Friday, October 28, 2005

The Friday Five!

Well folks, it's time for another Friday Five. I apologize for not having them up last week. That broadcast was postponed until today due to depression :).

For first time players, the Friday Five is something you can answer in the comments below, or in your own journals - just post the link to your answers in the comments. The more people that play, the better!

Also, feel free to send in questions for the Friday Five! If you do, I'll spotlight your journal and we can send some readers there! Enjoy!

1. If you had all the money in the world and could choose to own anything, what you would get and why?

Well, if it were anything...I think I'd like to own a golf-course. That would be a ton of fun, and if I had that much money, I'd let people play for free :).

2. If you were to do something that scares you, what would it be?

Oh man, it would have to be skydiving. I HATE heights, and I do not trust my life to some stupid silk chute that is 'supposed' to work. Who in their right mind jumps out of a plane moving hundreds of miles and hour thousands of feet above the ground. Doesn't anyone else see this as insane?

3. What was your first pet?

He was a yellow lab - Mr. D was his name and he ate everything...except olives. Give him a garden salad with dressing - he'd eat the whole thing...but he'd spit the olives out :)

4. What's the farthest you've traveled?

Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, though I've also driven to California.

5. If you were a season, which one would you be and why?

Spring. There is nothing like renewal and rebirth! Life in all its forms being revealed again.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

It takes Two

I picked this up from Dawn, over at Carpe Diem:

Two Names You Go By:

1. Charley

2.  Char

Two Parts of Your Heritage

1. French Canadian (50%)

2. German (47%) 

Two Things That Scare You

1. Spiders

2. My mother

Two of Your Everyday Essentials

1. Tea - green if I can get it. 

2.  Prayer

Two Things You Are Wearing Right Now

1.  CK's - other than 2xist, the only acceptable brand of men's underwear

2. flat-front twill khaks.

Two of Your Favorite Bands or Musical Artists (at
the moment)

 1. She's my guilty pleasure...Mariah Carey

2. Dave Matthews Band

Two of Your Favorite Songs (at the moment)

1.   Gravedigger - Dave Matthews

2.   American Woman - Dave Matthews

Two Things You Want in a Relationship (other than
Real Love)

1. patience

2. true dedication to helping each other grow as a couple and as individuals

Two Truths (confessions)

1.  I'm adopted.

2.  There are days when I write to inspire others and keep no inspiration for myself.

Two Physical Things that Appeal to You

1.  Lips

2.  Hair

Two of Your Favorite Hobbies

1.  Golf

2.  Gaming

Two Things You Want Really Badly  (assuming this means material things...)

1.  A new suit

2.  all the personal care items I want!

Two Places You Want to go on Vacation

1.  Russia

2.  Italy

Two Things You Want to Do Before You Die

1.  Make a pilgrimage to Rome/Jerusalem

2.  Start my own company

Two ways that you are stereotypically a Chick/Guy

1.  I have selective hearing when it comes to women (co-workers included!)

2.  Yeah, I pick my nose now and then!

Two thingsyou wouldn't normally admit

1.  That I am an ego hound - I love to have my ego stroked. I'm a sucker for it, and then my pride takes over.

2.  I am against gun ownership, but I wouldn't mind owning a rifle - I used to target shoot as a child.

If you do this, be sure to post the link in the comments!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

We Find Love in One Another

There were some great comments to my previous entry, and I wanted to add a bit more, as your great thoughts prompted me to think!

I agree, that for Christians salvation lies only through Christ. I also believe that we can find the love of Christ in one another and our actions. Ultimately, I know that I must accept Christ to attain heavenly rewards, but I cannot deny that God works through other people for our benifit. In the same way, I must trust to their love and sincerity as I trust to God's. Will they fail? Sure, they are human, but so am I! That does not give me an excuse to not place my faith in them to love me and treat me sincerely, even if I'm selfish.

In the end, once I'm dead, God will deal with me according to my actions and His mercy, but while I'm on earth, I have to love my neighbor as I love myself, and they hopefully will do the same, regardless of my failings. That was the message I hoped to convey in this piece.

Maryanne, you didn't go off on me at all - this journal is for people of all faiths, not just Christians. The reflections I write, I try to make applicable for all people of any faith, and even for those that do not believe in God. That's one of the reasons I focused on our relationships with other people in this entry as compared to our own selfishness.

I do not believe in judging others, but I do believe in loving others and their loving me, and that is the basis for the accountability I am referring to in this post - not judgement, but love. We can deal with any selfish person in a loving and kind way and we will do them right, and not be judging them. I also agree that God is in charge and that he wants us to use our gifts to help one another to the best of our ability. I see nothing wrong with living in comfort, but living in excess while others suffer is a social injustice. A simple life is a good one.

