Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Blogging Break

May the stars carry your sadness away,

May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,

May hope forever wipe away your tears,

And, above all, may silence make you strong.

Dan George


Dear Friends,
I shall be taking a blog break for a week or two. I hope to drop by now and again to read all the wonderful inspirations that you have placed on your blogs. Till then....

Au Revoir

Marie xooxoxo

Thursday, July 24, 2008

When Love Dies & Lust Begins

When two people marry they do so because they love one another, but, very few people realise the cost it will be to themselves. Both sides expect the other to 'make them happy' without realising that happiness and contentment springs from within. No one person can bring you happiness that is something you give to yourself.

If you have low self esteem and feel unworthy to be loved, this abnormal view of yourself will affect not only you, but your partner as you lay the onus on your spouse to provide what is lacking within yourself. This is the heaviest burden one can lay on another and is the quickest way to the divorce courts.

Your spouse is not God, he or she cannot heal your inner wounds and brokeness, only God can do that. To expect your spouse to fill the void that lay within your soul is to expect the impossible. You are setting yourself and your marriage on the road to disaster.

The only Being who can heal your soul is God. Only God can make you whole.

When we look at past generations we wonder why the divorce ratio wasn't as high as it is today, and what made things then so different? Back in earlier times there wasn't the gratuitous sex and lust which the generation of today are inundated with. In days gone by the most popular TV shows were 'I Love Lucy' or 'The Honeymooners', then came 'The Walton's or 'Happy Days'. Television back then promoted the Sanctity of marriage while still being able to gain good ratings, mainly because it was the audience who dictated what was acceptable to them. What has happened between then and now?

The difference between the generations is what we have allowed to occur as the morals we once held dear become passé and promises become conveniently forgotten. What truly lies at the heart of infidelity though is selfishness, as a person seeks their own self gratification and pays no heed to the pain this will cause their entire family unit. The focus has become SELF centered rather than self GIVING and it is this that lay at the heart of the unfaithful spouse.

Through the onslaught of TV and the internet where television serials become more and more graphic leaving nothing to the imagination and where the internet can cause great harm. Still the responsibility over what people watch or do not watch is for each of us to decide. Therefore we are responsible and will be held accountable if we choose to immerse ourselves in activities that we know to be sinful.

In these days of blaming society for everything we leave out personal accountability. No one is holding a gun to the head of those who, despite their religious upbringing, continue to pursue acts which they know to be outside the Law of God. It is way too convenient to simply lay the blame for personal choices on the media or the internet as if the person were not at fault. Though there may be more temptation in the world now than what our grandparents had to endure, does that exonerate an entire generation from choosing to sin? We are responsible for the choices we make and as the Bible says when something causes you to sin then pluck it out. If you cannot resist the temptation to sin on the internet then stop using it. If television serials causes you to sin then turn the TV off.

Be careful of the choices you make lest your children pay the price for YOUR mistakes!

Written by Marie

Beauty Tips for Women

Beauty tips for everyone:

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge that you'll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived,

reclaimed and redeemed and redeemed ... never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover you have two hands: one for helping

yourself and the other for helping others.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In This Life-Delta Goodrem

This young girl was diagnosed with cancer. I think the whole country was praying that she would beat this insidious illness. In pics of her with short hair was when she was undergoing chemotherapy.

If you are able. Donate to cancer research in memory of Melissa Hackney.

God's abundant love to you all.

Marie xoxoxo

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Prayer for Melissa-RIP

Lord at times we do not understand Your Will but we do trust Your Love for us, even when we fail You.

We know your love for Melissa was so great that You as a Loving Father have brought her into Your Majestic Presence.

Though her loving presence will be missed by her family and friends, yet Melissa is now with You and by the side of our Blessed Mother and the Saints in Heaven.

We pray now Lord great Comforter and Consoler of the sorrowful that You in Your great Mercy will comfort and aid her grieving family and friends.

Thankyou Lord for the wonderful gift of Melissa, a unique, extraodinary and loving human being.

Joy she gave and Joy she has received.


Thankyou Kathy and Kimberly for keeping us informed about this dear child of God. God bless you both.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Pope We Come To Hear

It is intriguing that, when young people talk of World Youth Day, they commonly say that they are going to hear Pope Benedict. At previous World Youth Days they spoke of going to see John Paul II.

Does this mean that in being heard rather than seen Benedict is shaping up as a Protestant Pope? That would really stretch credulity. The change is of everyday significance. It reflects the differing personal style of the two Popes that the young people have caught.

