40 Days

Rev. Edward EllmoreThis beloved man is my father-in-law, Rev. Edward D. Ellmore.  Today we sang Memory Eternal because it is 40 days since his falling-asleep-in-the-Lord.  Today also happens to be Father’s Day.

No doubt, he would be none too pleased with me that he is featured in living color on my blog.  Too bad, Dad! You’re not here and it’s my blog and it is Father’s Day.  (I can hear your chuckle in my ear!) You are not here for your children and grandchildren to send a card and give you a call to wish you many blessed returns of the day. You’re not here to tell us about who visited you this week or what the favorite menu item was for the week.  Yet, in a certain way, you are here.  You are not that far away.

Not that long ago, you told me you were living and preparing for the next course in life, that this physical life we have is lived in preparation for the Eternal Life.  You lived in Hope of the Eternal. You never stopped teaching us how to live in the present world and prepare for the Eternal world, no matter your age.  You and Mom taught me how to be an “in-law;” how to be present, to love, to encourage and not interfere.  You were a parent, teacher, and friend.

While I miss you and your presence, you are ever present.  Because of what you emulated, I don’t grieve but live with the same Hope.  Thank you for that gift of Faith.

Happy Father’s Day!

Orthodox Africa: The Globe-trotting Director

This is a great update posted about the Director of Orthodox Africa. Click here.

My favorite part is this video of the welcoming the visitors received by the students! I want lessons!

Orthodox Africa: Creating Synergy in missions one partnership at a time

This is a wonderful non-profit that I think many of you, dear readers, will appreciate.  Please read about them here.

Periodically, I will be sharing news about the various missions they support.  The latest is about an orphanage that has the opportunity to purchase land where they can have a permanent location instead of renting space and double the number of children they house and provide for.  Read about it here.

If you find it in your heart to donate, you can do so here.

If you find it in your heart, please share on your personal blog or other social media platforms.

 

 

2017 Philadelphia Flower Show

After lunch at the Reading Terminal Market The Hubster and I went to Opening Day of the Philadelphia Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.  It was themed “Holland”.  Lots and lots of tulips! One never tires of this seemingly ordinary, yet beautiful flower.  And there were a sea of them!  Here are some pictures I took, which do not do justice to the real thing.  We had a delightful time! We both love beautiful landscapes and flowers. Neither of us has a green thumb nor the interest to garden. This is a perfect time to enjoy and admire the fruits of others’ labors and get ideas for potential work for our own garden.

Rainbow ceiling.

Cherry Blossom

 

White Bicycles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KUSHINER: PLACES WE’D RATHER NOT GO

UnnamedBy James M. Kushiner – 

Despite the hyper-version of “Godwin’s Law” (1990) which suggests making any comparison to Hitler in debating a contentious issue means losing your credibility, I am going to use a 4-letter N word that conjures Hitler: Nazi. I can’t help it: reading McEhinney and McAleer’s haunting true-crime story Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killerforces a comparison, even if the book doesn’t make it.

In Nazi Germany, late April 1945, my father and other soldiers were invited to visit a newly liberated Nazi concentration camp. He declined, but other seasoned soldiers came back sickened by what they saw. The miniseries Band of Brothers depicts the liberation of a death camp. American officers rounded up German civilians, including the mayor, his wife, many well-dressed and nice looking, and took them to the camp to show them the carnage. Some were made to dig graves for thousands of murdered victims of the Nazis.Beginning then and ever since a piercing question has often been forced upon ordinary German civilians, soldiers, bureaucrats, and others: “What did you know about the camps?” What, for instance, did Brunhilde Pomsel, Goebbel’s secretary who recently died at 106, know? The subject of a 2015 documentary, A German Life, she said,

“I know no one ever believes us nowadays – everyone thinks we knew everything. We knew nothing, it was all kept well secret….We believed it – we swallowed it – it seemed entirely plausible.”

But those Germans who courageously opposed the Nazis were not “nice” — in the old sense of the word, that is, “unknowing”:

[nice]: late 13c., “foolish, stupid, senseless,” from Old French nice (12c.) “careless, clumsy; weak; poor, needy; simple, stupid, silly, foolish,” from Latin nescius “ignorant, unaware,” literally “not-knowing,” from ne- “not” + stem of scire “to know.” …”agreeable, delightful” (1769); … by 1926, it was pronounced “…. a mere diffuser of vague and mild agreeableness.” [Fowler]

But ignorance, willful or semi-willful (the heart is deceitful) is not unique to Germany, and does not seem much different than the grand display of such “nice” Americans, including well-educated officials and media, turning blind eyes to the death camp run by Dr. Kermit Gosnell, Philadelphia abortionist doctor now serving three life sentences for murdering born-alive infants, among other crimes.

There were many signs of something not right at the “clinic”; complaints were made to health officials for years. Nothing was done. No investigations. It didn’t fit what most people wanted to hear and report about an inner city abortion mill. The physical contents of his mill and the manner in which babies and women were treated there can only be described as nightmarish and hellish. (Investigators were creeped out by the place. Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore said, “I felt like people were touching me in side that building.”)

By many accounts, Gosnell was a community leader, a charming and nice man. Except he wasn’t so nice to hundreds of children aborted past Pennsylvania’s legal limit, born alive, then stabbed to death. (Sorry, it’s ugly). The place contained shelves of bottles of dead babies and hundreds of preserved tiny severed feet.

Reading the book’s grim eyewitness accounts, I couldn’t help but think of those Nazi camps my dad talked about. Well, in 1978 Dr. Gosnell visited Auschwitz. The authors quote his account:

“What was most impressive were the bins where they kept the children’s shoes … hair … clothing…. [T]he sheer volume of it was very impressive.” That was the only adjective he used: “impressive.” Not heartbreaking or tragic or horrific. No, Gosnell thought the storage of the little shoes, clothing, and remains of small, innocent Jewish children who were massacred by the Nazis was “impressive.”

Big media refused to cover Gosnell’s trial until shamed into it by social media exposure and Kirsten Powers’ mea culpa column in USA Today. They were dragged to the trial like those German civilians were dragged to the death camp. The media’s enlightenment didn’t last. Those today who seek to expose the truth about abortion, like David Daleiden with his uncover videos, are hated and are not “nice.” Gosnell sold out at Amazon in 3 days and reportedly ranked 4th in book sales (non-fiction hardcover). Surprise–the New York Times did not include Gosnell in their bestsellers list. Nice.

Some people want to make America great. Some think it is already great. They may fight each other about it. But as long as a nation refuses to face its crimes and repent of such bloodshed, it has no chance of being great. It could, I suppose, aspire instead to being both Nazi and nice. My hat’s off to authors Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer.

James M. Kushiner is Executive Director of The Fellowship of St. James

No Other Foundation with Fr. Lawrence Farley

Fr. Lawrence expounds on peace and John Lennon’s song “Just Imagine.”  Listen by clicking here.

Of Water, the Spirit & Idolatry

iSermon:  In addition to the FrTED Talk, you can listen to Fr. Ted’s sermon for the Feast of Theophany.  Listen by clicking here.

 

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