I hope that clears up that entry a bit for my readers. You guys are AWESOME! Thanks for commentingt!

Mortals are a Mere Breath

Today's reflection is from Psalm 62: 10-13

Mortals are a mere breath,
the powerful but an illusion;
On a balance they rise;
together they are lighter than air.
Do not trust in extortion;
in plunder put no empty hope.
Though wealth increase,
do not set your heart upon it.
One thiing God has said;
two thiings I have heard:
Power belongs to God;
so too, Lord, does kindness,
And you render to each of us
according to our deeds.

In my simple life of middle class homogeneity, I yearn for wealth and peace. They are no panacea, they provide no substantial relief. My heart beats black in hope of transforming my selfish wants into true rewards.

My faith does not matter, here, in this way. What I sow is what I shall reap. The people in my life will hold me accountable for my misdeeds, as they should, for injustice and wrong are only tolerated so long. The human spirit is made of love and peace, and censure can be so accomplished. According to my deeds, by way of love and sincerity, I will answer for my selfish wants.

Salvation is to let go of myself and rely on the love and goodwill of those around me, for their love is the only salve that heals every wound. In so doing, I will be held accountable for allowing myself to be loved, and that reckoning is one I welcome.

What's Your Hidden Talent?

Got this from over at Sangria Times:

Your Hidden Talent

You are a great communicator. You have a real way with words.
You're never at a loss to explain what you mean or how you feel.
People find it easy to empathize with you, no matter what your situation.
When you're up, you make everyone happy. But when you're down, everyone suffers.
What's Your Hidden Talent?

What part of Fall are You?

From Frosty Thoughts:

You Are Apple Cider

Smooth and comforting.
But downright nasty when cold.

What Part of Fall Are You?

How much do you think I'm worth?

Fom our beloved journals editor, Joe, over at Magic Smoke:

My blog is worth $34,436.94.
How much is your blog worth?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Are you like me? Personality Test!

I found this personality test over at Patrick's Place. It's FABU! Give it a whirl!

I'm a 43, by the way.

Vivi Award Madness

Well, as some of you have pointed out, Courage is a nominee in the Vivi Awards under the category 'most inspirational.'

And, as you all know me, I have a few inspiring comments on this journal's nomination.

When I first started this journal, I hoped to find community. I didn't begin it as a purely inspirational journal (and indeed many of its entries are a bit silly - see What Kind of Panties Are You? if you need proof), but it has morphed to include daily (mostly) reflections and the Friday Five.

Those reflections are a direct result of the people that come here. I do not provide inspiration with what I write. For true inspiration, scroll through the comments on this site and visit those journals. I have not once done that and found a person or a journal who did not inspire me. Inspiration isn't some thing that one person can create more than another, it is the result of a group of people searching for something together, and in our case, I think we're searching for real community, good people, and a place where being nice and genuine isn't mocked.

And I think that is true inspiration. That being said, even if this little bit of blogosphere does not win, I am inspired every day because of what you bring to my life. So, thank you.

Click to view more about the Vivi Awards.
Click here to vote for your favorites.

We are in action...

As promised, back on track.

Today's post is inspired from 2 Corinthians, 10: 9-11

May I not seem as one frightening to you through letters. For someone will say, "His letters are severe adn forceful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible." Such a person must understand that what we are in word through letters when absent, that we also are in action when present.

Am I what I say I am? That is the first thought through my mind after reading this small passage from Paul. I am so many things, some good, some bad, some amazing, and some despicable. I am my actions.

I will find no solace, no comfort in lies that hide my spirit from other people. I sit in a meeting and I am quiet, subdued, or maybe I am loud and forceful. I am an actor. My world is a grand stage and I act for all I am worth, with every ounce of energy and every bit of my being. My soul is the tattered, frayed carnage that bears the weight of my actions, my acting.

There is no truth in lies, but they are so comfortable. They fit like well-worn jeans, snug and warm on a cool fall day. Who is it that you see in this writing? Who do you think I am? I am an actor. I am moving in a world of props and cues, action and script changes, but always searching for some wisdom as if I have any more insight than any of you.

We are through word in letters when absent....I am not with you, at your home, in your bed, or sitting on yoru couch, yet Paul says I am what I say here, in these words. I read your journals, and so many of us seem to search, seem to look, seem to wonder, need to know and desperately hope that someone will listen.

Are we really acting? I say no. This is who we are. We are humans, in need of love, sweet, tender security and the warmth of a strong, big hug. We write, we are, these people and more, we are all tattered souls finding solace in acceptance and community.

We need not be Christian to believe what Paul says. Regardless of our faith, or belief in God, we all doubt, and fear, and wonder if we are true to ourselves. We are. We are what we write. Our words here are of our heart, and there is no better definition of character.

