Light your Garden on Fire with the Flame Lily

Scientific name: Gloriosa  superba Other names: fire Lily, climbing lily, creeping lily, glory lily It’s a showstopping flower that will ignite your passion for gardening. The flame lily is a climbing vine with showy, wavy yellow and red flowers that resembles flames, hence the name. In bud, the pale green petals face downwards. As it matures, the petals elongate and wrinkle, while arching backwards to reveal a gorgeous 6-petaled flower. The stamens are just as visually stunning as the petals, spreading outward ...

8 Eco-Friendly Container Ideas for Starting Seeds Indoors

Starting seeds indoors is a fun, low-cost and rewarding activity that you can do with kids. All you need is some soil, seeds and containers. You can purchase all of those materials at your local garden centre, but you can also save money and help the environment by transforming everyday household items into potting containers. If you look around, the possibilities are endless. Just about anything can be made into a container, but make sure it’s clean and poked with some ...

Yin Yang: Finding Our Balance In the Ebb & Flow of Life…

“Perfect activity leaves no track behind it; perfect speech is like a jade worker whose tool leaves no mark. “Tao Te Ching Yin Yang: Finding Balance in the Ebb and Flow of Life… The concept of Yin Yang rests on the principle of natural and complementary forces, patterns and behaviors that depend on one another and influence the balance or the ebb and flow of events in all of life. My yoga exercise class today got me thinking about this notion of finding our balance; recognizing the natural ebb ...

The Silk Road

We’d left Cappadocia and were driving along the Anatolian plain in central Turkey when our bus pulled off the road and headed down a narrow path, gravel crunching beneath our tires. I had no idea why we were stopping but at least it was an opportunity for me and Mrs. C. to stretch our legs. Our guide informed us that we’d arrived at the Sultanhani Kervansaray. “The what?” I mumbled under my breath. I didn’t remember reading anything about this on ...

Kismet: A Single Garment of Destiny

“All I’m saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we’re caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” Dr. ...

Inspiration: The Great Secret…

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” —Mahatma Gandhi Inspiration: The Great Secret... Alegrias is mirthful; happiness is within... The great mystic and Persian lyric poet, Khwāja Shamsu d-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Shīrāzī, known as Hafez or Hafiz Shirazi, wrote many inspiring and deeply profound poems that dealt with issues that affect the human condition. He was a visionary and spiritual man who wrote about God/the Beloved, faith, joy and happiness as well as ...

Happy Valentine’s Day: 12 Tips On Self Love…

“Where there is great love, there are always wishes.” Willa Cather Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos ✿♡✿Happy Valentine’s Day!✿♡✿ Love is a wondrous thing and, on Valentine’s Day, lovers meet, bearing gifts and sweet words. Every year, some ask the same question: Why show such effusive love only on the 14th? Why is no lover coming for me? As much as we love the festivities, Valentine’s Day can bring up painful memories of unrequited love, shattered dreams and long gone lovers… ...

Reflections: Take Two For Peace…

“He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or all he sees.” Benjamin Franklin Reflections: Take Two For Peace… Small Stones We watched it land, red and proud Perched on a branch, nary a sound The phone rang… Peace wasn’t calling Red Cardinal knew it and went flying Which was more unsettling? The interruption or the sudden departure… In my reorganization mode, I’ve been writing Small Stones which the originators describe as:”a short piece of writing (prose or poetry) that precisely captures ...

“Don’t Judge Me…Let Me Judge You”

We judge people all the time by their appearance - image still, Mask copyright Universal Pictures The Inconsistent Irony of our Judgments One of the profound paradoxes of modern living is the self-proclaimed mantra, “Don’t judge me…” – which is often followed by  “…who are you to judge me?” Ironically that same accusatory statement of “…who are you to judge me…” is itself a declaratory judgment that “…you’re no better than me.” Again that’s a inconsistent judgment we all make. If we’re honest, we must ...

My Interview on News Radio 770 KKOB

50,000 Watt Radio Powerhouse Since my book A Question of Faith launched last November, I’ve been invited to talk about it, and the importance of faith in general, on several radio stations and networks across the country. Tomorrow, I have the privilege of talking with radio host Eric Strauss on News Radio 770 KKOB-AM based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As background KKOB is one of the most powerful radio stations in the country (50,000 watt) whose signal covers nine states. It also happens ...

Does This Video Disrespect Our Veterans???

This past Friday evening my wife and I attended a preseason NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore ravens. As a lifelong Steelers fan, I've no love for the ravens - but the tickets were cheap, the seats were great and I've been Jonesing for professional football. During the pregame ceremonies and warm-up I took a minute of video that I found extremely odd. The stadium was filling up as the public address announcer said they were going to ...

