A Letter for All Fibro

*From the Archives of Just Us Owls*

From Sue a letter written for all of us Fibro-Warriors!

Fibromyalgia? Because you asked…

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An American Rant

For years I was a proud conservative Republican. Today’s Republican Party has lost its way and has not done the business of the people. Today’s GOP is not the GOP I grew up with, they are a black stain on our Republic.

Approximately one year ago I left the Republican party and registered as an Independent. From many discussions and research, I’ve done I’ve come to realize that I’m fiscally a conservative but in most other areas I’m a moderate.  I’m a strong believer in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

I took an oath many years ago to protect and defend our Constitution and no one has ever relieved me of that oath.  I take my duty as an American citizen seriously.  I’m also a supporter of the Convention of States movement going on to call for a Constitutional Convention.  Seeing as the Congress refuses to do the will of the people, we the people under Article X of the Constitution have the right to call for a convention.  We need to tell these career politicians that we are tired of them looking out only for themselves.  They are elected to the will of the voters.  It is high time that we place term limits on the House of Representatives and the Senate.  The President has term limits and that happened after the historic third and fourth terms of FDR, and I say it is high time that Congress is held to the same respect.

I’m all for legal immigration, I’m against illegal immigration, however I do agree with this quote from @FaithRubPol on Twitter: “As Lincoln said of slavery, so we should also say about undocumented immigrants. Both sides are guilty of not helping enough. Don’t make children pawns in a political game. Put aside politics and stop blaming. Just help.”

End of rant.

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Happy Father’s Day

Psalm 127: 3-5

3 Children are a gift from the LORD ; they are a reward from him. 4 Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. 5 How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.

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9th PastaPost

My good friend Phil and his wife Gerri have shared yet another amazing Italian Pasta Dish. Stop by Excuse Us For Living and see the recipe!

Excuse Us for Living

Ninth PastaPost

Pasta Manfredi

by

Phil & Geri

 

 

     Excuse us for living, but we can’t believe we didn’t share this superb pasta recipe yet! It’s so good and we have it so often on Friday nights! What were we thinking? Here it is! But first there always has to be a backstory that goes along with our recipes. That’s just the way it is! These recipes don’t just pop up into our heads. They evolve for good reason…at least to us!

A Size AlCrop

         Pictured here is Al Manfredi, sixth grade teacher, High Mountain Road, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Al loved Italian food and bragged and bragged how good arugula was and how much he loved arugula, most likely in salads we guess. We didn’t even know what arugula was until I worked with Al at High Mountain Road School as his principal. It’s a…

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PRACTICE LETTING GO!

Well said June!

The Godly Chic Diaries

Everyday the world will drag you by the hand yelling, “This is important! And this is important!, You need to worry about this! And this!” And each day, its up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No, This is what’s important.” – Lain Thomas

As someone who religiously got up early from the age of about 6 to study for spelling tests, its really hard to accept anything less than perfection. I remember the first time I got 89% in a class test in Primary school. I bawled in front of everyone because it was less than 90% – needless to say they all thought me mad.

Thats the standard I’ve set my whole life, thats the stupid level of perfection I wanted to achieve in everything every single day. I’ve realised how destructive and unhealthy that is. Thats the thing about…

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Racism and Politics…Humans

Note from the management of Padre Tatro’s Study: Today I’m going to talk about two maybe three hot button issues. The biggest is mental health. We need mental health reform in this nation, more access to it and better treatment of those who suffer from it. I will also touch on racism and politics in this post so now that you know what is in store lets get on with the show.

Well, we all know about the current entertainment scandal involving Rosanne Barr.  While I think what she did was disgusting and filled with malice and venom, there is no excuse for racism.  While we are on the subject of racism…When are people going to wake up and realize there is only ONE RACE and that is the HUMAN RACE!!! (I intended not to preach so I’ll leave that alone).

Also since then, Barr — in addition to apologizing — has blamed her tweet on Ambien (Psychology Today, Fox News), and additionally blamed Dissociative Identity Disorder  {Also known as Multiple Personality Disorder…What is D.I.D? Here are some links for you to explore: D.I.D Research in DSM V., NAMI, Psychology Today, Cleveland Clinic }, (Larry King, ABC News Rolling Stone Magazine), that she says she has received 16 years of psychiatric help to cure (by the way there is no cure for D.I.D.) Rosanne needs to stick to comedy and put up her electronics at night. It is very hard to prove to a psychiatrist that one indeed has Dissociative Identity Disorder, so I do hope she is seeking treatment for it (if she has it).

