Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fun With Baby Blaise!

He has a nice touch. :-)
Having trouble getting these videos to work....still working on it.

My son John is loving trying to teach my grandson Blaise many things...like improvising on the piano, throwing rolled up napkins across the dinner table, and, as pictured above, kicking a ball.

Could anything be more fun than babysitting for grandkids? Maybe not. It's especially fun when there are so many other adoring adults involved. And we all agree. Cutest baby in the world. No arguments. It's great.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sometimes You Just Have to Transplant

Some years ago I planted a dwarf hibiscus (Actually Hibiscus X Ruby Dot, I believe) along my front sidewalk. Dwarf should mean small, right? I thought it might grow to be a foot or two. Well. It became a good three feet tall and probably had a diameter of about the same. It sprawled over the walkway, blocking a good portion of it.

But it was beautiful, as  you can see from the above photo. It would cover itself with these blooms and they were magnificent, each one so delicate and only lasting a day or two. It was a great living metaphor for the loveliness and brevity of life.

But it blocked the walk. It took over too much space and dwarfed all the other little flowers I planted along the bed. In short, it didn't fit. It had been planted (by me) in the wrong location.

So I asked my friend Sally (horticulture major) if it was possible to transplant such a big plant.  She said, "Sure. Just dig it up and move it."

I thought I might kill it, but it seemed worth a try. I moved it to the back yard in a sunny location. At first, it looked hopeless. Just a few dead looking sticks protruding from the ground. (Mind you, that's how it always looks in the early Spring. But this seemed to be the case for quite a while.)

Then, lo and behold, there were little leaves starting to emerge. It had survived!!

Here's how it looks now.

I think it may like this location even better. There is a lot of sun and lots of room to spread out, without getting in anyone's way.

Sometimes you just have to transplant. Perhaps a metaphor for life here?

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Justice for Harambe?

Harambe, a silver-backed gorilla at the Cinncinnati Zoo was killed recently to protect the life of a three-year-old boy who had fallen into the gorilla's enclosure. Thankfully, the little boy is all right, despite having fallen 15 feet into a moat and then dragged repeatedly around by a 450 pound agitated gorilla.

It was a tragedy, especially so because the gorilla was an endangered species.

As Christians we have a responsibility to care for all creation and to respect and honor the nature of all of God's creatures. When a species is endangered, it naturally deserves special protection and care.

But does that mean that a gorilla has rights? 

Merriam Webster defines a right as something to which one has a just claim: (as in) a. the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled. If Harambe has suffered an injustice, as some claim, is that because Harambe has rights tantamount to human rights?

No, Harambe is not entitled to human rights.  He is not a human and, no, animals are not persons as some are actually claiming.

Did Harambe have a right to have his life protected even when a three-year-old child had fallen into his enclosure and the child's life was in grave danger?

Harambe did not have that right. And, therefore, there was no injustice. Whether he intended harm to the child or not is irrelevant. The behavior of animals is morally neutral. He was neither innocent nor guilty. He was a gorilla. And gorillas cannot safely be in proximity with humans.

Raising the concept of justice in regards to this case is troubling. It anthropomorphizes the gorilla. Thankfully even PETA is not saying that the gorilla should not have been sacrificed to save the life of the child. But they are saying that this was an injustice and therefore someone must be held accountable. And it is the mother who is receiving their disapproving gaze.

Really? I will grant you that it is highly unusual for a child to enter a gorilla enclosure with the mom standing right there. But she WAS standing right there. She also had other children with her. I prefer to assume, not that this mother was negligent, but that this three-year-old must have been one wiry, active little boy. Witnesses say that it all happened in a matter of seconds.

Had the mother been holding the hand of each child (never mind that she only has two hands), perhaps this would not have happened. Maybe had she turned to her son one nanosecond sooner, she could have grabbed him and stopped him. The fact that she looked away for a few seconds hardly makes her a negligent mother.

