O Come Emmanuel: Everyday Incarnation

I wanted to pass on this beautiful meditation on the everyday meaning of the Incarnation that we celebrate each Christmas, this being written by a Franciscan whose blog I follow. Take a few moments to prayerfully consider it.

Dating God

incarnationO Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.

There is only one Incarnation, but there are infinite signs of emmanuel.

I am struck today by the text from Isaiah that is the source for this antiphon: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). The name of the coming Lord was foretold, but it wasn’t a proper name so much as a description of what God was about to do and what God has intended from all eternity.

The pregnant young woman, Mary of Nazareth, was a sign that fits the description of Isaiah, but she hasn’t been nor remains the only sign of emmanuel, God-with-us. If we are able to open the eyes of our hearts to see…

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“Peace on Earth” Classic MGM Christmas Cartoon

Peace On Earth. Classic Christmas cartoon. MGM 1939. Anti-war.

Here is my early Christmas gift to all of my friends and visitors to this blog. I hope you take the 8 1/2 minutes to watch this extraordinary classic cartoon. It is distinguished as being the only cartoon to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. I would describe this as a post-apocalyptic, dystopian-yet-utopian tale that presents the true meaning of the peace associated with the Christmas story in a manner that makes it still as relevant today as it was when it was first released, back in 1939. Think of it as an extended meditation on the twin themes of the “peaceable kingdom” and “turning swords into plowshares” that figure so prominently in the Book of Isaiah; two themes which serve as a backdrop to the story of the first Christmas found in the Gospels of Mathhew and Luke. What is ironic and sad is that this cartoon’s powerful anti-war message was largely forgotten or ignored just two years later when the USA entered the throes of WWII.

I post this now as we enter into this year’s Christmas season in hope that perhaps the message of this cartoon may engender in some people a reconsideration of the subversive but much needed message of Christmas: of the power of non-violent love that was incarnated in the coming of the Christ child some 2000 years ago. As we reflect on the sorrow, injustice and violence that plague our world right now, it should be clear that we need this cartoon’s simple message of peace and hope even more today.

I would love to have you post your reactions and thoughts here once you enjoy this heartwarming cartoon and ruminate over its message. And you are certainly encouraged to share or re-post this!

Merry Christmas and “Peace to All People of Good Will!!!”

Tom

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December 23, 2013 · 7:27 am

The Absolutely Most Hilarious Product Reviews You Will Ever Read!!!

Ran across this on Facebook just had to share it! On Amazon, you can buy a sugar-free version of Gummy Bears by a company named Haribo. Now I, for one, will never consume any product that basically falls under the category of “getting something for nothing.” I’m suspicious, therefore, of things like diet soda, sugarless candy, or any product that uses “artificial sweeteners” of any sort bearing a promise of offering health benefits. (Now my mistrust of such products are born out by science, as I am sure that most of my readers will know. But if you aren’t familiar with the research, just read, for instance, this article from Science News on the pitfalls of drinking diet soda to lose weight: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/diet-sodas-may-confuse-brains-calorie-counter.) This is merely one of many such damning studies surrounding sugar substitutes going way back to the days when saccharine was all the rage in the late 60s and early 70s until studies showed the health threat it posed.)

Anyway, I digress… The “star of the show” for this product on Amazon is not really the sugar-free gummy bears but rather the long string of entertaining comments posted as reviews for this product.

Here below is a screen shot containing just one example of the many gloriously funny read awaiting you: (CAUTION: You may not want to read this while sipping soda or milk, at least if don’t want a sullied computer screen! Also, I bear no responsibility for the sometimes colorful language and imagery employed by some of these writers!)

https://i0.wp.com/www.uhpinions.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/HariboSugarlessGummyBears.png

Here is a direct link to the Amazon page in question where you will find that there are a lot more comments like these guaranteed to bring a smile to your face: http://www.amazon.com/Haribo-Gummy-Candy-Sugarless-5-Pound/dp/B000EVQWKC

Hope you have a fun read!

