Stories that go untold but ought to be shared

Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped HistoryRad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an easy yet provocative book that tells stories usually left out of typical history books. This book and it’s contents need to be celebrated and given to girls around the world. I had never heard of most of these women and that’s probably because most of our history books are written by or edited by men. You owe it to yourself to read the book.

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Great EV3 programming resource

The Art of LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 ProgrammingThe Art of LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Programming by Terry Griffin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great book. I’m teaching a EV3 robotics and programming class and this is my main text. It’s a fantastic resource for teachers and students. Great diagrams too.

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Making All Things New

I had a friend tell me tonight that I was one of the few people he met who continues to seek after God or if you will a higher power. I can’t deny that I don’t spend a lot of time reading spiritual and religious works. I am attracted to them and to holy places. I’m not a person who is devoted to piety. In fact piety seems foreign to me, but I cannot deny that I ponder deep questions at times. Recently I have been reading a wonderful book written by Ilia Delio. The title, “Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology, Consciousness”  just leapt out at me. It’s not the first book written by the author that I’ve read and probably won’t be the last. I’m very grateful to Sister Ilia who offers scholarship and great insight on a topic that has interested me since I was a young boy. I cannot begin to explain the book here nor do I want to except to encourage you to read if for yourself. It you are spiritual seeker who is looking for insights about the future of Christianity and Catholicism then this book deserves your attention. The following quote comes from the final chapter of the book.

Religion, therefore, is always a genesis, a birthing of the Spirit toward greater unity. Without the dynamic energy of transcendence by which consciousness rises and relationships deepen, religion grows old and weary; it becomes rote, a mechanistic repetition of old ideas. To function out of an old cosmology with old ideas of matter and form, to think that God does not do new things, is to make an idol out of Jesus and to ignore the power of the Spirit.

Delio, Ilia (2015-09-22). Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology, Consciousness (Catholicity in an Evolving Universe Series) (Kindle Locations 4083-4086). Orbis Books. Kindle Edition.

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Learn to find ease in risk

Four years ago I read the following passage in a wonderful book by John O’Donohue. My heart leapt as I read it and tears welled in my eyes as I sought a change in venue. I longed for something different but was afraid of it too. I printed this and put it on the wall of my office and within eight months I was to leave and begin a new life filled with uncertainty and wonderful surprises.

In out-of-the-way places of the heart, Where your thoughts never think to wander, This beginning has been quietly forming, Waiting until you were ready to emerge. For a long time it has watched your desire, Feeling the emptiness growing inside you, Noticing how you willed yourself on, Still unable to leave what you had outgrown. It watched you play with the seduction of safety And the gray promises that sameness whispered, Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent, Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled, And out you stepped onto new ground, Your eyes young again with energy and dream, A path of plenitude opening before you. Though your destination is not yet clear You can trust the promise of this opening; Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning That is at one with your life’s desire. Awaken your spirit to adventure; Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk; Soon you will be home in a new rhythm, For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

O’Donohue, John (2008-03-04). To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings (p. 14). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I have found ease in risk and my life has found a new rhythm and it continues to grow in each day. I was thinking this morning how birth pangs invite us to new opportunities. Pain is the touchstone of progress. Without it we would be mired in unfulfilling work. These days I spend much of my time volunteering, learning new skills, writing and teaching. An old friend used to say, “don’t despise the negative.” We cannot have positives without negatives.

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To an infinite mind

But to an Infinite Mind bathing me round and round I must be as much the object of regard as any solar system. To such a Mind nothing is small, no one thing farther from its scope than another. God could have no difficulty in attending to me, seeing that from the nature of His mental activity, to put it in that way, He could not lose sight of me nor let me go. When an object is immersed in water it gives no extra trouble to the water to close round it. It can’t help doing it. The object may be as small as a grain of dust or as big as a warship; to the water it is all the same.

King, Basil (2009-10-04). The Conquest of Fear (p. 21). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

The quote above is taken from a book first published in 1922. It’s been part of my own library for over thirty years. Lately, like many people I’ve been very concerned with the direction of our society and planet. It’s easy to get lost in the milieu of day to day life. It’s easy to lose heart and lose faith. I’ve also found that in helping others that I help myself. It was in this process of helping to buoy the faith of another that I came back to this classic work. The Infinite Mind, God, Creator or however you might conceive or address this universal force is here to help and provide for us each day. I remember reading this particular paragraph a long time ago and from it gaining some peace that there is a force that protects me and provides for me regardless of my own limiting view of this power. Glad that I reconnected with these thoughts tonight. Peace.

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Looking for a good book to read?

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good LifeThe Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

I liked it. The title might put some people off and the language might put some people off too. His frank manner of writing attracted me and held my attention all the way through the book. I think it’s a great book and maybe even a candidate for a best seller award. I loved his analogies and examples. I’d recommend this book as a great read to anyone and especially those of us who have doubts about ourselves.

 

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Angels in our midst

This morning I was volunteering as I often do at the Catholic Charities Food Pantry in our village. People who come here for food and clothing are often very needy. Many of our clients are reluctant to come because they’re very proud individuals who really are trying to make ends meet. Besides helping people in need, volunteering here has helped me to continue to be active in the  community. I believe that it is better to give than to receive. I marvel at the the wonderful donations that members of the community bring to the pantry. Fresh Market, a grocery store in the village keeps the pantry regularly supplied with bread, cookies and vegetables. We also get garden fresh vegetables from local farmers. Venison comes from hunters with a heart for others. Some items come from the Western New York food bank too.

This morning a large shipment came from the employees of the West Valley Demonstration Project. These generous folks donated 2 and 1/2 pallets of groceries which included peanut butter, canned goods, macaroni and cheese and 50 turkeys. You may not be fortunate enough to live near a food pantry or a soup kitchen, but I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering at a couple of them in the past two years. It’s really marvelous to see how generous most of our citizens are. They are truly their brother’s and sister’s keeper. They are angels in our midst.

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