I don't often pass on many of the 'Funnies' that appear on Facebook, but we're having a lot of fun on FB with this one, and I just HAD to share it!
Given that we'll finally have our own household mailbox after 20 years without one, I'm seriously considering doing this to one of our cats when we move, and see what happens - although, according to my friend Graham, I'm only allowed to do it if I have a video camera at the ready....
This week I was very blessed to share a special lunch out with friends. We have a lovely day, and they wanted to make sure I knew I'd be missed, and share the importance of friendship. I was also given this very special gift to hang on the wall in our new home:
They know me very well, don't they? Thankyou, my dear friend, not only for the gift, but for pulling me through - I will miss you!
One of my favourite saints is St Francis of Assisi. 'Make me a channel of your peace', says St Francis, and often I can be heard humming along to this popular hymn. I strive to be a peacemaker, however, I often fail in my undertakings. Still, I continue, and hope and pray that God knows my heart, and how I yearn for peace.
For those of you who do not know the 'Prayer of St Francis', here it is. It has become my life's motto, and all that I strive to be:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Below I pass on a post I came across tonight, taken from: http://penitents.org/followfrancisarchives.html I found the post to be a very interesting read, providing much food for thought.
One of the most beautiful incidents in the life
of Saint Francis is when Francis brought about
peace between the mayor and the bishop of
Assisi. It would certainly seem a strange
situation where a man of God, namely the bishop,
would be at odds with anyone, but that was the
case. And that was because the mayor Lord
Oportulo de Bernardo had defied Bishop Guido's
orders and continued an alliance with the
knights and nobles of Perugia in a class
struggle against the commoners of that city. In
other words, the mayor and knights of Assisi, by
their actions, were prolonging a war among the
citizens of Perugia. They were not making peace.
So Bishop Guido excommunicated Lord Oportulo.
Oportulo struck back. He forbid the Assisi
merchants to sell anything to the bishop or to
his household. The animosity between bishop and
mayor had gone beyond all bounds.
Francis knew what hatred was all about. His own
father had not understood Francis's desire to
follow God, and Francis, in the rashness of his
youth, had disowned his father on the steps of
the bishop's house. Prior to that, Francis had
fought as a knight in a war between Assisi and
Perugia and had seen death and hatred close at
hand. He wanted no part of it now. Years later
he had traveled to Damietta to try to effect
peace between Crusaders and Saracens, but to no
avail. The Crusaders had been violent toward
their enemies, so unlike the peaceful Francis.
The sultan had told Francis that, if Christians
were like the little friar, the sultan himself
would have converted. Because they were not, the
war between the pagans and Christians continued
Francis loved both the mayor and the bishop of
his city. He could not bear to see them hating
one another. So he, from his sick bed in 1225,
called them both to a meeting at the bishop's
palace. They agreed only because of their
respect for the Poverello. When they had
gathered together, Francis was not present. He
was too ill to come. But his friars were there,
singing the Canticle of the Creatures which
Francis had composed. They sang through the
haunting verses lauding the Lord and His glory,
praising His creatures Brother Sun, Sister Moon,
Brother Fire, Sister Water. Their voices lifted
as they poured forth the verse which Francis had
composed specifically for this meeting:
"Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give
pardon for Your love and bear infirmity and
tribulation. Blessed are those who endure in
peace for by You, Most High, they shall be
The words struck the hearts of both men. Francis
was calling them to pardon for the love of God.
Lord Oportulo fell on his knees before the
bishop, promising any atonement Bishop Guido
would ask. Guido, in his largeness of heart,
raised the Lord to his feet, apologized for his
quick temper, and asked the Oportulo's
forgiveness. The two men embraced, and peace was
restored between them.
As penitents, we are called to be like Francis,
like the friars, and like both bishop and mayor.
We are called to recognize factions and to work
to bring about peace between them. We are also
called upon to make peace if we are part of the
Sometimes endings are not as happy as the ending
to this story, and that is because those who are
at odds are not yet saints. Still, if we try to
bring about peace and fail, we are not then
allowed to wash our hands of the situation and
go our way. Jesus tells us to pray for our
enemies and do good to those who hate us. Our
prayers may be the only good over which they
have no power, for no one other than we
ourselves can prevent us from praying for
others. In the name Christ and of St. Francis,
who gave us our Rule with its provisions in
Article 26 regarding making peace with all, we
in the CFP exhort all our members to attempt to
be at peace with everyone and, if rebuffed, to
bathe our enemies with prayer for their ultimate
salvation. It is what Francis did. It is what
Christ called us to do. It is what we have no
choice but to do if we are to live our Rule in
its spirit. May God grant us the means and the
graces to be true peacemakers in His Kingdom.