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Words from Nelson Mandela

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December 6, 2013 · 2:23 pm

Inspiring Quote from Picasso

I found this meme on a Facebook group page called “Flood The Streets with Art” and thought I would pass it along for your inspiration!

Picasso Man with Guitar Meme

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Must-See-Drawings by Artist Alex Konahin

Here is a sample of some of the amazing detailed pen & ink drawings created by artist Alex Konahin. You can check out and see more of his work on his Tumblr page found here:  http://konahin.tumblr.com/

*NOTE: Many thanks to my friend Sharon Geisfeldt for spreading the word about this artist.

The Bee _ Work In Progress

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Remembering Rosa Parks: Great American Hero

Rosa Parks Quote

Yesterday, December 1st, marked  the fifty-eighth anniversary of when Rosa Parks, an ordinary African American department store worker, refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. Her simple act of courage inspired the civil rights movement, helping the United States and it’s citizens march ever closer toward realizing our nation’s constitutional principal of equality and freedom for all.

Rosa Parks serves as a reminder to us all how seemingly small acts of courage, resisting the currents of injustice and evil, send out ripple effects far beyond our capacity to intuit.

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Watch Your Words!

The Power of our Words Vision Wall Poster copy

I ran across this article discussing the groundbreaking research of a prominent neuro-scientist named Andrew Newberg, M.D., whose research demonstrates the tremendous power that simple words hold for either harming or healing our brains. Many people today are rediscovering, for instance, the healing power of words through the simple repetition of a mantra (a simple word word or phrase) during meditation or during a simple prayer form such as centering prayer. On the other hand, how many of us (parents, bosses, spouses, lovers) go about our days, mindlessly barking at one another, failing to consider the lasting damage we may be doing to others?

Here, then, is a link to the brief article in question which I invite you now to read and consider now:

Words Can Change Your Brain | World of Psychology.

I, for one, find that Dr. Newberg’s research (as science often does) simply confirms what I have long known to be true based on my own personal experience and observation. How often have we heard our parents and mentors reminding us: choose your words wisely. Easier said than done, of course. I am reminded of a passage from the New Testament Letter of St. James where the author discusses the importance of and the challenge involved in learning to “control your tongue”:

James 3:1-12 – Taming the Tongue – Not many of you – Bible Gateway.

As a Roman Catholic who is entering into the spirit of this new liturgical season called Advent, I am find myself applying the insights of this article toward me taking up the resolve to attending specially to two practices that should help me grow: first, I will return to a daily (rather than sporadic) practice of centering prayer and meditation on scripture; and secondly, I aim to be more mindful of the words I choose in my everyday conversations and interactions as to their power to lift up or potentially cripple others. I can only hope that, should I be faithful in these practices, a few weeks down the line my family will find me just a little more peaceful, loving and kind.

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For those of you interested in learning more, here is a podcast that is steamed online featuring an interview with Dr. Newberg on the same topic of the effects of words on our brain: http://www.holisticsurvival.com/hs-140-words-can-change-your-brain-with-dr-andrew-newberg/

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This New Blog of Mine

Shakespeare the Blogger

Hi everyone! Some of you might know of me (Tom Webber aka TexasTom46) through my other blogs. My main blogs include my art blog found here: http://tomwebberartist.wordpress.com and one devoted primarily to sharing my personal reflections and poems located here: http://texastomruminationsmyblog.wordpress.com. If you also host a blog, perhaps you have found yourself at times wanting to post things that don’t really fit the theme of your existing blog(s). Well, that is precisely what I have experienced over and over and over again. I finally decided to create an “anything goes” blog that will satisfy my many interests. Thus I present to you my new blog “Texas Tom’s Pete & RePete” blog. This one will be distinguished not only by the fact that it lacks a coherent theme but also due to the fact that I will often be re-posting articles from other sources that I find compelling, and which I believe will be of interest to others. But I will, occasionally, add my own thoughts here and there, too. Hopefully you will find something interesting and worthwhile, if not even thought-provoking and maybe even inspiring that will make your visit worthwhile. So I welcome you, my dear friend, to come on board as a user, stay a while, and visit often. And let me know what you think!

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