The one question I have in this whole mess with social media… and it may just open a can of worms here…but why isn’t our president given the same respect that Valerie Jarrett is getting in the wake of this.  Hell why isn’t everyone in this world given the same respect?

Valerie is who crossed the line and made this political (Tone Starts with Him).  I’m sorry but the treatment of  Mr. Trump (Note Bene: I’m no Trump supporter) has received since before he even won the Presidential Election of 2016 is beyond contempt.

Tweets filled with vulgarity, comedians taking pictures with a severed head, etc… I’m sorry but having outrage over what Rosanne did is fine and dandy but when you do the exact same thing (Show Malice Towards Another) to someone who you don’t agree with,  there is something drastically wrong; in other words Two Wrongs Do Not Make A Right.   Now we know full well that Mr. Trump has his own issues with not thinking and Tweeting, so we don’t need to go fully into that.

Let’s give the President less negative attention and actually focus on what is wrong in our nation.  Like low wages, high costs of shelter/food/medical care/insurance/gasoline/oil…the list can go on almost indefinite.  We might just get a few things accomplished.

This country needs to take a deep breath, stretch and have a come to God moment.  We are all children of the Father.  We must treat each other like the Brothers and Sisters we are.  Just stop hating…stop the HATE…there is no reason for it.  Love comes naturally, and you have to be taught to hate.  I know I said I intended not to preach, but we know that is an occupational hazard for me. We must show love/kindness to each other…after all we have to live on the same planet so why don’t we just try to see each other as members of the HUMAN RACE and not spew hate towards each other.  Remember the Golden Rule (not He Who Hath The Gold Maketh the Rules, but instead Do unto others as we would want them to do unto us) and Pay Forward Kindness, Love, and Civility.

Remember God Loves You and So Do I!

 

 

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Veni Sancte Spiritus!

Processional Hymn: Veni Sancte Spiritus

Hymn of Testimony

A Reading from the Book of Acts ‭‭2:1-21‬ ‭AMP

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place, and suddenly a sound came from heaven like a rushing violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were being distributed [among them], and they rested on each one of them [as each person received the Holy Spirit]. And they were all filled [that is, diffused throughout their being] with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (different languages), as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out [clearly and appropriately]. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout and God-fearing men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound was heard, a crowd gathered, and they were bewildered because each one was hearing those in the upper room speaking in his own language or dialect. They were completely astonished, saying, “Look! Are not all of these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears in our own language or native dialect? [Among us there are] Parthians, Medes and Elamites, and people of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia [Minor], Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and the visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs–we all hear them speaking in our [native] tongues about the mighty works of God!” And they were beside themselves with amazement and were greatly perplexed, saying one to another, “What could this mean?” But others were laughing and joking and ridiculing them, saying, “They are full of sweet wine and are drunk!” But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be explained to you; listen closely and pay attention to what I have to say. These people are not drunk, as you assume, since it is [only] the third hour of the day (9:00 a.m.); but this is [the beginning of] what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘A ND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ says God, ‘T HAT I WILL POUR OUT M Y S PIRIT UPON ALL MANKIND; A ND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, A ND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE [divinely prompted] VISIONS, A ND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM [divinely prompted] DREAMS; E VEN ON M Y BOND-SERVANTS, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR OUT M Y S PIRIT And they shall prophesy. ‘A ND I WILL BRING ABOUT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE A ND SIGNS (attesting miracles) ON THE EARTH BELOW, B LOOD AND FIRE AND SMOKING VAPOR. ‘T HE SUN SHALL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS A ND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, B EFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD COMES. ‘A ND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD [invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord Jesus] SHALL BE SAVED (rescued spiritually).’”

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The Word of the Lord.

A Reading from the Letter to the Romans 8:22-27 AMP

“For we know that the whole creation has been moaning together as in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only this, but we too, who have the first fruits of the Spirit [a joyful indication of the blessings to come], even we groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for [the sign of] our adoption as sons–the redemption and transformation of our body [at the resurrection]. For in this hope we were saved [by faith]. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience and composure. In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will.”

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The Word of the Lord.

Sequence Hymn:

A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to John 15:26-27, 16:4-15 AMP

““But when the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor–Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, He will testify and bear witness about Me. But you will testify also and be My witnesses, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”

“I have told you these things [now], so that when their time comes, you will remember that I told you about them. I did not say these things to you at the beginning, because I was with you. “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts [and taken complete possession of them]. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor–Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment: about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see Me; about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned. “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear [to hear] them now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth [full and complete truth]. For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears [from the Father–the message regarding the Son], and He will disclose to you what is to come [in the future]. He will glorify and honor Me, because He (the Holy Spirit) will take from what is Mine and will disclose it to you.”

