Monday, February 20, 2017

10 Reasons I am Against the Death Penalty





Dear Reader,


The issue of the death penalty has come up again recently and is presently being debated on at  


10 Reasons I am against the death penalty... (aside from the fact that it is morally wrong to kill someone).


1. If the person was wrongly accused, a reversal of the verdict cannot bring the person back.


2. Studies show the death penalty doesn't reduce the crime rate. U.S. research show that regions with no death penalty have consistently lower homicide rates compared to states with it in place.



3. People with insufficient funds, being unable to get good lawyers can easily be convicted.


4. If we, as a nation approve this bill, our taxes will fund this act, making us co-perpetrators. A quote says it well, "Why do we kill people who kill people to show killing people is wrong?"


5. I don't want to give the government the power to kill people. 

Sorry I still have trust issues.


6. "Imposing a death sentence as a consequence of killing wrongly perpetuates a cycle of violence in our community," said Rev. Rene Robert who worked with criminals with mental health issues and was eventually killed by one of them. He asked that the Governor “take whatever action is necessary” to prevent any person convicted of his murder from being executed. “During my life," he wrote, "I want to feel confident that under no circumstances whatsoever will my death result in the capital punishment of another human being.”



7. Some victims and their families have expressed that healing didn't take place when the criminal was killed and some even experienced regret.


8. "Revenge" isn't a good idea.


9. I believe you can still find God even if you are a hardened criminal and have a changed life (even behind bars).


10. Of course... LIFE is sacred, a gift from God that only God has the right to take.



What do you think about the Death Penalty?


Friday, February 17, 2017

Feathery Friend




"He who fashioned the heart of each,
he who knows all their works." Psalm 33:15


As I was looking out the window today, a bird fluttered by.  The years peeled away and I was taken back to 2006, when I took in a baby bird, close to death and nursed him 49 days to finally "leave the nest" and fly away.  (see below)


Our family named him Squirt and he went everywhere with us.  I taught him how to fly and to look fierce (see video above) so as to ward away predators.  He would perch on our shoulders and eat bananas from our hands.  He was truly a part of the family.


I was suddenly taken back to the porch of our home, telling Squirt to go and live his life. I was afraid that one day, one of the cats living outside our house would catch him.  I couldn't ever live with that memory, so like a mama bird, I told Squirt to fly away.


On a day like today, I'm missing my feathery friend.  He was like a "son" to me.  Despite my lack of sleep checking on him (seeing if he was still alive), and poop ridden bed (covered in brown paper), I would be elated by his progress such as, having a bird batch by himself in the middle of the night.  I did research and found that a bird was an adult once he started "talking". Indeed, Squirt did. He was a talkative one, not chirping, but talking.  You would only know what I mean if you heard a bird talk.


In my heart of hearts I'm wishing that Squirt knew how much I cared about him and miss him.  Sometimes I regret letting him go so fast.  


But I take comfort that whatever love is in our hearts - that we give away - even to the wee creatures of the earth, is never wasted.  God knows all that we do out of love.  He created our hearts with each having the capacity to love greatly.  He knows all that molds and breaks our hearts.


I know not one sparrow falls to the ground without our heavenly father knowing.  He loves each of His creations even more than I love Squirt!  


God knows each of our loves, and never forgets.







Thursday, February 16, 2017

Use What You Have

Sometimes I see a piece of art that just inspires me so much that I want to buy all the materials the artist used to create that piece.

I find myself at the art supply store looking for the exact brush or nib or brand.

Then a bad thing happens, I won't use what I bought!

Has this ever happened to you? Well consider yourself patted on the back if it hasn't.

All too often I buy something and realize I already had something similar.

So, in reminding myself with this graphic to USE WHAT YOU HAVE. Don't go looking for what you don't have - but look at what you already have!

For all you know, you're only meant to use these exact materials to make a piece that is uniquely you!!!

This goes with life too! We may think, "if only I was thinner.." or "smarter" or "more creative". No, use what you have, be who you are (with all the flaws) and what you have will become beautiful! (Or already is!!!)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Our Greatest Love



I fell in love with a song today and after buying the song sheet online, just had to do some calligraphy! It talks about our greatest Love ever!