Action is more than simply doing - it is being. And when we write we become who we truly are, not what we doubt or fear, but all that we are meant to be for ourselves and for one another. I and my words are nothing without the context you give them. You are sacred to me, and to yourselves, for in your words you define me, and yourselves as well.

We are the products of such love and devotion. It is good to write, to read, and to be - to act.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Have you been to the CarnivAOL?

Hi agian, folks! While not the promised reflection, I wanted to promote the CarnivAOL. It is a website that features user-submitted journal entries. If you have a specific journal entry that you think is well-done, you can submit it to Paul at, and he will post it for all to view (unless you violate TOS). There is no editing process and no submission is turned away. It's a great way to get some new readership, so if you haven't done so already, get on the merry-go-round and join the CarnivAOL!

More to come later today....

Hi folks!

I've much to say to many people, and I will get to your comments and thoughts, but first...

1. Thank you for all your hopes, prayers, and well-wishes. I am still overwhelmed by your support.

2. I'm working through my inbox and alerts (over 500!) and I found this fun link - give it a try: J-Land Map

3. I will be back to posting daily reflections, and I will have a full update for you regarding this family silliness. I'm coming out of the haze, thankfully, and much is to be credited to all your kindness and love.

4. I will be creating a private journal for those of you interested or concerned, for further discussion of my family nonsense. This journal is for inspiration, not perspiration! If you would like access, please email me.

Peace and love,

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Update and Dew

After a few days of prayer, reflection, and writing it is good to be back even if for a few minutes. I have written a testimonial to my grandmother. In the next few days I will expand upon that letter and send copies to my mother, father, brother, and Nana. In that letter I will clarify the events of last New Year's Day, my resulting illness, and the reasons for my continued silence. What they do with those letters, my words, and our relationship will be their choice. Thank you for your prayers. Just a little longer, friends, and I think I will be out of the woods.



In the morning,
when silence is the
sparkle of a dew soaked lawn;

Weary eyes look
upon the troubled skies
and find hope in wet tears only.

Not much; but maybe enough.

Quiet mornings are the
prelude to all grand things;
they do not reveal their outcome
to those who so much wish to know.

We wait, like the dew,
to be burned away in scorching sun,
or joined by the sweet moisture of other
happy, falling drops.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

4:10 a.m.

It is 4:10 a.m. and I have begun to write.

I might end up losing the love of my family.

I will not lie to them.

I will not be respected.

I will respect myself.

I have begun to write.

Please pray that I write out of love and good will, not pride or fear.

Friday, October 14, 2005

CarnivAOL VI

Well, folks, it's here! CarnivAOL VI. There are some truly fantastic entries from some great writers. Head over there and expand your journaling world!

The Friday Five & Lack of Inspiration

This week, our Friday Five comes to us from Anonymous. This is the same anonymous who gave us a theme a few weeks ago. Thank you! Great themes! As always, please feel free to send in your own Friday Five questions, either of one theme, or none at all, and we'll post them and promote your journal!

For first-time players, you can either leave your answers in the comments below, or post a link to your journal! All are welcome to play, and thank you to anonymous - I'd love to promote his/her journal, but he/she prefers to remain anonymous. Enjoy!



1.  When you were in school, favorite subject and why.

Social studies, without doubt. Primarily because I loved studying cultures and people, and I wanted to teach that subject. Even though I no longer teach, the concept of studying other cultures still intrigues me. I love to study their mores and values.

2.  Were you a good student? What were your grades?

Depended on the subject, really. Math and Science? HA! D's all the way, baby. I cheated like a fool in high school, too. We had this increadibly complicated system worked out for one of my classes involving desk corners, foot taps, and eraser taps. Oddly enough, I didn't cheat once in College and did far better in all my courses. Outside of Math and Science, if I liked the course, an A, if I didn't, a B.

3.  Do you attend your kids Open Houses and if you don't have kids, did your parents attend your Open Houses when you were in school?

Yes, they did, up to a point. ANd then they felt since I got along reasonbly enough they didn't have to go. That bothered me. They took far more interest in my brother's education than they did my own.

4. The teacher who made the most impact on you and why.

His name was Brock Putnam and he taught World Cultures. He inspired me to teach, became my surrogate Father, taught me about life, how to live it as a man, and what it meant to have integrity. He was brilliant, compassionate, and fair. He challenged. He made you laugh. He never let you slide, but always gave you a break if you really had a bad time. He saved me from doing horrible things to myself in high school, and I cherished the rides home from school he gave me. I still love him as a father.

When I left high school, I asked him to sign my senior year book. All he wrote, was: "And Dorothy said..., "And you, Scarecrow, I will miss most of all."

