Archive for November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving Prayer

Here’s a very simple act that we can all perform each day: offer up the “Thanksgiving Prayer.”  Not just at Thanksgiving, but all year long.  Because prayer transforms us, allowing God to transform the world through us. 

Oh, God, when I have food, help me to remember the hungry;

When I have work, help me to remember the jobless;

When I have a warm home, help me to remember the homeless;

When I am without pain, help me to remember those who suffer;

And remembering, help me to destroy my complacency and bestir

my compassion.

Make me concerned enough to help, by word and deed, those who

cry out for what we take for granted.

                                                                                    —Samuel F. Phgh

Shrink the World Through Snail Mail

Remember as a child exchanging letters with a pen pal in another state?  How fascinating to learn what kids in far-away Texas did for fun, or how Joey got to play in the snow for several months in. . . where was that now?  You were able to experience someone else’s life.  Thanks to The Web (or snail-mail, if you prefer), you can do the same thing today on a larger scale.  Find out what life is like in Albania or Argentina, Croatia or Costa Rica, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, or Viet Nam.  In return, tell about your own life.  Find names by asking people at work or church who have relatives in other parts of the world.  Check (international pen pals practicing a foreign language) and (Penpal International).  Or do your own online search.  If you do, though, avoid singles sites and ones that show pictures of women who hope to become foreign brides.  After awhile you’ll develop a friendship, discovering mutual interests that prove that ours is, indeed, a tiny, interconnected world.

How to Move Mountains

Actually, you don’t need to move mountains, as today’s Thursday Thought quote points out. There’s a much simpler way.

36 Million Trees Gone This Year

That happens every year. This massive annual tree loss results in hotter cities, a whole lot more pollution, and unhealthy humans. Some causes we can’t do much about–fire, hurricanes, disease, insects. What is under our control, though, is cutting down trees for more parking lots, buildings, and roads.

Why care about the loss of trees? Because trees provide many essential benefits: 1) heat reduction, 2) energy emissions reduction, 3) water quality improvement, 4) flooding reduction, 5) noise reduction, 6) protection from UV radiation, 7) improved aesthetics, 8) improved human health, 9) wildlife habitat.

To find out exactly how trees do all those things, plus how we can plan for trees and help stop the loss of trees, read US cities are losing 36 million trees a year. Here’s why it matters and how you can stop it.

Those Juicy Emails

A group of women I get together with twice a month was talking about emails we all receive that are mean-spirited and often just plain false.  We agreed that they spread harmful misinformation and perpetuate distrust and animosity.  In other words, there’s nothing positive about them.

Why do people send them?  Some have an agenda–check out the rash of attacks currently against presidential candidates–while others just love passing on anything shocking or upsetting, true or not.   Some think they’ve discovered a brand-new fact that’s just been discovered, even though the message has been recycled again and again over ten years or even several decades.  Others think they’re protecting country or religion (think about the recurring email saying that In God We Trust is being removed from money when, in fact, the words have simply been moved).  Many people have good intentions but don’t stop to think and evaluate.  They unwittingly spread rancor and untruths and often never realize they’ve done so.

My group decided that this is a practice that’s harmful to all of us.  If nothing else, it wounds our souls.  In an already dysfunctional world, we need to fight such practices, not foster them.  It’s up to us to be more alert and conscientious.  Before sending a negative email on its insidious way, we should do a little fact checking.  The two easiest sites for this are and www.truthorfiction.comThere are others, and ones dedicated to specific topics, like politics (search urban myths politics–or whatever other topic).  They aren’t any good, though, if people don’t use them BEFORE they hit the “send” key to forward an email.

Stop those emails, and send a note to the person who sent it to you (delete all the CCs), setting him straight and encouraging him to tell everyone else he sent the original email to.  This really is a small thing that everyone can do to work toward a more loving peaceful world.

No Dice!

You long-time readers of this blog know that I’m a word person. I love puns (which I’ll spare you of today) and oddball origins of expressions (which I will offer you today). Have you ever wondered how “no dice” came to mean “nothing doing,” something a person says when they refuse to accept a course of action? Here it is.

This phrase originated in the U.S. in the early 20th century. In most states, gambling with dice was against the law, so players hid the dice when police showed up—some even swallowed them! When police had no dice to submit into evidence, courts often simply dismissed the case. Here’s what was said in a 1921 court case of six men charged with gambling with dice: The city attorney asked the arresting officer if he actually saw the men shooting dice.  When the officer said he saw no dice, the men were acquitted.  Thus, the birth of the expression “no dice,” growing from the idea of no dice = no conviction.

Women Vets

They’re often-unsung heroines. Let’s remember them today.

Imagine the Worst Prison

What is the very worst prison imaginable? In today’s Thursday Thought quote, Pope John Paul II tells us.

“The worst prison would be a closed heart.” — Pope John Paul II

If we all had open hearts, would we even need prisons?

Be Aware

Christians sing “Here I Am, Lord.” Jews call to mind the example set by the Levites who were called to serve God. Muslims know that the word “Islam” means “submission,” serving the will of Allah. All people, even atheists, have that feeling deep within them that, whether a higher power is involved or not, we have an obligation as part of the human race to watch out for each other. Of course, Believers know that God isn’t going to text us with instructions. But how often do we look around to see if, just maybe, opportunities are presenting themselves around us?

There’s that out-of-work man you keep running into, and an opening where you work.  There’s the ill neighbor, and you do go to the grocery store weekly anyway.  There’s the lonely stranger in the room you pass on your way to visit your dad at the nursing home, and you really do have an extra fifteen minutes.  The City Council is about to pass a harmful resolution, and you have the ability to speak convincingly. 

Just look around. Be aware of chances to serve–if not God then your fellow travelers on this Earth.

Ice Plant or Not, Ice Cubes are Handy

If you drop an ice cube (or not), stick it into a houseplant.  Because ice cubes melt slowly,  there’s not the usual water overflow into the saucer waiting to evaporate and be wasted.

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[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.]