The previous Pope had an instinctive feel for an audience and an occasion. He was a media performer, a Pope for television. Even though what he said was often deep, his speaking was theatre and what he said was declaratory. So people went to see him speak.

Benedict is a scholar and a naturally reserved man. Public performance comes less easily to him. He has a care for words and argument, and many Western readers find him easier to understand than his predecessor. For all his taste for colourful and ancient clothing, he is perhaps a Pope for radio.

In his intellectual style, too, Pope Benedict belongs to the university, to a world where different positions can be heard, argued and evaluated. Even his sermons are conversational in the sense that his imagery allows each reader to appropriate what is said in a personal way. He is a man whom we might go to hear speak.

Underlying the personal differences, however, is a different Papal style. Pope John Paul inherited a Polish history whose decisive encounters with the West were with the medieval church. The Pope was at the centre both of political and of church unity. After the Reformation the central focus on the Pope became stronger even as his political role diminished. The Pope was the universal face of the Church. Pope John Paul II enacted this role especially in his journeys. Wherever he went he often described himself to the people as 'your Pope'.

Pope Benedict comes from Bavaria, whose Christian beginnings in the fourth century are still a living memory. His history and his studies make him at home in an earlier church where the Bishop of Rome had a central place in guaranteeing the unity of the Church, but was placed within a network of significant Churches each of which claimed foundation by the Apostles and each of which had its own tradition. A central task of the Pope was to encourage and to strengthen the local Churches.

These subtle differences of personal and papal style may help explain why the present Pope, despite the fears stirred by his media image as 'God's enforcer' when Prefect of the Congregation for the Defence of the Faith, has seemed a more eirenical figure within the Church than was his predecessor. Certainly many tensions and conflicts about what it means for the Church to be faithful to the Gospel remain. But the conversation about them is not as fraught.

World Youth Day is a celebration for young Catholics. But it is also a theatrical event whose climax is the Papal Mass. There the Pope is on show to gather the whole event together. Whether pilgrims came to see or hear the Pope, they will take home the memory of being there, of seeing and hearing.

But the depth of their experience will depend on the quality of conversation that the event generates, the sense that as well as hearing they have been heard. Both active and passive voices are important in Popes.

Written by Fr Andrew Hamilton


Kind o’er the kinderbank leans my Myfanwy,

White o’er the playpen the sheen of her dress,

Fresh from the bathroom and soft in the nursery

Soap scented fingers I long to caress.

Were you a prefect and head of your dormit'ry?

Were you a hockey girl, tennis or gym?

Who was your favourite? Who had a crush on you?

Which were the baths where they taught you to swim?

Smooth down the Avenue glitters the bicycle,

Black-stockinged legs under navy blue serge,

Home and Colonial, Star, International,

Balancing bicycle leant on the verge.

Trace me your wheel-tracks, you fortunate bicycle,

Out of the shopping and into the dark,

Back down the avenue, back to the pottingshed,

Back to the house on the fringe of the park.

Golden the light on the locks of Myfanwy,

Golden the light on the book on her knee,

Finger marked pages of Rackham's Hans Anderson,

Time for the children to come down to tea.

Oh! Fullers angel-cake, Robertson’s marmalade,

Liberty lampshade, come shine on us all,

My! what a spread for the friends of Myfanwy,

Some in the alcove and some in the hall.

Then what sardines in half-lighted passages!

Locking of fingers in long hide-and-seek.

You will protect me, my silken Myfanwy,

Ring leader, tom-boy, and chum to the weak.

John Betejeman

Monday, July 14, 2008

Make A Difference In Tough Times-Esther's Blog

I read this article over at Esthers blog and found it very aspirational. It is when we forget our own private concerns and worries and step outside of our own safe confines that we become true to ourselves and true to God.

We need to be constantly reminded to give from our hearts and not from our largesse. Rather than spend our time whining about life, instead rejoice that we have an opportunity to show God's unfailing Love to those who need to see it and feel it.

It is a paradox that in giving we receive much more in a spiritual sense, and surely that is where our hearts should be and not always on the size of our wallets.

Please do read this excellent article at Esther's blog and ask yourself where can I make a difference in someone else's life?

A Strong Woman

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape

...but a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything

...but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear.

A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her

...but a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone.

A strong woman walks sure footsteps

...but a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls.