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“All things that the Father has are Mine. Because of this I said that He [the Spirit] will take from what is Mine and will reveal it to you.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Happy Pentecost Brothers and Sister. Today we celebrate the birthday of the Church as well as the 20 year of my ordination!

Of course what would my homily be without a story. This story comes from an e-mail I received recently.

“A mother had one last assignment for her sociology class before graduating — to “smile at everyone she meets.”

But after an encounter with two men in McDonald’s she took it one step further. Read her story, that was emailed to us by a reader, below.

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called “Smile.”

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway…..so, I thought, this would be a piece of cake, literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald’s, one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special play time with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch … an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible “dirty body” smell…and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was “smiling.” His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God’s Light as he searched for acceptance.

He said, “Good day” as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally deficient and the blue eyed gentleman was his salvation. I held my tears….as I stood There with them. The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.

He said, “Coffee is all Miss” because that was all they could afford to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something…he just wanted to be warm. Then I really felt it…the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me…judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.

I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue eyed gentleman’s cold hand.

He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Thank you.” I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, “God is here working through me to give you hope.”

I walked in tears to join my husband and son.

When I sat down my husband smiled at me. We held hands for a moment and at that time we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. We are not churchgoers but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God’s sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.

I turned in “my project” and the instructor read it….then she looked up at me and said, “Can I share this?”

I slowly nodded and she read it to the class.

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald’s, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student. I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn….UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.

Much love and compassion sent to each and every person who may read this.

Learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS – NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.”

Source: Adam East at Bored Daddy

This Holy Pentecost take the lesson from the mother in my story. The language of love and kindness needs no translation, people of all languages can speak and understand it!

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What is Bandwidth?

AF7KB, a great mentor and teacher of Amateur Radio explains it very well.

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Ministry of the Disabled

Each month I get the magazine Christianity Today. This months issue has an interesting article. Click here to read it.

I wrote a letter to the editor about it and since they don’t publish all the letters sent I wanted to share it with you.

I wanted to take a few moments to thank you and give feedback on the wonderful article “The Ministry of Disabled,” from page 35 of May 2018 issue.

I am a pastor as well as a mental health professional. For the last four years I’ve worked with children and adults with various developmental and intellectual disabilities, especially in the area of autism. I have a step-son who is non-verbal autistic. If we can only take a few moments and see the world and Christ through their eyes we would truly be blessed!

We as members of the Body of Christ must be united with all persons who make up the body. Our special adults and children have so much to offer and they embody the Greek word diakonos (servant/minister). They serve their church and God with so much love and compassion that they offer a rare glimpse of what Agape love is. Do not hide these great Ambassadors of Christ!  Embrace them, embrace the gifts that the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon them!

Remember what Christ said in Matthew 25:45 (Amp): “Then He will reply to them, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, to the extent that you did not do it for one of the least of these [my followers], you did not do it for Me.’” Encourage our differently-abled in their ministry opportunities. Include them in: worship, prayer and teaching ministries. Remember the Gates of Glory are open to ALL who love God.

In His Loving Service

Rev. Fr. Edward L. Tatro, Jr.

Vicar

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Rick Scott or Write In

I try not to get over political in my writings. Though I needed to take a few moments to address my fellow Floridians.

One of my Florida neighbors asked why I’m supporting Rick Scott for Senate (our current governor). Well to put it plainly Bill Nelson is not a friend of the Amateur Radio Community or our rights assured to us by the FCC Part 97 Rules. Mr. Nelson lost all respect from me when he refused to allow a bill that would help amateur Radio operators enforce their part 97 rights with HOAs and other like organizations (deed restrictions and/or gated communities), come out of committee. So he also lost my vote.

Amateur Radio operators especially here in Florida and other gulf states are vital assets to local, state and even up to the federal level of government. In the event of a natural disaster or even terror attack and communications are down there will always be Amateur Radio.

Most know I lean heavy on the conservative side but I’m neither a Republican or Democrat, I have my own checklist that I go by and if a person meets those things then I will entertain giving them my vote.

Be a friend to Amateur Radio and vote against Mr. Nelson, if you can’t vote for Mr. Scott write someone in.

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New Adventures

In the coming weeks, Snowie and I are embarking on a new adventure.  What is this adventure?  It is the adventure to a healthier lifestyle.  We will be changing the way we eat.  We are embarking on the Ketogenic Diet.


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The Tomb is Empty!

The Tomb is Empty Easter 2018

Let the Alleluias echo throughout the land!