O beauty ancient, O beauty so new
Late I have loved Thee and feebly yet do.
Though You were with me I was not with You.
Then You shone Your face and I was blind no more.

My heart searches restlessly and finds no rest 'till it rests in Thee.
o seeker You sought for me.
Your love has found me;
I am taken by Thee.

I sought this world and chased its finer things,
Yet were these not in You, they would not have been.
My ceaseless longing hid the deeper truth,
In all my desiring, I was desiring You.

Lord in my deafness You cried out to me.
I drew my breath and now Your fragrance I breathe
O Fount of Life; You are forever the same;
O Fire of Love; come set me a flame.

(from Prayer of Saint Augustine, song by Ed Conlin, 
composed after he read The Confessions)


Happy Valentines' Day everyone!  May we experience the greatest love we could ever have in this life!


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Begin


Life is short!  Begin to reach for your dreams!  #goals

Calligraphy with a Ballpen




You don't need expensive brush pens or oblique pens with nibs to have fun with calligraphy. All you need is a ball pen! See what any pen or anyone can do with a little practice!



Monday, January 23, 2017

Women's Rights by a Woman



A girl is underage and finds out she is pregnant.  She knows she will face being ostracised by the community and all her plans for the future will be affected by this child.  She is faced with a decision, does she say yes or no?


She said, "be it done unto me according to your Word".  She is Mary, the mother of Jesus.


Now if she said no, we wouldn't have the Saviour of the world now would we?


Suffice to say,  the occurrence of an unwed, underage girl carrying a child isn't new.  But the question is, should the State be able to take the child away if the mother doesn't want the child?  Is the State the author of life?  Is this a matter of a fetus and not a child?


Everyone knows that what they say is just tissue is a child so let's just do away with that silly argument.


We all started small.  It takes 18 days after conception for the heart to beat.  Then, after 10 days, the baby's eyes, ears and tongue are formed.  God probably worked on the baby's sight, taste, hearing and touch first so he could already experience the world around him.  Recent studies show that babies could smell even before he is born.


So a baby has life in his but his mother has the right to do away with him?   Let's look at the right for a minute.


Everyone is exposed to Women's Lib, Women's Studies, Girl Power and all that.  Does getting ahead in life, pursuing your studies, getting a career, getting married first, having others' approval worth killing your own flesh and blood?


What women have a right to is - to know that abortion is not just the death of a child but the death of the mother's spirit.  You will not come out of an abortion unscathed.  Oftentimes, young women are made to think it is a good thing (because our "rights" often are).  They go to Planned Parenthood and they are not dissuaded to go through with it.


The woman says yes to abortion and just like that, it's like she steps into the time of the Judges, 1140 BC when pagan tribes would routinely sacrifice their own children.  Looking back at the story, brings a lesson.  When the Israelites would fall for the pagan practices of these people, they would be defeated by their enemies, subjugated and enslaved.


56 million abortions after Roe vs Wade has led Pope Francis to describe this as a "throwaway culture".  It's a culture of death.  


It's a time to end abortion.





So today is the Day of Prayer for Legal Protection of Unborn Children.  Let's pray as well for the mothers who are making their decision about the child in their womb right now.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Making Your Own Cards

Handmade cards hold a special appeal nowadays. Most of the things you see around are machine made and produced in bulk - so something you spent time and energy on is treasured all the more.

Due to the busyness of life, people send their greetings and messages via e-mail or Facebook chat.

You cannot keep an electronic message in your scrapbook though. You can't see its paper age and can't show it to your grandkids.

Its also a must to send thank you cards after your friends and family celebrate a milestone such as a wedding.


Here's something I made for my friend Mimi. She is a fantastic friend. When I told her that we lacked entertainment at the reception, she called up some of the guests and they whipped up a charming song and dance number!

I did some calligraphy on the card cover and made the envelope from the same paper.

I used a Memory Keepers envelope maker but if you don't have that, you can use theselayout guides.