5.  How many different elementary schools did you attend growing up?

Well, I didnt' move, but we had two elementary schools in my district - one for K - 3, and one for 4-5. Strange format, if you as me. :)


For regular and casual readers alike: I am taking a break of undetermined length from writing reflections. My heart is empty at the moment, and I've no idea when it will fill up again. I appreciate your prayers, thoughts, and concern.

I suppose I am no better than any other writer that needs his muse to write, and I cannot find life in its pages.

Ten Card Tarot Reading

Your Ten Card Reading

You may be hoping that a lover will call soon. You are not enjoying having to play a waiting game. In time you will understand why you had to wait such a long time. Indecision drives you crazy, because you do not know which way to go to move forward. Lucky number is 12.

Your motivation is to communicate more with friends and family. Their opinion matters, especially when an interesting romance offer may lure you to consider a move to a distant location. Excited by thoughts about the possibility of an intimate union, you want to look better.

You will be confused about a lover, and will not be able to figure out their responses. You are disappointed in a relationship you thought would become closer, but did not. Take time to read between the lines. They may be saying, slow down. Your impulse may be to rush it in anticipation of happy future plans. This could be an unwise course of action. If you listen to the warning signals you may later experience a upturn in communication. The romance needs a more lighthearted approach.

A relationship may feel empty and cold and decide to take a hard look at it. You may need to communicate more clearly what you want and you will find out that this will turn it around. It is going to be difficult, but worth the effort. This will lead to a healthy dependency on your partner as the source of your personal support. The happiness you experience will overshadow the hard work and discomfort you feel while in the process.

Legal matters, contracts and your work may require some research of records, making many phone calls. Matters at a distance may require your response. There are amazing developments coming together and surprising events are created in the Cosmos. Results of your work are emerging.

Keep your ears open for important news about a job opening you may have already been eyeing at your present workplace. Figure out how to draw positive attention to your work without too much fanfare. Contact friends who would know how to let the word out that you are looking to make a change. Do it in a subtle way.

The most balanced person can wonder sometimes what hits them to throw them so off balance. Thus, it will be wise to figure out whether to ride it or back off. Here is an opportunity to tap into your natural talent for creative problem solving.

This is a tricky time. Even though luck is on your side, there are no guarantees that you can make use of information you have gathered. Timing and luck seems to be in a hit or miss cycle. Surprising events are now the norm. It would be a good idea to pay attention to your dreams and follow your intuition. Then try to make as few final decisions as possible. Caution may have to be applied in almost any situation you encounter for awhile.

Perhaps you have slowly over time allowed negative thoughts to affect your attitude. Each time you bury something that should be expressed, another negative thought is added to it; making it more difficult for you to maintain a carefree happy attitude. Have faith that you have the courage and support needed to make necessary changes that will put you in a more positive frame of mind again.

A fascinating new person could be introduced to you by a friend resulting in a romantic situation. Your choice to pursue the attraction depends on your feelings at the time. Either way, it is certainly an enjoyable possibility to consider. You may detect a touch of insincerity in their demeanor in the beginning. This is only a bit of shyness. When you tell them honestly how you perceive their behavior, they will not argue, because you are hitting the nail on the head.


From Tarot

Weekend Assignment

Weekend Assignment #81: Share one of your favorite science fiction movies. Note that this doesn't have to be the "best" science fiction film ever, or the most popular, or the most significant; it doesn't even have to be a good science fiction film. It just should be a science fiction film you enjoy watching over and over again -- the kind that always sucks you into the couch whenever it's on TV.


This is easy! The Last Starfighter. A cinematic masterpiece for any middle-school aged video game dork!

Plot Sumamry (from

Alex Rogan lives in a trailer court where his mother is manager and everyone is like a big extended family. He beats the Starfighter Video Game to the applause of everyone in the court and later that day finds he has been turned down for a scholarship to college. Depressed, he meets Centauri, who introduces himself as a person from the company that made the Game, before Alex really knows what is going on he is on the ride of his life in a "car" flying thru space. Chosen to take the skills he showed on the video game into real combat to protect the galaxy from an invasion. Alex gets as far as the Starfighter base before he really realized that he was conscripted and requests to be taken back home. When he gets back home, he finds a Zan-Do-Zan (Alien Bounty Hunter) is stalking him. Unable to go home and live, Alex returns to the Starfighter base to find all the pilots have been killed and he is the galaxy's only chance to be saved from invasion. To defeat the invaders, who are paying the Bounty on him, He must be victorious.

Extra Credit: Who is the coolest science fiction character ever? Note that this character doesn't have to be in the film you've selected as your favorite -- consider the entire genre.