Well, what else was I supposed to do with the unwanted spray paint? 'twasn't me that graffitied the sheds and left 'The Mahers Rock' message - can't I just blame the kids?
And after all that - the question was - what to do with the old wooden cupboards that were sitting on the verandah? Ahhhh, nothing like a Mum with a massive hammer to take care of that - mwahahahahahaha!
As always, a big part of moving house is saying Goodbye to
friends and family.
Recently, our concert band played at the Clare Show – our
final performance as a part of the Clare Valley Concert Band.We will so miss you guys!We had a wonderful day, full of music, food
and activities, and merrily blurted out all our favourite pieces:Comedy Classics, Moondance, Viva La Vida,
and of course, The Man from Snowy River and Lean on Me.
During the day, we got to meet an old childhood favourite - Humphrey B Bear!
At the end of the day, it was time for the ‘Young Farmers
Competition’, and four of our members teamed up to enter – Andrew, Daniel,
Orson and Sammi.They did soo well,
having to erect an electric fence, roll hay bales, put out a fire, and the
final task was, naturally, a sculling competition!Poor Orson had a little trouble with putting on his fire suit –
clothes went on backwards, braces didn’t quite get there before the jacket, and
so on – he was struggling, but it was most entertaining for the rest of
us!The sculling then proved to be an
issue for Sammi, although my Daniel seemed to have no problems at all –then again, he has had some practice lately
at all the homeschool camps (soft drink only, of course!).
In the end, our team came in fourth.Yes, there was only four teams – but they
did put in a mighty effort, and not too bad at all for musos.
Afterwards, we headed south to Adelaide for the evening,
where, after dropping off Jessica and Daniel to a party, we enjoyed dinner with
Orson and his family, and spent several hours chatting and enjoying each
other’s company.When I was finally
able to tear myself away from the lovely evening, we headed off to pick up the
others from the 21st, determined to get home early – it is a 3-hour
trip back home, and already, it was around 10pm.
Oh well, best laid plans!We just couldn’t help ourselves, and happily gate-crashed the party, and
had a great time!It was my nephew’s 21st,
and we enjoyed meeting many of his friends, and hearing some very interesting
stories all about our Patrick, and many of his ‘extra curricula
activities’.The theme of the night was
‘the eighties’, so we fitted in very well.At one point, my son Daniel was inside, and he suddenly heard someone
take the microphone and begin blurting out ‘I Love Rock ‘n Roll’ along with the
music.His immediate thought was,
‘Well, someone’s having a good time!’I’m still not sure if he was disgusted or delighted to discover that it
was, in fact, his mother – and yes, I WAS having a good time!My sister-in-law and I were having loads of
fun, hassling the young people and having very in depth conversations with them
about who exactly should take that last piece of cheese – and how chilli
flavoured cheese tastes nothing like apricot, thank you very much!
But all too soon, we decided we really must head home – and
instead of our ‘early’ getaway, we ended up crawling up our driveway at 4am,
completely exhausted, but still in a great mood – despite having to say Goodbye
to our band, our good friends, and family members, it had been a wonderful day.
Over the weekend, a man came to our house. He had seen my sign on the local notice board, and had come to offer to take away any scrap metal.
Nothing remarkable about that, right?
And yet, as we wandered around our property and chatted about things, it became apparent that this would be no ordinary visit.
He spoke of his life, and of the tragedy of losing his 3 year old son, when he backed his car out of the shed and ran straight over his little boy. He spoke of his grandson, now 3, and how preciously he holds his grandchildren, and all children, in his heart. And we talked of how such pain never goes away, but how our awareness of life is so greatly increased because of our life's experiences.
And then, when he found out that we were a musical family, he pulled from the back seat of his car his very own poetry book, and delighted us all by reading the most beautiful poem that he had written about being a young man trapped in an old man's body, and how he had so much more life,and love, to give.
We spoke about our move, and the preciousness of life. And then, he looked me in the eye, and said gently, but very firmly, "You know what to do, don't you, about those who won't accept you for who you are?" And I looked at him, and I nodded.
How did he know to say that to me? I had briefly hinted about some recent painful experiences, but no details, and he knew exactly what to say, and said the exact words I needed to hear at that moment. I stood there dumbfounded for a few moments, totally overawed - it was as if God had spoken to me through this stranger.
God has done some marvellous works in our lives these past few weeks - He had brought so many people to us, either in person or via phone or the Internet, who have offered us help, words of encouragement, smiles, hugs and most importantly, love.
I have learned these past few weeks that God certainly does work through people, and He speaks through people. And when God speaks, we need to listen.