Friday, August 31, 2012

Once in a Blue Moon - August 2012

What is a Blue Moon?

August 2012 features two full moons. The full moon occurs once every 29.5 days. This
essentially means that there is one full moon every month, however, as we know,
every month but February has at least 30 days in it, which occasionally
presents the potential for two moons in a month.

There are two definitions for a blue moon. According to modern folklore a blue moon
is the second full moon in a calendar month. February is the only month that
can never have a blue moon.

The full moon that you will see this evening looks like an ordinary full moon, but it is actually a bit extraordinary – it is also a blue moon. This month we get two full moons in August. The first was on Aug.1 (Sturgeon Moon) and the second full moon falls on today, Aug. 31.
Barring clouds, tonight’s full moon should be easy to spot. The blue moon is not a serious subject, it’s not even really blue. Our calendar is a tool devised by humanity and it happens that two full moons fall within that given monthly space.

“Once in a blue moon”: This saying is in reference to the rarity of the blue moon. The famous 1934 love ballad “Blue Moon” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart was also likely inspired by this uncommon event.

Today offers the last chance to see a so-called "blue moon" for nearly three years. Stargazers won't be able to see two full moons in a single month again until July 2015.

Blue Moons come along once every 2.7 years on average, and sometimes much more frequently.
Blue Moon myths run wild – Today’s Blue Moon definition come from old editions of the Maine
Farmer’s Almanac. Ancient cultures around the world considered the second full moon to be spiritually significant.

The Blue Moon’s conjunction to Chiron will give us the opportunity to expose and heal any
psychological complexes. With this Blue Moon we are giving the opportunity to
let our body speak to us and tell us about the state of our mind.

Being passive and letting things slide around you is just as spiritually irresponsible as willfully
provoking fights. The message of this moon then is to be vigilant, be a watcher
over your own behavior and that of others.

So, heads up - enjoy this gift from Mother Nature tonight.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

If It is Thursday it's Going Green - Take the Stairs

Remember the 4 R’s:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair

Some Things You Can Do To Make a Difference:

Power down: Many of the resources we use and the waste we create is in the energy we consume. Look for opportunities in your life to significantly reduce energy use.

Drive less, fly less, turn off lights, buy local seasonal food (food takes energy to grow, package, store and transport), use a clothesline instead of a dryer, vacation closer to home, buy used or borrow things before buying new, recycle.

All these things save energy and save you money.

Waste less: Per capita waste production in the United States just keeps growing. There are dozens of opportunities each day toreduce the waste in your home, school, workplace, church and community.

This takes developing new habits that soon become second nature. Use both sides of the paper, carry your own mugs and shopping bags, get printer cartridges refilled instead of replaced, compost food scraps, avoid bottled water and other over packaged products, upgrade computers rather than buying new ones, repair and mend rather than replace - the list is endless! The more we visibly engage in reuse over wasting, the more we cultivate a new cultural norm, or actually, reclaim an old one!

Unplug (the TV and Internet) and Plug In (the community). The average person in the United States watches T.V. over 4 hours a day. Four hours per day filled with messages about stuff we should buy. That is four hours a day that could be spent with family, friends and in our community.

Park your car and walk. Make exercise part of your daily routine, take the stairs not the elevator. Driving less and walking more is good for the climate, the planet, your health, and your wallet.

Talk to everyone about these issues:

Let people know the changes that you have made and the difference that they make to the environment. Talk to as many people who will listen - at school, at work. Tell your neighbors, and especially your family and friends. Talking about these issues raises awareness, builds community and can inspire others to action. Children talk it over with your parents.

Make Your Voice Heard.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Reflection - Let's Talk About Jesus


When I first saw the picture above I found it amusing, however, later I started thinking about how many Christians seldom actually talk to another person about Jesus. Many people that I know who attend church regularly rarely talk publicly about their faith.

When Jesus was alive he said ‘go tell others what you have seen here’ - his followers were called the believers and they followed The Way. If they had been silent about the message of Jesus then all knowledge of him would have disappeared from history. The early believers spoke to others about Jesus even though many of them were ostracized and even killed for mentioning his name.