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face

...but a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey,

...but a woman of strength has faith and wisdom to know that it is in the journey that she will become strong.


Friday, July 11, 2008

When the News Is Not the News! LOL

Someone has insulted Barack Obama(or is thinking of insulting Barack Obama. Yes guys the Mic is on!)

An ex-footballer's wife or ex-golfer's wife or ex-whatever receives one hundred million dollar's in a divorce payment (it's called retribution!)

A celebrity is divorcing another celebrity because both were having affairs with other celebrities. Or a celebrity is having an affair with the nanny who is about to become a 'celebrity.'

When a celebrity has given birth to a child and names it summer lollipop(or whatever other ridiculous name they can think of!)

A celebrity is caught on film behaving badly and is headed for Rehab.

A celebrity who has just finished their rehab programme and decides one more drink wont hurt. Consequence? See the above!

News anchors who spend 10 precious minutes discussing their favourite brand of coffee (who gives a monkey's?!)

The business report, the Dow Jones has done something really drastic and the Nasdaq has followed suit along with Hang Seng, not to mention the Nikkei(OK! I wont mention it. Who the heck understands it anyway?!)

A footballer is fined for hitting another footballer(Personally I'd fine them all for spitting on the field. It's GROSS. Stop it now!)

A politician waffling on about climate change. The greenhouse effect and the ozone layer and el Nino-something(what's going to change? Absolutely nothing!)

The rest of the news? Sorry I went to sleep long ago zzzzzzz LOL!

Written By Marie

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Good Viewing-North & South/ The Forsyte Saga

North & South tells the story of John Thornton who is master of Marlborough mills and Margaret Hale who is the daughter of a Minister. What should have been an uncomplicated romance between the two main characters becomes complicated when Margaret witnesses an incident with Mr. Thornton and one of his workers. It begins a journey of misunderstanding as prejudices rule and sides are taken.

What makes this story different is the relationship between John Thornton and his mother, the sensitivity, affection and respect shared between both mother and son is touching to watch.

We see in North and South two sides of the coin between the masters and the workers and how compromise can bring about change.

It is a story of the North with its brutal and gritty realism verses life in the more quiet and easy going South, a clash of cultures ensues.

This is a great love story of a strong willed woman used to speaking her opinion openly played with great confidence by Daniela-Denby-Ashe and a man who finds himself falling inlove with a woman who does not return his affections played with understated brilliance by Richard Armitage.

The story is helped by excellent performances from Sinead Cusack who plays Mrs. Thornton, Brendan Coyle who portrays firebrand union man Nicholas Higgins and Tim Pigott Smith who plays Margarets father.

Good viewing for all.


The Forsyte Saga

This is the modern interpretation of an old classic which played decades ago on the BBC.

In this version Soames Forsyte is played brilliantly by Damian Lewis who portrays the character of Soames so well that one feels both pity and repulsion almost at the same time.

It is the story of unrequited love and how it can destroy both the object of love and the unloved with equal force.

In the background are two sides of the Soames family. One side which is more bohemian, while the other clan is repressingly and hypocritically polite and civil leaving their cruelties unspoken, but nevertheless felt.

There are no heroes in this partcilar drama as both sides are deeply flawed characters. The cold, beautiful yet passionate Irene Forsyte who marries for money and finds herself imprisoned by her husbands obsessive love. The character is played very well by Gina McKee.

But all eyes are fixed on Damian Lewis who actually says very little but can portray so much by a flicker of an eye lid and a small sneer. Soames Forsyte is a man who follows the norms of society, who refuses to break the rules and has little compassion for those who do and yet is undone by his obsessive love for a woman who loves him not. This leaves him to behave in a brutal fashion which haunts his conscience and colours all his relationships.

The tragedy of this will follow the Forsytes into the next generation.

Excellent viewing.

Yesterday is History

Yesterday is History,

'Tis so far away

Yesterday is Poetry

'Tis Philosophy

Yesterday is mystery

Where it is Today

While we shrewdly speculate

Flutter both away

Emily Dickinson

Monday, July 7, 2008

Focus On The Family-Who's Looking After The Kids

We live in a world that is exploding with information where everything is on the go and almost everyone is in a hurry, too much of a hurry to stop and think in which direction they are going or where they will end up. This 'go go go' attitude to life may work out for adults who can cope with high stress lifestyles but how does it affect the children of today?