This is stretching it a bit, but I loved the movie Sneakers. Dan Akroyd's character was great!

What Panties Are You?

I couldn't help myself!

You are

Silk and Lace Thong
What Panties Should You Be Wearing?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Writer's Weekly Question

The Writer's Weekly Question from CIW: The Other Invisible:

Why do you write? Is it because you want attention, or is there some other reason you are driven to do this? What draws you to this craft?


I write because I feel called. God has given me a gift to read and reflect. I do not pretend or mean to suggest I have any great talent, but rather that I use what I am given and I give it back to others.

I do not look at it as attention grabbing, or ego boosting. I write for community.

Power Color and Others


More Quizzes from This Drama I Call "Life":

Your Power Color Is Indigo

At Your Highest:

You are on a fast track to success - and others believe in you.

At Your Lowest:

You require a lot of attention and praise.

In Love:

You see people as how you want them to be, not as how they are.

How You're Attractive:

You're dramatic flair makes others see you as mysterious and romantic.

Your Eternal Question:

"Does This Work Into My Future Plans?"
What's Your Power Color?

You Are Somewhat Machiavellian

You're not going to mow over everyone to get ahead...
But you're also powerful enough to make things happen for yourself.
You understand how the world works, even when it's an ugly place.
You just don't get ugly yourself - unless you have to!
How Machiavellian Are You?
You are a Believer

You believe in God and your chosen religion.
Whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Hindu..
Your convictions are strong and unwavering.
You think your religion is the one true way, for everyone.
What's Your Religious Philosophy?

Hair Color and Brain Type

From This Drama I Call "Life":

Your Hair Should Be Blue

Wild, brilliant, and out of control.
You're a risk taker with an eye to the future.
What's Your Funky Inner Hair Color?,

Your Brain's Pattern

Your mind is a firestorm - full of intensity and drama.
Your thoughts may seem scattered to you most of the time...
But they often seem strong and passionate to those around you.
You are a natural influencer. The thoughts you share are very powerful and persuading.
What Pattern Is Your Brain?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

My Thanks, Tuesday's Reflection, Beginning of the End?

First, I want to thank everyone who left supportive comments yesterday. I am both surprised and uplifted by your prayers, thoughts, and emails. You touched a piece of my soul.

Today's reflection is from 2 Corinthians, 5: 16-18

Therefore, we are not discouraged, rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.

It had been several days since my last reading and reflection, but after the weekend and early part of this week, I  found this passage within the first ten minutes of reading. It screamed out to me and gave me great courage.

I think we fail to take control of our own lives, all too often, and then suddenly find ourselves overwhelmed, overburdened, and nearing despair and hopelessness. I am not talking about the minor bumps in the road, but the mudslides that close down highways and destroy homes and lives.

In the dark shadows of that night we feel we are wasting away, but the darkness plays tricks with the light, and we fail to realize that all is not as lost as it seems. Our afflictions in this world, no matter how severe, are never so great that we cannot find for ourselves a greater treasure oncce all is finished.

Whether you believe in heaven or not, recognizing that our hope and future good times may be at this moment unseen, but still present, can be a source of great strength. We have to turn to one another for the patience and wisdom to not be fooled by the darkness, but to look for the unssen joy and gladness of future days.


My latest bout with depression is due to a relapse of my post-traumatic stress disorder. My brother, who has long been understanding of my therapy and the healing process has decided that my mother's hurt is too great and that his feelings and emotions should lay with her. That was preceded by a letter from my grandmother, chastising my silence. It seems the news has finally broken that I am not talking to my mother and father.

But, these sorrows have not been for naught - it is time to reveal my illness, why it happened, and what the ground rules will be for any further relationship. It is going to be a long and bumpy road, but I know there are great rewards ahead.

Tuesday Two

The Tuesday Two, from Patrick's Place:

A close relative dies after having revealed that she has been lying about something that would affect the whole family...a paternity issue, for example.  Having revealed this information to you on her deathbed to clear her conscience, she makes you promise not to reveal the truth to anyone.  Would you keep that promise?


Absolutely. Without doubt. That was given in confidence, and it will remain in confidence, regardless of where it stands. Duty, honor, and moral courage are hard things to stand by, but worth it in the end. I would rather have that than a forked tongue.

Monday, October 10, 2005


I know I promised a number of you a reflection today - I'm sorry, but I am emotionally and physically spent.

I do not have it in me today to be holy.

I will try tomorrow.


The Saturday Six

From Patrick's Place (see link below for the Sunday Seven)

1. What's your favorite brand and flavor of ice cream when you go grocery shopping?  Is there any of it in your freezer right now?


I love Mr. G's soft chocolate. It's a local place here in Gettysburg.