Why are so many of today’s Christians silent about the Good News of the coming of Jesus Christ?

What do you do? Do you talk in hushed tones about your faith beliefs or maybe you are silent about it?

Do you want to be able to talk with others about your Christian faith?

Here are some steps that you could take:

  • Recognize that faith is a sensitive subject. Be prepared - remain calm, friendly, and welcoming.
  • Make sure you are well informed about the Bible – this is very important.
  • Wait for the appropriate time. The most agreeable circumstance is in a small group or one on one.
  • When a discussion of faith is being held listen to the viewpoints of others without interrupting, objecting, or correcting. and calmly, say “You know that I'm a Christian, right? (they nod or whatever) Generally, the Christian belief is ________." Keep your response as brief as possible
  • Remember your goal. Don't make this about you. Remember who you are - you are the face of Jesus that this person is seeing at that moment. Make sure you're presenting him accurately.
  • Resist the temptation to quote a lot of scripture.
  • A quiet, solid faith shows. If you can not be easily annoyed casual onlookers will know your faith is strong and deep. 

  • As a Christian, stand for Jesus wherever you go. Make sure what you show people is a good example.
  • Humility is so important. Tell them, "I can't speak for every Christian, only for myself. But for heaven's sake, don't follow me. Follow Him."
  • If you show respect and kindness and have some understanding of Biblical principles you will be fine.

So, stop being a silent Christian – speak up!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

If It Is Thursday It's Going Green

Our local farmers' market

Remember the 4 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair

Try using the following simple methods that are logical, easy to do and inexpensive.

1. If you have room for a garden, or can join a community garden, grow some of your own food using organic methods.

2. Buy fruits, vegetables and other staples at a local farmers’ market or join a community-supported agriculture program

3. Compost all your yard waste and vegetable kitchen scraps in a compost or worm bin, and return the compost to the soil.

4. Buy organic, recycled and other Earth-friendly products instead of conventional ones, even when they cost more.

5. Never buy anything on impulse. If you think you want something, wait at least 24 hours and see if you still want it then.

6. Set the air conditioning 10 degrees warmer, replace high-wattage light bulbs with efficient ones, and make a habit of turning off anything that does not actually need to be on.

7. Contact your local water, electricity, and heating fuel utilities to find out what conservation programs, rebates, and incentives they offer.

8. Turn off the television and computer games. Learn how to entertain yourself and your family.

9. Put flow restrictors on your faucets and showerhead to save water. If you can’t replace existing toilets with a low-flow version, place a half-gallon jug full of water in the toilet tank to reduce the amount used in each flush.

10. Whenever you possibly can, walk, bicycle, carpool, or take public transit instead of driving a car.

11. Live as close as possible to work or school so that you minimize the time and energy wasted in commuting.

12. Donate old clothes, housewares, and appliances to charity, or find other uses for them instead of throwing them away. Join your local ‘freecycle’ group on line.

Remember - together we can make a difference.

photos by peacesojourner

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Reflection - When One Door Closes Another Opens

When One Door Closes - Another Opens

Have you ever had the experience of applying for a job that you really wanted and did not get? Or maybe it was a relationship that ended and caused you heartache and later on you met the person of your dreams.

If we reflect on some of the unhappy times in our life we can often realize that, in retrospect, the experience provided a lesson and that we learned something very important.

Stay open for the possibilities that can be yours after every perceived failure.


Revelations 3:8 I know what you do; I know that you have followed my teaching and have been faithful to me. I have opened a door in front of you, which no one can close.


When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go, only one of two things will happen, either He will catch you when you fall, or He will teach you how to fly.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Grandma's Hands


Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench.
She didn't move, just sat with her headdown staring at her hands.
When I sat down beside her she didn't
acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her
at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at
me and smiled. 'Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking,' she said in a clear voice.
'I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just
sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,'
I explained to her. 'Have you ever looked at your hands,' she asked. 'I
mean really looked at your hands?'
I slowly opened my hands and stareddown at them. I turned them over,
palms up and then palms down. No, I guess Ihad never really looked
at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.
Grandma smiled and related this story: 'Stop and think
for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout
your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools
I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.
'They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.
They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back.
As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer.
They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.