In this hectic pace the only time where information stops its cacophony of sound is when we retire to bed, only then do we gain some measure of peace or are our minds still buzzing as we attempt to try and gain some much needed rest for our tired bodies and our minds? If adults find it hard to switch off then how do our children cope? If they are watching the same programmes as their parents or accessing the internet where information comes almost at the speed of light, how are they able to automatically switch off at bed time or are their brains buzzing too? So much so that sleep is elusive and they wake up in the morning still tired and stressed out even before the day truly begins. Is this the most beneficial lifestyle for today's children?

As the debate grows with the ADHD controversy where children as young as five years of age are being given mind altering drugs such as Ritalin which is a stimulant much like methamphetamine or they are being put on a program of anti-depressant drugs in order for them to deal with life. Once again is this the best we can do for our children to drug them into conformity? Do we truly want robotic children who sit in their class rooms like bombed out zombies as their individuality is negated in favour of some 'peace and quiet'. This 'illness' ADHD only seems to have been invented during these past decades, why haven't their been cases of ADHD throughout the centuries?

I remember a few months ago as I waited in the doctors waiting room a young family came in, the parents gave their mobile phone to their eldest daughter to play with while they were waiting to be seen by their Doctor. Their younger daughter then asked if she too could have a mobile, she was told no! Thus ensued a tantrum. The parents then said they wished the doctor would give their youngest daughter ADHD drugs.

Was the youngest daughter throwing things? No! Did she attack her elder sister? No! She simply began crying and insisted it wasn't fair. Common sense alone dictates if you favour one child over another, you are courting disaster.

For those who are in the 40 to 50 age bracket do you remember any child being diagnosed as ADHD when you attended school? Or were boys simply being boys and girls were girls as diversity thrived in the class rooms and where there was always the possibility that one or two children would be naturally pugnacious or irreverent towards those in authority? What has happened in these past few generations that the children who may have these very characteristics are now seen as 'ill' and in need of medication so that they will be able to fit in with all the other children. Who decided what was general normality? Or is there no such thing?

This is not to say that every parent is wrong or that teachers who are often overworked and underpaid are also at fault. What needs to be investigated is who made the decision to categorize what is normal and what is not? We also need to take a long hard look at the foods we digest and what is being put into them, so certain foods will have a longer shelf life. How are these additives affecting the children who eat or drink them? It is a time consuming ordeal but parents may need to list the foods that their children are eating and perhaps re-adjust their lifestyle choices in favour of organically grown fresh fruit and vegetables and less on the fast food, highly sugar dosed cereals and the candy industry which is filled with high doses of additives.

In today's society we are the most sedentary generation mainly due to the conveniences we now take for granted such as automatic washing machines, clothes dryers, microwaves etc. Many families have two cars so that children may now be driven to where they have to go rather than walk or ride bikes. A lot of children's angst is due to the fact that their energy levels have not been used during the day and so high energy levels will soon turn to irritability. This does not mean that a child has suddenly contracted ADHD, and therefore needs to be medicated.

Rather than rely totally on Doctors and the pharmaceutical companies who make their living from the drugs they sell, perhaps it is time for parents to embrace their child's diversity and individualism without trying to make them conform into a set image of robotic behavior based on whose theory? Only the parent can make the decision, of what is the best treatment for their child. Therefore investigate all avenues before deciding what approach to take when treating your child, it's future depends on you.

Written by Marie

Prayer for Families

Heavenly Father,

we are reminded by the Second Vatican Council

that our family is a domestic Church

where family prayer and mutual affection

pay you special worship.

Help us to be a family of love,

support, forgiveness and courage.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Be Of Good Cheer

They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, "Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!" (Mark 6:50).

The Bible encourages us all to 'be of good cheer/ take courage,' why is that verse so important that Jesus repeats it over and over?

It is repeated because through all the ages people are people. Frail, faulty, wounded, thoughtless and yet capable of great deeds and heroic acts, but still we are imperfect. Who then do we turn too in times of adversity?

The Holy Spirit is the Great Comforter of the afflicted, the wounded and the broken hearted. All are accepted into God's Heart. There is no litmus test for any of us in order to deserve God's Love. If there were a litmus test then who amongst us would be Saved?

How many times do we pray, 'Lord bring me closer to you,' but do we truly understand what we are saying? Are we not like John and James who requested to be seated at Jesus right and left hand, unkowing of the price for such an honour. Even more unknowingly Jesus tells them what they do not wish to hear, "whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all."