2. When was the last time you ate a fresh fruit as a snack rather than something not "diet friendly?"


I have been taking apples with me to work every day. yay me!

3. Take this quiz:  What language should you learn?

You Should Learn French

'est super! You appreciate the finer things in life... wine, art, cheese, love affairs.
You are definitely a Parisian at heart. You just need your tongue to catch up...
What Language Should You Learn?


4. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #72 from Cdmmw2:  If you could relive one moment of your life and watch it (like a movie) but not interfere, what would it be?


The moment my father came home drunk while the social worker was there to interview my parents before they adopted me. I want to know what she said and did - why she placed me with them.

5. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #73 from Debbie:  What was something you were afraid of as a child?  Did you overcome the fear?


Spiders. And NO.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #74 from Anna:   If someone were to open your refrigerator right now, what item would it embarrass you most for them to find?


The fact that all we have to drink is water and orange juice :)

The Sunday Seven

Can you tell yet that I'm working down into my inbox? Only 92 more alerts to go!

From Patrick's Place:

Name seven books (title and author, please) on your bookshelf that you couldn't resist buying...but that you haven't read yet!


Alright - here we go:

1. Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity by David Limbaugh

2 Pickett's Charge by George Stewart

3. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan by Herbert Bix

4. How to Write Successful Solicitation Letters by I have no idea because I'm too tired to get up and look.

5. The History and Devotion of the Rosary by Richard Gribble

6. Democracy in Americau by Alexis de Tocqueville

7. Pride and Prejudice

Monday Morning Question

Yes, I know it is Monday night, but nevertheless:

The Monday Morning Question from Kristina:

What are three things you like about fall:

1. The smell of falling leaves and damp earth

2. The first brisk wind of winter

3. The sound of wind running through fallen leaves.

Friday, October 7, 2005

Friday Five and the Reflection for 10/6

This week, our Friday Five's are shared with those done by folks over at LiveJournal. As always, please feel free to send in your own Friday Five questions, and we'll post them and promote your journal!

For first-time players, you can either leave your answers in the comments below, or post a link to your journal! All are welcome to play, and thank you to anonymous, who provided last week's theme and questions. Enjoy!


1. How long have you had your Journal?

Well, that's a really good question....I actually had to fire up another window to look. It appears I created Courage on May 17, 2005, however you should know that Courage existed in a previous form at blogger. That version of Courage was formed in August of last year, before I closed down the site, trashed the contents and started fresh here. I truly value the sense of community brought by AOL.

2. What do you consider to be the main purpose of your Journal?

Well, its primary purpose is to provide daily reflections, ecumenical in nature, based on Scripture, that provide us with practical, usable, moral encouragement in our day to day lives. I'll toss in the odd quiz, photo, meme as the mood strikes me.

3. If you could change something about your personal blogging style, what would it be?

I wish that I lived out more of what I wrote, so that my reflections wouldn't be ideals, but actual practices. It makes me a hypocrite, sadly.

4. What are your criteria for adding someone to your friends journal roll?

Just ask. Seriously.

5. Name one thing that you've never before written about in your Journal.

I've tried to avoid writing about politics and the war. I've done my best to make my journal NON political.


Reflection for 10-6 (a day late, I know)

Jeremiah, 29: 13b - 14

Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the Lord, and I will change your lot; I will gather you together from all the nations and all the places to which I have banished you, says the Lord, and bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.

Life can be unbearable. We all see our personal Hell at different points in our lives, and its vast sadness can drain us of our faith, courage, morality, and hope. We may give in to depression, sadness, tears, anger, agony, pain, or suffering. We may lament our difficulties.

It is hard to do, but this passage reminds us to ask, "What's the point of such miserable self-pity?" If we look to one another, if we hold onto our friends and family, if we seek out help and assitance, we will beable to endure whatever itis we suffer.

Nonone need suffer alone. If we reach out, we will find someone, and when we do reach out, when we grasp for that person whose light shines brighter than the darkness of our own Hell, we will find our crosses bearable, tolerable, and far lighter than we thought.

Putting down our pride to let others help carry our loads, trusting them to not let us fall is a true sign of courage. On days when your personal Hell surrounds your being, look for those that carry the light of friendship, peace, and love. They will help you!

Thursday, October 6, 2005

What Gender are You?

From Rach's Daily Life:

You Are 60% Boyish and 40% Girlish
You are pretty evenly split down the middle - a total eunuch.
Okay, kidding about the eunuch part. But you do get along with both sexes.
You reject traditional gender roles. However, you don't actively fight them.
You're just you. You don't try to be what people expect you to be.
How Boyish or Girlish Are You?

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Silent Spaces and Humility

First, a poem:

Silent Spaces

In silent spaces
of cavernous time
my mind explodes
like so many crashing cymbals.