That a magnificent gorilla, an endangered species, had to be killed to protect a young child is a tragedy. It would have been an even greater tragedy had the zoo not acted and the child been killed by the gorilla.

We live in a fallen world. We do our best to make moral choices and to honor God (and his creation) as well as our neighbor.

Sometimes, accidents are accidents and not anyone's fault. It would seem that this is one of those times.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

StoryRunners-- Taking the Gospel to All Nations Through Stories!!

The other night my husband and I met with a recent University of Michigan graduate, Allyssa, who is going to spend the next year with StoryRunners, a ministry of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ.) Allyssa is a dear girl who majored in Performing Arts Management, and what an inspiring decision she has made to use her theatre skills to tell others about Christ!!

StoryRunners sends people to remote parts of the world where languages are spoken into which the Bible has not been translated, and the people are largely illiterate.  StoryRunners works with native speakers who act as translators who learn the 42 stories about Jesus that the ministry has prepared. These translators then go out and tell these stories to the people.

I love that this ministry is evangelizing people who would not otherwise have an opportunity to hear about Jesus. What a tremendously blessed ministry.

Cru has no central funds for salary and ministry expenses. Allyssa is raising money for this internship opportunity, in order to be able to go.

Would you like to donate? It might mean someone learning about Jesus who would never otherwise have the chance. We cannot all go out to the remotest parts of the world, but we can all help spread the Gospel to all nations!!

Click HERE to help Allyssa spread the Gospel to people who can only hear it through storytelling!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Saint Philip Neri-- Saint of Joy!

May we all be saints of joy!!

From Magnificat this morning, quoting Blessed John Henry Newman:
Nothing was too high for him, nothing too low. He taught poor begging women to use mental prayers; he took out boys to play, he protected orphans....Cardinals hung about his room, and popes asked for his miraculous aid in disease....It was his mission to save people, not from, but in, the world.
Nothing was too high for him or low. God is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34). What a good reminder this holy saint gives us.

How easily we slip into thinking we are better than others. Some think they are better than the poor. (They must not work hard enough. They must not be very "together.") Some look down on the rich. (After all, surely they are attached to their possessions. Surely they are guilty of materialism. Surely they are haughty.)

Does education make a person superior? Nice clothing? Status? Money? Power?

God is no respecter of persons. May we never forget that we are all poor broken children, in need of the Redeemer.

And like Saint Philip Neri, may we never pass up an opportunity to share the joy of Christ with every person we meet.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

And The Winner of the Book Drawing is.....AnneMarie!!!

The winner of a free copy of this book is Anne Marie!!! Congratulations!!

If you were hoping to win, you can enter another drawing by posting a comment after my review at http://www.catholic365.com/article/4328/review-and-book-giveaway-of-learning-to-love-with-the-saints-a-spiritual-memoir-by-jean-heimann.html That drawing will be on the morning of May 25, 2016!!

(Hint: As of this moment no one has commented on the review at that site. You could have a very good chance....)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Baptism Photos Part 2.... Had enough yet??

 Blaise with (from left to right) his godmother, his mother, his father, and his godfather

 Blaise with his grandfather, his great grandfather, his grandmother, his godfather, his mother, his godmother, and his father...

 Blaise with his grandfather, his godfather, his parents, his godmother, and me (his grandmother)

This is one of those priceless shots. Blaise with his grandfather and four generations....Blaise, his father, his paternal grandmother, and his great grandfather! (his Grandma Colette's father) I love it! I never knew any of my great grandparents. Blaise has three living great grandparents!!!!!

Blaise with his Uncle Jim!

Little do these two guys know that someday they're going to be good friends.

Blaise with Mom and Dad!
 Blaise's Uncle Mike and Uncle Jim.

 Blaise with Father Ed!

 Blaise with his Uncle Jim and Father Ed. I distinctly remember Father Ed playing with Jim at about the same age!

And Blaise with his Grandpa Bogdan, whom many people think he resembles...at least for now.