When we ask to become closer to Jesus we must understand that there is only one way and that Way is through The Cross. Why then when adversity strikes us do we balk at what is being asked of us. Is not God answering our prayer? Do we not gain our strength from the partaking of The Churches Sacraments?

Be careful of what you pray, lest you receive it.

Whenever adversity strikes us, whatever form it takes, be it through ill-health, betrayal or loss we must realise that God has already given us the strength to endure it. So endure it with a smile.

We fall into misery and bitterness when we are relying on our own strength. God does not give us misery, He gives us hope. God is our strength, He is our fortress against our greatest folly- the belief that we can go it alone. No we can't.

Trust in God's Goodness. Not your own.

The getting of wisdom is the understanding that in and of ourselves we are miserable, weak, frail creatures. We are needy. Noone is an island unto himself and if adversity strikes we become embittered, miserable a curse to ourselves and to others. We fall into self pity.

Wisdom is to understand the above and as illness makes us vulnerable, rather than close our hearts we open them to The Son's Love. Through God we radiate hope, perseverance, patience in the dreadful understanding that through our suffering we have become...Him to others.

Our Lord did not promise that adversity would not strike us, if anything He warns that if we follow Him we must pick up our Cross. How we carry our cross is our choice whether it be with a smile or a curse.

What do you choose?

"In this world ye shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

Written by Marie

Prayer for America

Almighty God,

bless the American nation

and make it true

to the ideas of freedom and justice

and brotherhood for all who make it great.

Guard them & all of mankind from war,

from fire and wind,

from compromise, fear, confusion.

Be close to their president and their statesmen;

give them vision and courage,

as they ponder decisions affecting peace

and the future of the world.

Make them more deeply aware of their heritage;

realizing not only their rights

but also their duties

and responsibilities as a citizen.

Make that great land

and all its people

know clearly Your will,

that they may fulfill

the destiny ordained for them and us in the salvation of the nations,

and the restoring of all things in Christ.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Cold Within

This is one of my favourite pieces of writing

The Cold Within

Six humans trapped by happenstance
in black and bitter cold
Each possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story's told.

Their dying fire in need of logs,
the first woman held hers back
For on the faces around the fire
She noticed one was black.

The next man looking 'cross the way
Saw one not of his church
And couldn't bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes
He gave his coat a hitch,
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

And the last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

The logs held tight in death's stilled hands
Was proof of human sin,
They didn't die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within.

James Patrick Kinney

Giving- Why is it so difficult

Why is that dogs love rawhide bones? Its just flour and water, hhmm. We had this dog that loved those bones, she would chew on it for hours on end. And don’t even think about trying to take that bone away, she would let you know that you had better step back. I mean I had given her the bone and she had the audacity to growl at me?!?! I mean if I were trying to take the bone away it was because it was filthy and needed to be thrown out. But I guess she felt threatened and saw it as me trying to steal her bone.

Is it not true that many behave the same way with money. Where does this money come from? God. He gives us the ability to make the money by blessing us with the ability, the jobs and careers that brings the money to the table. Yet when He, be it through the church or those in need, asks for some of it, we grumble, we growl and we hoard our money.

Perhaps maybe the biggest problem is that we fail to realize that everything we have is not our own. It is not our money, it belongs to God who has entrusted us of a certain amount be it big or small. “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Psalm 24:1. If we remember this, that the money does not belong to any of us in the first place, it maybe easier to give it back to God. We also have the assurance that He can and will supply all our needs

Bills, bills and more bills. With the rising cost of living it is easy to get side tracked and lose focus of the big picture. It is then that we need to refocus and remember that God really does own it all and is in control and will take care of us. This will not only enable us to give more easily but will make us a cheerful giver. We will develop a peace within our hearts because we know that God is our Father and how much He looks after us. He is not just out to get all our money.

I understand why many find it difficult to give- they probably think that if they give they will not have enough money left to see to their needs. When you give something away you have less, that’s math in a nutshell but God has a different type of math. God math 101 the more you give the more you get, you will not be left with less. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38 “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2nd Cor 9:6

God does not ask us to give so that we will get more money, it is good for our spirituality. We learn that it is not all about me and my needs but we learn to think of others and how we can help them. It is good for us to give. When money becomes the king if the castle, everything revolves around money and how we can get more money. When God is the accountant our lives and our world is opened up and we are able to appreciate the things that are really important- our relationship with God, family, friends…

So please don’t grumble and complain when you are giving. Remember it’s not yours to keep in the first place, it will not only be easier to give but you will be eager to give.