Credentialing for Would-be World Enders???

Harold Camping muffs end-o-days prediction Most states require a licensing process for a host of service providers ranging from hair stylists to mechanics. Those are important services if you’re in the market to touch up your roots or replace your brake pads – but those services don’t come close to predicting the end of the world. Apparently anyone can predict the end of days without so much as a certificate of apprenticeship. Case in point, an 89-year old Internet pastor-turned-prognosticator believed ...

Book Review: Stuff Christians Like - by Jon Acuff

I discovered author, speaker, blogger Jon Acuff in reverse. I came upon his most recent book Quitter while perusing some of the finance and debt reduction publications by Dave Ramsey, whom Acuff currently works for. Quitter is a semi-professional autobiography that chronicles the author's journey from his day job as an online copywriter to his dream job as a best-selling author and speaker. When I read it, I thought the book was inspired and would likely strike a nerve that many ...

My Half Marathon: Photos and Results

This past Saturday I completed the annual Frederick Running Festival for the third time. Unfortunately, this year they only offered a half-marathon (13.1 miles) as opposed to the full (26.2). I was able to finish the full run with a completion time of 5:20 last year and 4:58 the year prior. Apparently they cut the race back to a half this year because the back leg of the full was deemed "too dangerous" since it was run along the non-existent shoulder ...

Let’s Talk Gray, I Mean Grey, and NPR Too

Let’s get one thing straight, right off the bat. The color gray, with an a, is the American spelling. Grey, with an e, is the British spelling. A person’s name may be either, of course. I have known for years that it’s a losing battle to fight for the gray. There’s simply too much confusion over it, and who really cares anyway, except for editing-diehards (we really are impossible to kill). The huge ballyhoo around the erotic Shades of Grey ...

4 Rules for Game Night in Our Home

My parents didn’t frequently play board games with us five kids growing up. But when they did, it was awesome! Our favorite board games were the classics – Clue, Monopoly, Life, Sorry, Careers, Pay Day and Stop Thief…to name a few. Sometimes my parents would win, sometimes  one of us kids would win. However, depending on the “family dynamic” of any given game night (e.g. which kid blamed who for breaking a living room lamp…etc.) an acute case of Sore Loseritis would most likely ...

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Mask of conformity and existence

Mask-of-Conformity-170

A roller-coaster day of possibilities, slammed into oblivion one-by-one. The result is a feeling of deflation, exhaustion, loneliness, and incompetence. The energy required to pick myself up, and dust myself off is lacking. The buffeting waves of optimism followed by decimation has left me drowning in self-doubt. When will I ever reach the calm shores of contentment and usefulness? Is it even possible? …

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Tricks of the mind

Ilusion

Sometimes you feel you are all alone. Sometimes you think no one cares. Sometimes it seems no one is listening. Sometimes it seems everyone glares. – But, sometimes it’s just our minds that tells us we’re neglected, tricking us into believing we are worthless, not worthy of being loved. – It is our mind that blinds us to the truth of how much others care and to …

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You were dreaming

Nightmares

The nightmares never end… Blake says I was only dreaming, that the Monster isn’t real. My screams woke him, and shattered the silence of the night. Two nights ago I was screaming while the Monster raped me – as an adult not a child – and although it was ‘just a dream’ my body has been sore from the assault ever since. Last night the Monster had murder on his mind. I was lured by his …

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Where to from here?

when-the-journey-is-long

I am not completely sure of the reason or reasons why, but my ‘life’ seems to have come to a screeching halt when I was 12. Everything revolves around this age. This is the age I regress to when the darkness hits and I am overwhelmed by even the smallest requirements of being a functioning human being. This is the age that haunts my, all-too-regular, nightmares. This is the age when I stopped dreaming about …

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Didn’t you think about the consequences?

child

Something I have often heard in the two years since my father committed suicide is “Didn’t you think about the consequences?”Not only have people asked me these things directly, they have also said very similar things about me to people who supported me in my decision to break the silence on being sexually abused as a child. Every time I hear this question, my …

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Trauma is trauma is trauma

trauma

Along the healing journey, it is common to hear comments from others, such as, “You don’t know what it’s like for me,” “I went through so much worse than you,” “He only did it to me, so it doesn’t matter,” “You don’t understand,” and “He only touched me, so why I am having so much …

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The apology of Pope Francis

pope-apologises

Pope Francis asks for forgiveness for child sex abuse by priests, says sanctions ‘must be imposed. Hmm… with a headline like that, how could I not read the article? To be clear, I am not a Catholic, nor do I know the Pope personally, or in any other capacity, however, I have read many articles expounding his virtues and generally indicating that he is a pretty decent bloke. …

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