They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war. 'They
have been dirty, scraped and raw , swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy
when I tried to hold my newborn son.
Decorated with my wedding band they showed
the world that I was married and loved someone special.They wrote my
letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

'They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and
shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand. They have covered my
face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have
been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not
much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down,
and again continue to fold in prayer.
'These hands are the mark of where
I've been and the ruggedness of life. But more importantly it will be
these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my
hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the
face of Christ.'
I never looked at my hands the same again. But I
remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children
and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and
held by the hands of God. I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel
His hands upon my face.
When you read this, say a prayer for the
person who sent it to you.

Let's continue praying for one another. Sharing this with anyone you consider
a friend will bless you both. Passing this on to one not yet considered
a friend is something Christ would do.
-- Author Unknown

Thursday, August 9, 2012

67th Anniversary of Bombing of Nagasaki

This week marks the 67th anniversary of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

On August 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima and then another on Nagasaki three days later, August 9, 1945. With just two bombs, more than 200,000 people -- mostly civilians -- were instantly incinerated or died from radiation poisoning by the end of 1945. Many more have died since and are still dying from the effects of radiation. The effect on future generations are still unknown.

Memorial in Nagasaki for those who died
Although Nagasaki has been completely rebuilt, powerful reminders of the atomic devastation can be found everywhere. The personal testimonies of the survivors, the Hibakusha, make the tragedy very real. Let us heed their plea:
"Never again!"


Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who live by the sword will die by the sword. (Matthew 26:50-53)

Jesus’ Last Words to the Church
By Father John Dear, SJ

We have spent the last 1700 years, denying Jesus’ final command. We have justified warfare, led our crusades, and stamped every bombing raid and nuclear weapon with our blessing.

But the commandment remains: “Put down the sword.” I think one day the church will realize that the just war theory has no place in the Gospel. They’ll realize it was by no means exemplified by the life of Jesus. And the theory will fall into disrepute. One day the church will teach only Gospel nonviolence. And Christians everywhere will quit the military and refuse to join. They’ll obstruct warfare and beat all swords into plowshares.
The unarmed Christ wants his community, the church, to be a community of creative, loving nonviolence, I submit. It’s God’s holy gift to the world. The challenge then is to take him at his word.


A friend shared the following message with me via e-mail - thought I would share it with everyone so that we can continue to learn.
"Yesterday I was with someone who had been in Japan for several weeks, and she mentioned that everywhere, there is braille, because so many were blinded by the bombings. All along the brass stair rails down into the subway, for example. There are varying feels to the walkways, so that the blind know where to walk. I had never realized that there were so many blind people!
Imagine a world filled with peace and love.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Full Sturgeon Moon - August - 2011

Full Moon for August, 2011

Tonight there will be a full
August Moon called the Full Sturgeon Moon

Full moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior.
European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the average, the full Moon dates shift from year to year.
The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this month's moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month.
A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze.
It is also called by
Old Farmer's Almanac - Sturgeon Moon
Algonquin / Colonial Corn Moon
English / Medieval - Lightening Moon
Neo-Pagan - Grain Moon
Celtic - Barley Moon
Other Names - Dog Days Moon, Fruit Moon, Green Corn Moon, Wyrt Moon

Full Moon celebration: Now more than ever, the world needs our attention and care.

The unending conflicts around the world have made it even more apparent that compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, patience, virtue, equanimity, determination, and wisdom are essential qualities for cultivating peace. Can you imagine if everyone committed to practicing these humble, heart-opening, mind-transforming ways of being in the world? So much would change.

This is the Full Moon to honor freedom, idealism, humanitarianism, without causing harm to anyone. Raise-up everyone and leave no one behind. Get involved in your community, volunteer your time, and raise awareness in your neighborhood. It’s summer, have a block party and raise funds for a good cause.

Speaking spiritually the time of the full moon is a bridge to enlightenment.

Heads up tonight and view the wonders of Mother Nature