IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT CUP OF COFFEE
When growing up, my mother always had a small perculator sitting on the stove for her coffee. I was just browsing in Walmart the other day, and right there on the shelf was a Farberware stainless steel perculator. Alongside it was a 8 cup french press. What a dilema. I didn't know which to choose. I decided that since I already had a small french press, my journey to make the perfect cup of coffee would bring me to the perculator. Believe it or not, I didn't even start to drink coffee until I was almost 50. So I have never learned to make coffee in the first place.. let alone a perfect cup.. I have tried several different ways. So far getting it out somewhere is the best, but I'm coming along okay. The biggest problem is, I am still the only one in the house that drinks coffee, so I don't want to make a huge pot. I have tried a 4 cup Mr. Coffee, a French Press, the dreaded instant which works best in hot chocolate with Kaluha.. but I digress. So far, I have to say that this perked coffee has made the smoothest non bitter coffee, and I am very glad that I bought it. The only difference between my mother and me at this point is my mother only drank Maxwell House or Eight-O'Clock coffees, and I grind my own beans of a gormet blend.
IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT RELIGION
I know, don't talk of religion or politics on the blog. but with this exception this time, I'm going to. I was brought up in a Fundamental Christian family. My parents, although religious, didn't have the zeal that some of my family members had. We were more the vacation Bible school, Easter, and Christmas church goers. I always managed to have a strong faith even as a young person. God has been there for me in good times and in bad. I was raised in a "Catholic" neighborhood. Most of my playmates went to the Catholic church and school a couple blocks away. I was always impressed by the cool religious things in their houses.. holy water fonts on their bedroom walls, rosary beads, those little lace things they wore on their heads.. I wanted to be a Catholic so bad. Being Catholic is a no-no when your family is Baptist / fundamentalist. By the time I reached the end of high school, my father had passed away, and I needed a church that I could go to regularly. I went on my own and joined an Episcopal church (Catholic lite). I remained in the church until I became engaged to my husband, a Catholic. Deciding that our whole family should be of the same religion, I converted and we raised our children in the faith. That was almost 30 years ago. All through the years I went to church with my children, spent a lot of time in the school and church. My husband seldom wanted to go as he would say " I went to chuch every day when I was growing up.. I have credit". I grew less and less enamored with the church as the years went by. Their prayers were read from books, the ceremonies were the same every week, there was no such thing as bible study. I just felt that I could no longer find God in the church. So when my kids graduated, I decided to leave the church. I still practice my Christian faith on my own, and I am very happy and fulfilled. All of this being said. I have been very touched by the Pope's visit. For some reason, I was never a fan of John Paul. But this Pope is different. He speaks of the love of Jesus Christ. I truly feel that he loves God and appears more religious than political, which if you have ever read my occasional references, in my book, religion and politics don't mix. He said something in his speech to a group of young people yesterday that really impacted me
My own years as a teenager were marred by a sinister regime that thought it had all the answers; its influence grew - infiltrating schools and civic bodies, as well as politics and even religion - before it was fully recognized for the monster it was. It banished God and thus became impervious to anything true and good. Many of your grandparents and great-grandparents will have recounted the horror of the destruction that ensued. Indeed, some of them came to America precisely to escape such terror.
Of course, he is speaking of the Nazis. I look at it as modern day Political Correctness. If you are interested in reading the whole speech, this is the link
PAPAL WORDS TO YOUTH
If you are my age, you have to admit the moral decline of our country, and how bad it has become since our childhood. This decline is caused by many things, but the biggest reason, is the denial of God, whatever your faith or lack of faith.
As Pope Benedict so eloquently said:
Have you noticed how often the call for freedom is made without ever referring to the truth of the human person? Some today argue that respect for freedom of the individual makes it wrong to seek truth, including the truth about what is good. In some circles to speak of truth is seen as controversial or divisive, and consequently best kept in the private sphere. And in truth's place - or better said its absence - an idea has spread which, in giving value to everything indiscriminately, claims to assure freedom and to liberate conscience. This we call relativism. But what purpose has a "freedom" which, in disregarding truth, pursues what is false or wrong? How many young people have been offered a hand which in the name of freedom or experience has led them to addiction, to moral or intellectual confusion, to hurt, to a loss of self-respect, even to despair and so tragically and sadly to the taking of their own life? Dear friends, truth is not an imposition. Nor is it simply a set of rules. It is a discovery of the One who never fails us; the One whom we can always trust. In seeking truth we come to live by belief because ultimately truth is a person: Jesus Christ.