Quick - I lie to my shattered soul
and pretend all is well.
Normal - lies
Quiet - lies
Well - lies

Truth - Screaming, my heart erupts,
emotions seizing in
frantic panic, fueled by
wild-eyed fear and
impending doom, beatings, bitings,
strangulation and humiliation.

Empty - There is nowhere to hide.
Everywhere are her demons,
sucking life from my soul.
Everywhere is nowhere and
nowhere is safe, sound, and quiet.

There is nowhere to rest my tired soul.

Instead - Muscles ache, clenched in
anticipation of inevitable
failure, and my fractured mind,
my rent soul, my tattered emotions
lay desolate in
the great silent spaces of life and mind.


Today's reflection is from Job: 35: 2

Do you think it right to say, "I am just rather than God'?

I know that as readers of this journal we are not all Christians, but in this passage is the essence of selfishness. We look inside ourselves for answers, guidance, direction, justification, reason, rationale, and our desires.


We are always looking inward for answers. Inward is where we go to hide from fear, our own lies, and the deceptions we create to make life tolerable. Inward is the deadly fortress constructed by ego and pride, with mistrust as its mortar.

True happiness, peace and fulfillment come when we trust others to be our guides, not when we only look inward.

Life's burdens are too great for us to carry them alone.  We belong in community, where our diverse strengths combine for the benefit of all. We are imperfect people, and  for us to presume that we can survive alone in a difficult world is to rely on the smoke and mirrors of ignorance and self-promotion. We are better than that and are called to look beyond ourselves to find life in those we meet, know, love, and even dislike.

In them are the tools, emotions, traits, and abilities we need to make it from one day to the next. What is life without community? A vacuum, empty of everything, nomatter what we try and fill it with from inside ourselves.

It is our choice to make - others, or ourselves. Which is the only way to carry a heavy load too much for your muscles?

The ViVi Awards - Got a complaint? Read this:

Some are complaining about the awards. 

Regardless of how you feel, reading this is worth it. It is from Patrick's Place and is his own editorial on the recent complaints.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005


Today's reflection is from Psalm 51: 7-8

True, I was born guilty, a sinner, even as my mother conceived me. Still, you insist on sincerity of heart; in my inmost being teach me wisdom.

In our mistakes and failings, whatever our beliefs or faith, I feel we often fight the accountability that naturally comes with wronging others. It's true that we hide  shame in our heart's darkness, avoiding reconciliation, but we forget that our need for love requires never shirking our search for forgiveness.

That search yeilds sincerity and wisdom of heart, soul, and mind. That is a grand reward for having the moral courage to admit our failures! We learn that truth always provides us the light and happiness we need to live fulfilled lives.

What Halloween Costume are You?

From Rach's Daily Life: ballerina
You Are A....Gothic Ballerina! -dark -beautiful -kind

What's Your Halloween Costume? .:with pics:.
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday Two

The Tuesday Two from Patrick's Place:


Do you think that sex before marriage is ever acceptable?


If your kids should ask your thoughts on premarital sex, would you feed the need to "fudge" your answer so they wouldn't find out that you didn't follow your own advice?

I am going to answer Question A:
While I have had pre-marital sex, this is my philosophy (be forewarned, while my journal is ecumenical, this is a personal response and therefore adheres to my private faith):

We are created to love. Ultimate, fulfilled love, the way it was intended is in marriage. To love fully, to love completely in marriage is to bind your soul to another, and to God, and in effect agree to share everything with them. This includes your body. Sex is the act of giving your physical self completely to another and it allows us and God to participate in the miracle of life.

Sex outside the context of marriage, while fun, makes a mockery of what sex truly is. Why would we want anything less than true fulfillment? Why do we desire anything other than a complete unconditional giving of ourselves to another person, as God ordained? Selfishness is the answer. True love is unconditional. It fuliflls, and sex is the expression of that love. To be truly unconditional and truly fulfilled, we need the marriage state - anything less is a selfish sham we use to satisfy our fears, hopes, and lusts.

Did I do it? Of course I did. I wanted that more than I wanted marriage. Does that make me evil? No, it makes me human. And, given that I'm loved unconditionally by God, I'm alright with being human if I realize now what the ideal is, and that it's worth promoting and keeping. That doesn't mean I have to beat myself up over my human choices. I mean, come on, sex is glorious!

Monday, October 3, 2005

What's your Pimp Name?

Your Pimp Name Is...

Backdoor Pump

What's Your Pimp Name?

Monday Photo Shoot

As Requested, from By the Way:

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Critters!