Introit: I have risen, and am present with thee, alleluia; thou hast laid thine hand upon me, alleluia; such knowledge is too wonderful for me, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. O Lord, thou hast searched me out and known me; thou knowest my down sitting and mine uprising.

Processional Hymn: Jesus Christ is Risen Today

Celebrant: Alleluia Christ is Risen!
All: The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia; to him be glory and dominion forever, world without end. O sing unto the Lord a new song, for he hath done marvellous things.

Hymn: All Laud and Honor

Celebrant: The Lord is risen from the tomb, alleluia!
Who for our sake hung upon the tree, alleluia!

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Most gracious God, as we have been baptised into the death of thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ, grant in thy mercy that we, being dead to sin, may be buried with him; and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass with him unto newness of life; for his sake, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Celebrant: Tell it out among the heathen, alleluia!
That the Lord hath reigned from the tree, alleluia.

Hymn: The Strife is O’er

Celebrant: Let Us Pray
O God, who for our redemption didst give thine only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection hast delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through the same thy Son Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria in excelsis

Collect: Almighty God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by thy life-giving Spirit; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah 25:6-9 ESV
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
7 And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the LORD has spoken.
9 It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the LORD; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

The Word of the Lord!

Psalm: 118: 1-2, 14-24 ESV
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation
are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the LORD does valiantly,
16 the right hand of the LORD exalts,
the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!”
17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the LORD.
18 The LORD has disciplined me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.[a]
23 This is the LORD’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

A reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians: 15:1-11
Now I would remind you, brothers,[a] of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

The Word of the Lord!

Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to John 20:1-18
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus'[a] head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,[b] “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

The Gospel of the Lord Alleluia!

Hymn: Up from the Grave

The Tomb is Empty!
Bishop Edward L. Tatro, Jr.

Don’t be like the foolish man who built his house on the sand! Christ died on Calvary and was resurrected so we can have a firm foundation in Him! I am here to declare to you my brothers and sisters that the Tomb is empty, and the Victory won! Jesus our Christ is Risen! Jesus won the battle over sin and death, he is our Victor!

We all know that I’m a story teller and today will be no different. Today we will look at Easter through the eyes of a special 8-year-old. I want to tell the story of Phillip’s Egg.

Philip was born with Downs Syndrome. He was a pleasant child, happy it seemed, but increasingly aware of the difference between himself and other children. Philip went to Sunday School faithfully every week. He was in the third-grade class with nine other eight-year olds.

You know eight-year olds. And Philip, with his differences, was not readily accepted. But his teacher was sensitive to Philip and he helped this group of eight-year olds to love each other as best they could, under the circumstances. They learned, they laughed, they played together. And they really cared about one another, even though eight-year olds don’t say they care about one another out loud.

But don’t forget. There was an exception to all this. Philip was not really a part of the group. Philip did not choose, nor did he want to be different. He just was. And that was the way things were.

His teacher had a marvelous idea for his class for Easter. You know those things that pantyhose come in . . . the containers that look like great big eggs? The teacher collected ten of them. The children loved it when he brought them into the room and gave one to each child. It was a beautiful spring day, and the assignment was for each child to go outside, find the symbol for new life, put it into the egg, and bring it back to the classroom They would then open and share their new life symbols and surprises, one by one.

It was glorious. It was confusing. It was wild. They ran all around the church grounds, gathering their symbols, and returned to the classroom.

They put all the eggs on a table, and then the teacher began to open them. All the children gathered around the table. He opened one and there was a flower, and they ooh-ed and aah-ed. He opened another and there was a little butterfly. “Beautiful!” the girls all said, since it is hard for eight-year old boys to say ‘beautiful.’ He opened another and there was a rock. And as third-graders will, some laughed, and some said, “That’s crazy! How’s a rock supposed to be like new life?” But the smart little boy who’d put it in ther spoke up: “That’s mine. And I knew all of you would get flowers and buds and leaves and butterflies and stuff like that. So I got a rock because I wanted to be different. And for me, that’s new life.” They all laughed.

The teacher said something about the wisdom of eight-year olds and opened the next one. There was nothing inside. The children, as eight-year olds will, said, “That’s not fair. That’s stupid! Somebody didn’t do it right.”

Then the teacher felt a tug on his shirt, and he looked down. “It’s mine, Philip said. It’s mine.”

And the children said, “You don’t ever do things right, Philip. There’s nothing there!”
“I did so do it right!” Philip said. “I did do it right. The tomb is empty!”

There was silence, a very full silence. And for you people who don’t believe in miracles, I want to tell you that one happened that day. From that time on, it was different. Philip suddenly became a part of that group of eight-year old children. They took him in. He was set free from the tomb of his differentness.