Decorating the card cover is the probably the most intimidating part of the process.

If you don't do calligraphy, an easy fall back method would be collage.

These are beautiful examples...

Design Sponge

Luulla

Dried Flower Magic

I hope you were inspired to go ahead and make your own greeting cards! It's an extremely enjoyable weekend project!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Stretch Out Your Hand



A man whose hand was withered came into the assembly.


This man was unable to write, point, eat or do anything useful with his hand.  He probably went into the synagogue to pray and was not expecting much.  He saw Jesus there but didn't even approach him.  He didn't care to ask him for healing - as it was the sabbath.


For a people steeped in tradition, healing was work and work was not allowed on this holy day.


Jesus, was being watched by the crowd.  Somehow they knew He would do something different today.  


Then Jesus called the man with the withered hand forward - in front of everyone.


"Then he said to the Pharisees,
"Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?"
But they remained silent."  (Mark 3:1-6)


God was so grieved when the Pharisees couldn't answer.  They didn't know what was right from wrong.  They only knew - the way things always were.


It makes me think - is there something in my life that grieves God?  Is there something that needs to be changed?  Is there something that seems right but actually isn't?


Jesus was not afraid of the consequences of doing right.  He knew what the Pharisees would do once the healing took place.  Doing right was still above self preservation.  Jesus expects this from us - to do right despite whatever inconvenience or challenge arises from it.


Once we do right, someone's life changes.  Once we do right, someone is empowered to also live right.  


When Jesus healed the man, He also healed us - He also stretched out our hand to others in need - and to do what is right.  He stretched our hand to others whom society might call the untouchables.  He stretched our hand to the outcast in school. He stretched our hand to the dirty, dying and destitute whom others treated with disdain.


Thank you Lord Jesus for stretching our hand!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Starting the Year Right




Today is a new day nestled within a new year.  Today is open to infinite possibilities.

What you do today may or may not affect your whole year.  It's totally up to you.

There are people who aren't fond of surprises and who live to make lists and lists of things they wish to accomplish.  There are those who just say "come what may" and just go with the flow.  Most of us are somewhere in between.






Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could assure yourself that by the end of this year, you'll become a new, improved version of you?  In a way, you can!
How?  By doing something right - today.
Starting the year right begins with the end in mind.






Ready?  Ok close your eyes.



STEP ONE:



Since God is the author of our lives, we begin and end with Him.  Let's say this prayer:

"Dear Lord, thank You for another year!  Thank You for all the blessings of the past year.  Thank You for Your loving care and protection.  I offer this year to You.  May I be at the center of Your will.  Grant me all the grace and courage I need to fulfil the mission You've created me for."

(Feel free to add to this prayer or just speak to God from the heart.)





STEP TWO:


Let's zoom far into the future to December 31st, 2017.

You're at your family Christmas eve dinner party and you happen to hear some people talking in the hallway.  You can't help but hear what the topic is all about.  It's YOU.   They are saying what you have meant to them this past year...  would they be saying good things or not so good things?



STEP THREE:


Write down the things you would want them to be saying about you.  For example, "I don't know how I could've gone through this year without [ INSERT YOUR NAME HERE].  He/she was really there for me."

1. 
2.
3.

Write down as many "imagin-adjectives" you could.  You don't need to limit this exercise to family members. You can also "overhear" co-workers (for career goals) or friends.


Once you've done that, you're ready for STEP FOUR.




STEP FOUR:



Go over your list of adjectives and think of what actions you can do, to be a person with those traits.

Example:

1.  He/she was there for me.

Resolution - Action:
Spend time with my sister 1x a week.


The Resolution - Action must be quantifiable.  Do not put "often" or "sometimes" but rather, a specific time frame.




STEP FIVE:


Plot your calendar.  Pencil in time with your sister every week on your planner.


Be realistic.  Don't go overboard and spread yourself thin.  You can adjust your planner as you go along to make your goals and plans more doable.



Now you have concrete plans for the year ahead.  You won't just accidentally be better at being the person you want to be - you WILL BE that person!

Wishing you all the best this 2017!  God bless you!




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