.  They don’t add much to our culture, anyway.  That’s what some people would have us think.  Actually, what would our daily lives be like if Muslims didn’t exist?  Before you bathe, have your wake-up cup of coffee, go on a trip, take a video of your grandchild, or a number of other things, watch this video to find out.



Easter-Basket Time!

Instead of using a plastic or processed wicker Easter basket, use a wooden one or reuse an old one (may need new coat of paint).  Or sew one out of fabric.  Or use something reusable, like a sand pail.

Leaf 6

[For more easy, money-saving, earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to or your favorite e-book seller and download to your computer or e-book device. Totally free, with no strings attached.]

Bunnies, Chicks, Hats, & Colored Eggs as Easter Symbols

We all know that the lamb represents the Lamb of God (Jesus), the cross His victory over death, and candles His being the Light of the World.  From there we tend to scratch our heads over items that seem to be purely commercial.  Actually, they are all rooted in Easter symbolism and tradition.

For example, in ancient times the rabbit (bunny) symbolized abundant new life, as do baby chicks.  And the egg, an ancient symbol of spring, opens, thus releasing the chick, reminding us of Christ’s coming forth from the tomb.  Other indicators of new life are the flowers and baby animals often pictured in Easter settings.  Even the custom of wearing Easter hats and new clothes has a traditional basis—putting off the old life and donning the new life Jesus offers through His death and resurrection, much like the baptismal garment.

Then there are those seemingly oddball foods.  Next time you eat a hot cross bun, think of the cross on top, and when eating a pretzel (an Easter food in some areas), consider the shape, which is like arms crossed in prayer.

The symbol closest to my own heart, though, is the butterfly, whose whole life represents the life Jesus.  It begins as a caterpillar (Christ’s life on Earth), becomes a cocoon (His crucifixion and burial), then bursts out as a beautiful butterfly (just as Christ rose from death into glory).

The ancients had it right.  On Easter, one would greet another with, “He is risen!”  The other would look in awe at the world around him and answer, “He is risen, indeed!”

Have a blessed Easter season.



The “Huh?” in My Morning News

Sometimes when I’m watching the morning news I just have to shake my head and say, “Huh?!”  Here are samples from just two weeks of newscasts.

A politician in our area, Leland Yee, pled guilty to corruption.  He was caught taking bribes and involved in gun-smuggling.  During sentencing, the judge decided that he should take into consideration Yee’s “exemplary character.”

Tragically, a woman’s torso was found in a suitcase near a river. Her head was nowhere to be found.  With a straight face, the newscaster told us, “Police are now calling it a suspicious death.”

Then there’s the questionable use of the word “alleged,” often uttered several times during a story.  There was the video of the guy holding a gun on a cab driver–the guy was referred to as “the alleged gunman.”  Then there was Jason Dalton, who “allegedly” said that his Uber app took over his mind and body, causing him to shoot five people–“allegedly,” despite the fact that there’s a recording of him saying it.  And, oh yeah, the object discovered at the O.J. Simson crime scene was an “alleged knife.”  (Isn’t a knife just a knife?)

Once a person writes the script for a news broadcast, doesn’t he or she proofread it for logic and common sense?

Oh well.  It starts my day with a chuckle.


I’m Sorry

I’m sorry, but I’m not offering you an informative or humorous blog today.  My heart is too heavy as I hear news of even more human beings being killed by terrorists who have no concept of brotherhood or basic human decency.  ISIS has claimed responsibility for Brussels, which means the perpetrators are once again profaning the name of Allah, whom they claim as their God yet who must be crying tears of sadness and disappointment right now.

In a few minutes, I intend to ask my God–the universal God of mercy and love–to help the rest of us fight this evil of terrorism.


How to Help a Friend with Mental Illness

I know people struggling with depression or who are bipolar or have other conditions–friends with mental illnesses they try to hide, and friends with a mental illness that is very apparent.  You probably do, too, since one in four people experience it within any given year.   Sometimes, dealing with them isn’t easy.  Because I care for them, I want to support them; I want to make their lives more livable.  But I’m not a professional, and I don’t want to do or say something that would be harmful to them.

Recently I found a short yet helpful article I’d like to share with you.  I’ll give you the five recommendations here.  For an explanation of each, read “How to Help a Friend with Mental Illness.

  1. Listen to what they are saying.
  2. Validate what they are saying.
  3. Ask what they need.
  4. Educate yourself about their experience.
  5. Keep being a friend.

I’m trying to apply these steps to my friends.  I hope others will apply them to me when I need them.




Today, nothing heavy, no suggestions for action.  Today, on the first day of Spring, I just want you to enjoy this picture and immerse yourself in the beauty, new life, and promises of the season.