Early fall seems like a good time to capture these guys in pictures, because they're out and about storing up for the winter:

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Catch a critter in a picture! For the purposes of this photo shoot, a "critter" is a creature that is not a pet, so no dogs or cats, but mice, squirrels, pigeons, badgers, hedgehogs, wolverines, deer, dragons, sasquatch or any other sort of ambulatory thing is acceptable (as are bugs).


What you see in that picture is a lovely spider that we nearly stumbled upon (literally!) while fishing this weekend. Fantastic looking and scary, if you ask me!

After some questions, and a little research, I believe this spider to be: Araneus marmoreus

Weekend Fun and Daily Reflection

This weekend featured a few highlights worth sharing:

1. Coldplay's concert outside Washington, D.C.

2. Fishing and camping along the Potomac River with a good friend of mine

3. Napping for 1 1/2 hours along the banks of the Potomac in the sunshine

I've posted photographs from the trip for your enjoyment!


Today's reflection is from 2 Corinthians, 2: 5-10

If anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure (not to exaggerate) to all of you. This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person, so that on the contrary you should forgive and encourage him instead, or else the person may be overwhelmed by excessive pain. Therefore, I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, to know your proven character, whether you were obedient in everything. Whomever you forgive anything, so do I. For indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has ben for you in the presence of Christ

Paul's words clarify the distorted reality we inhabit, regardless of our faith or belief. In a perfect world, we would not cause another pain. Sadly, imperfection abounds in us and our world. Faulted, we turn away from one another can inflict pain, and punishment. Ironically, the communal nature of our lives means that the sin of one impacts all, again regardless of faith or ethnicity or religious background.

If you do not believe this, consider slander, libel, war, murder, rape, abuse, adultery. Sin is a selfish act commited against others for private gain. While the pain may lesson as it expands from those immediately involved to those friends and families of the afflicted, it nonetheless colors our interactions.

How many painful memories do you carry? Have you shared? These scars are the remnants of sin's hurt and pain laid upon you by someone else's selfishness.

Paul's words are so appropriate, challenging us to accept that the sinner does himself pain when satisfying selfish desires, as much as he hurts others. And in so doing has received punishment enough, so much so, that we are called to forgive him.

What a message of hope! Here we are, causing hurt and pain in so many - oftentimes more than we will ever know - and Paul raises our sights above base punishment to a greater virtue - forgiveness! Forgiveness is the healing balm that cures sin's invasive sickness. It heals not just those invovled, but touches the lives of everyone. To be forgiven is to learn how to forgive! If we can search our hearts for those times when we benefited from other's generostiy nad fogiveness there is no doubt we can return that same favor to others! What a gift!

The idea of true forgiveness is akin to unconditional love. We look at someone who has caused pain, admit we love them, and unconditionally forgive them - we put a stop to the pain that spreads like infection within a wound. We have the power to heal, if we only choose to forgive! What a wonderful opportunity for us all, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Athiest, or of any other faith! We can savor the delights of forgiveness, and truly, we are all in need of the great graces it provides!

Monday Morning Question

Courtesy of Sometimes I Think:

If we were to look in your refrig, what is something we would always find in there?

Easy answer: lemonade! My wife is a nut for the stuff!

Sunday, October 2, 2005

Saturday Six

Returning from a busy weekend away, with more details on that later, here are the Saturday Six from Patrick's Place:

1. How many AOL J-landers have you actually met in person?


2. How many photos that you have taken yourself are hanging on display in your home in a size of 8x10 or larger?  (The print, not the frame!)


3. How far do you live from your job?  What is your commute time like?  Has the distance prompted you to consider alternative transportation because of gas prices?

All of four miles, with ten minutes of commute from door to door.

4. Take this
quiz:   What decade does your personality live in?

what decade does your personality live in?

quiz brought to you by lady interference, ltd

Kris:  What is the funniest, most original Halloween costume you've ever seen?

Tough question - probably a guy in a shower stall :)

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #71 from Courtenay: What is your favorite paragraph in a literary work?  This might be a thought, or a message, or a descriptive passage which has remained in your consciousness throughout the years.  Be sure to post the name of the book and author.

This is a toughy....let me see:

Crime and Punishment! Dostoyevsky.

Go now. Go this very moment, and stand at the crossroads; bow down, and first kiss the earth which you have defiled; then bow down to the whole world, to the four points on the compass, and say aloud, for all men to hear: 'I have killed!' Then God will send you life again.

The Sunday Question

Courtesty of Frosty Thoughts:

"What does fall mean to you?  Not everybody in J-land has 4 extreme seasons, so what does the season change mean where you live?"

For me, Fall means Homecoming, a large event on campus where I have to work with donors. It means chilly nights and warm days. Golfing in the afternoon and defrosting the car in the morning. It means October Baseball, and brisk walks. It means rain and the smell of fallen leaves.