Philip died last summer. His family had known since the time he was born that he wouldn’t live out a full life span. Many other things were wrong with his little body. And so, late last July, with an infection that most normal children could have quickly shrugged off, Philip died.

At his memorial service, nine eight-year old children marched up to the altar, not with flowers to cover over the stark reality of death . . . but nine eight-year olds, along with their Sunday School teacher, marched right up to that altar, and laid on it an empty egg . . . an empty, old, discarded pantyhose egg.

And the tomb is empty!

So, on this glorious and sacred Easter Morning I declare the Tomb Empty and that our Salvation is won! In the words of our special friend I say We did it! By merit of our Baptism and faith we survived our journey of Lent and have died on the cross on Holy Friday and today we Rose again with Jesus and our tomb is Empty!

And all God’s Victorious Church say:
AMEN!

Hymn: Onward Christian Solider

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Come ye sinners to the Holy Altar and confess your sins and prepare your hearts and souls to receive the Resurrected Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Holy Communion Hymn:

Spiritual Communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Post Communion Collect: We beseech thee, O Lord, pour into our hearts the love of thy Holy Spirit; that as thou hast now filled us with this Paschal Sacrament, so thou wouldst make us to grow in all godly concord; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Solemn Blessing: May Almighty God, who has redeemed us and made us his children through the resurrection of his Son our Lord, bestow upon you the riches of his blessing. Amen.

May God, who through the water of baptism has raised us from sin into newness of life, make you holy and worthy to be united with Christ forever. Amen.

May God, who has brought us out of bondage to sin into true and lasting freedom in the Redeemer, bring you to your eternal inheritance. Amen.

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you, and remain with you forever . Amen.

Go now our Mass has ended rejoice in the risen Lord! Alleluia!

Recessional Hymn:

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Good Friday Reflections

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. MARK‬ ‭15:22-41‬ ‭AMP‬‬

“Then they brought Him to the place [called] Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh [to dull the pain], but He would not take it. And they crucified Him, and divided up His clothes among themselves, casting lots for them to see who should take what. It was the third hour (9:00 a.m.) when they crucified Him. The inscription of the accusation against Him had been written [above Him]: “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” They crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. [And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “He was counted with the transgressors.”] Those who were passing by were insulting Him with abusive and insolent language, wagging their heads [as a sign of contempt], and saying, “Ha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in [only] three days, save Yourself by coming down from the cross!” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were ridiculing and mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others [from death]; He cannot save Himself! Let the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe and trust [in Him]!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him. When the sixth hour (noon) came, darkness covered the whole land until the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.). And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “E LOI, E LOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” –which is translated, “M Y GOD, M Y GOD, WHY HAVE Y OU FORSAKEN M E?” Some of the bystanders heard Him and said, “Look! He is calling for Elijah!” Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave Him a drink, saying, “Let us see whether Elijah is coming to take Him down.” But Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed out His last [voluntarily, sovereignly dismissing and releasing His spirit from His body in submission to His Father’s plan]. And the veil [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion, who was standing opposite Him, saw the way He breathed His last [being fully in control], he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” Now some women also were watching from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome. When Jesus was in Galilee, they used to accompany him and minister to Him; and there were also many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.”

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“It is finished.” He suffered so we could live in Glory with the Father. By virtue of our Holy Baptism We died with him on that cross and come Sunday morning we will be raised anew with his Glorious Resurrection.

However we must not be stagnant just because our Victory has been won for us on Golgotha/Calvary. We have commandments to follow as well as the Great Commission to fulfill. We must not turn a blind eye to sin. We must teach the sinner that they are in sin and teach them of the redemption offered by Christ.

Pray for the world brothers and sisters, pray for those in sin that they may seek redemption, pray for the governments of the land, pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters, and lastly pray for me.

Remember It Is Finished but do not squander the Victory won this day!

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To Move Forward, We Must Stop Living in the Past…

Mrs. Gray is spot on in this little jewel of wisdom! ❤

Life, Love, Poetry, & Other Randomness

moving_on

There’s a difference between letting the past guide us and living in it. Letting yesterday remind us of where we came from and showing us what to do and often times, not to do can be a good thing. But sometimes, we let the past consume us and forget to live for today and the days yet to come.

To see our potential, grow, and learn, we must move forward. It’s time to quit looking in the rearview mirror or else we might not see where we’re headed and crash. It can be easy to get lost in nostalgia or let the fear that the past stuck with us take over our minds, but it’s important not to forget the world keeps turning no matter what we do. We want to go along for the ride, don’t we? 😉

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Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus

bible.com/59/jhn.12.13.esv

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