The poet Dylan Thomas died after drinking 18 straight whiskies at an office Christmas party. So, this Holiday Season, Trefology suggests drinking your 19th shot in Dylan’s honor
A Mollusks’ persistent cough can reveal poor water quality. That’s why Mollusks who know take Alka Seltzer Plus Cold & Cough medicine
Do you like heaven
Is it everything you hoped
Do you like your wings
Did your sister welcome you
Did you hug your mother tight
©2018 Annette Rochelle Aben
My most precious cousin, Terri, earned her wings Sunday, December 9th, following a brief but intense battle with cancer. Her life was one of many intense battles, not the least of which was being a special needs person. Yet, her enthusiasm for everything from The Detroit Red Wings to Hello Kitty, reminded those of us who knew her, that passion is something that equalizes all of us. To Terri, nothing was more important than family and everyone in the family from cousins, to siblings, Aunts and Uncles, KNEW that Terri loved them. She was her happiest when spending time with them.
When her mother passed a few years ago, Terri became the ward of another cousin. During the past few years…
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Kindness in action
1 Hear, O ye children, the instruction of a father, and give ear to learn understanding.
2 For I do give you a good doctrine: therefore forsake ye not my law.
3 For I was my father’s son, tender and dear in the sight of my mother,
4 When he taught me, and said unto me, Let thine heart hold fast my words: keep my commandments, and thou shalt live.
5 Get wisdom: get understanding: forget not, neither decline from the words of my mouth.
6 Forsake her not, and she shall keep thee: love her and she shall preserve thee.
7 Wisdom is the beginning: get wisdom therefore: and above all thy possession get understanding.
8 Exalt her, and she shall exalt thee: she shall bring thee to honor, if thou embrace her.
9 She shall give a comely ornament unto thine head, yea, she shall give thee a crown of glory.
10 Hear, my son, and receive my words, and the years of thy life shall be many.
11 I have taught thee in ye way of wisdom, and led thee in the paths of righteousness.
12 When thou goest, thy gate shall not be strait, and when thou runnest, thou shalt not fall.
13 Take hold of instruction, and leave not: keep her, for she is thy life.
14 Enter not into the way of the wicked, and walk not in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, and go not by it: turn from it, and pass by.
16 For they cannot sleep, except they have done evil, and their sleep departeth except they cause some to fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the way of the righteous shineth as the light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is as the darkness: they know not wherein they shall fall.
20 My son, hearken unto my words, incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes, but keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health unto all their flesh.
23 Keep thine heart with all diligence: for there out cometh life.
24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and put wicked lips far from thee.
25 Let thine eyes behold the right, and let thine eyelids direct thy way before thee.
26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be ordered aright.
27 Turn not to the right hand, nor to the left, but remove thy foot from evil.
• Some Rabbis sought Abba Hilkiah to ask him to pray for rain. For a long time, he ignored them—at work, during his journey home, and while he and his family were eating—but then he and his wife went up on the roof of their home, stood at different ends, and prayed for rain, and soon rain clouds came from the direction that his wife was standing and rain began to fall. Abba Hilkiah, who had also done things that he knew puzzled the other Rabbis, explained his behavior to them. The Rabbis had greeted him with “Peace,” but because he was working for pay, he did not talk to the Rabbis but instead kept working because he wanted to give his employee a decent day’s work for a decent day’s pay. When he went home, he carried his cloak on one shoulder and some twigs on the other instead of carrying the twigs in the cloak because he had borrowed the cloak so that he could wear it and not so that he could carry twigs in it. On his way home, he had carried his shoes except for when he had crossed water because on the path he could see what lay before him but he could not see what was in the water. When he had come to bushes with thorns, he had lifted up his pants legs because his flesh could heal but his clothes could not. When he sat down to eat with his family, he did not ask the Rabbis to eat with them because there was not enough food to go around. Seeing that, the Rabbis would have declined to eat, and he didn’t want credit for offering them something that he knew that they would decline. When he portioned out the food, he gave the younger son twice as much food as the older son because the older son had eaten at school while the younger son still stayed home all day. Finally, he answered the last question they were thinking: Why did the rain clouds come from the direction where his wife was? Abba Hilkiah said, “Because she is always in the house and gives bread to the poor who come to the house, and the enjoyment of bread is immediate; while I give money, the enjoyment of which is not immediate. Or perhaps it is because of the bandits who were in our neighborhood. I prayed to God that they should die, but she prayed that they should repent.”
• Muslims say five daily prayers. This may seem like a lot to non-Muslims, but the number of daily prayers could have been much higher. The angel Gabriel visited the prophet Muhammad in Mecca and took him first to Jerusalem and then to the heavens, where Muhammad crossed the threshold leading to the Divine Presence. When Muhammad left to return to Earth, he left with instructions about daily prayers, of which there were 50. However, on his way back to Earth Muhammad met Moses, who advised him to return and cross the threshold again into the Divine Presence and ask for a reduction in the number of daily prayers. This happened a number of times, and when Muhammad finally returned to Earth, the number of obligatory daily prayers had been reduced to five, which Muslims still say each day.
• When he was a young boy, one of Mark Twain’s prayers was answered. In church he had heard in a sermon that God answered prayers, and so he put that information to the test. One of his schoolmates, Margaret Kooneman, brought gingerbread to school each day as part of her lunch, and since young Mark liked gingerbread, at school one day he prayed for gingerbread. Looking up after his prayer, he saw young Margaret’s gingerbread, and he saw that young Margaret had her back turned toward the gingerbread. Mr. Twain later reflected in his Autobiography, “In all my life I believe I never enjoyed an answer to prayer more than I enjoyed that one.”
• When Muhammad Ali was still known as Cassius Clay, he almost did not make it to the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome to win a gold medal as a light heavyweight. Why not? He was afraid of flying. Eventually, Joe Martin, his trainer, convinced him that he had to fly, so Cassius boarded the airplane—carrying his own parachute, which he had bought at an army surplus store. Even with the parachute, he was still nervous. At one point, he knelt down in the aisle of the airplane while wearing the parachute and prayed.
• The Baal Shem Tov, aka the Besht, believed that prayers ought not to be mechanical. Instead, they must be said with real passion—with kavannah. Once he declined to go inside a synagogue, saying, “I cannot go in there. The place is full of prayers.” His followers asked him to explain, and he said, “All those who prayed here went through the motions in a lifeless manner. As a result, the prayers had no wings; they couldn’t go up to God. With all those prayers stuck down here, there is no room in the synagogue for me.”
• Brooklyn Dodger Gil Hodges suffered a horrible hitting slump in the 1952 World Series, getting no hits at all in 21 at-bats. His slump continued during the first part of the 1953 season. A priest (and Dodger fan) urged his congregation to do two things: keep God’s commandments and pray for Gil Hodges. The prayers worked. He started to hit again, he had a very good 1953 season, he had a very good 1953 World Series although the Dodgers lost, and he helped the Dodgers win the 1955 World Series.
• In 1980, Elie Wiesel and other humanitarians went to Southeast Asia with supplies, including medicine and food, intended to help Cambodian refugees. However, border guards at the Thailand-Cambodia border stopped them from delivering the supplies. Mr. Wiesel then began to recite the Kaddish, the prayer for the dead, for his father, who had died at Buchenwald 35 years previously. The prayer was also appropriate for the many people who died because of famine and war due to Pol Pot.
• “I never pray on a golf course. Actually, the Lord answers my prayers everywhere except on the course.” — Billy Graham.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved