D. Maria


Friday, September 30, 2005

Averting Conflict

Dealing With Difficult People

We encounter a wide variety of people throughout our lives. Many of them touch us in some positive way. Occasionally, however, we encounter those individuals who, for whatever reason, can be difficult to deal with. Perhaps this person is a colleague or close friend that you feel is deliberately being obtuse, inviting in trouble, or doing foolish things that you find annoying. Sometimes, it may be possible to appease or avoid those people short term. Dealing with them in the long term, however, can be exhausting. The behavior of difficult people can even make you feel like losing your temper, but keep your cool. Staying calm is the first step, especially when you are ready to confront them.

Avoiding a difficult person can improve impossible and not in your best interest, especially if you live or work together. Likewise, attempts to steer clear of them can become a source of stress and anxiety when they are a part of your social circle. When this is the case, it is best to kindly address the problem. Try not to let their actions or mood affect you. You also may want to try expressing your feelings directly. Tell the person how their actions make you feel, and encourage them toward a more positive course of action. Speak assertively, but respectfully, and don't portray yourself as a victim. Another approach for dealing with a difficult individual is to gain a deeper understanding of who that person is. Ask them why they do or say certain things. If you disagree with their motives, question them further so you can try and discover the root of their behavior. In doing so, you may be able to gently shift their perceptions, or at least help them understand your point of view.

You may want to think about what you want to say to a difficult person before you actually talk to them. If you can, avoid being judgmental or defensive, and try to approach the conversation objectively. If the person is open to the idea, try coming to an agreement. If approaching them fails, let it go and move on. There is no reason to let a difficult person or situation have power over your state of being. Remember that a lot can be accomplished when you take the time to listen and offer up alternative perspectives.

Newtown Borough Police Officer Brian Steven Gregg


Police Officer Brian Steven Gregg
Newtown Borough Police Department
End of Watch: Thursday, September 29, 2005

Biographical Info
Age: 46
Tour of Duty: 1 yr
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Thursday, September 29, 2005
Weapon Used: Officer's handgun
Suspect Info: Charged with murder

Officer Gregg was shot and killed after a prisoner was able to gain possession of his partner's service weapon at St. Mary's Medical Center. The suspect had been arrested earlier in the evening for drunk driving and had been taken to the hospital to undergo blood and urine tests. While in the emergency room he began to struggle with Officer Gregg and a second officer and gained control of the other officer's service weapon. The suspect then opened fire, striking Officer Gregg in the head, wounding the second officer in the chest, and wounding a hospital technician.

The suspect fled the emergency room and was located approximately one hour later hiding in a car in the hospital's parking garage. He was taken into custody and charged with one count of capital murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Officer Gregg had just started as a full time officer after serving as a part time officer with the 4-person department for 1 year.

Agency Contact Information
Newtown Borough Police Department
22 Liberty St
Newtown, PA 18940

Phone: (215) 860-7835

* Please contact the agency for funeral information

Prayer for America 09/30/05

When autumn winds blow, the handiwork of the Lord becomes evident in the glorious reds and golds of leaves turning colors and in the cool evening breezes that bring peaceful slumber. When autumn winds blow, the blessings of the Lord become visible as Americans admire the pumpkin-orange harvest moon hanging low over the horizon, which reminds us that we will soon be celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends. When autumn winds blow, God looks down upon these United States and sends warm kisses and comforting hugs to be stored up for the cold winter to come.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Harmony With Nature

Organic Earth

The earth is our nurturer, giving us life, land, and sustenance. Because of population growth, the demand for her gifts is ever increasing and simply living from day to day can now have a negative impact on the balance of nature. The byproduct of many needs is the release of toxic substances into the water, air, and soil. One way to minimize your impact on the earth is to try and use organic products as much as possible and to garden organically yourself if you have space. Though organic fruits and vegetables have become popular, the term "organic" can apply to any product produced from natural substances, including cloth and beauty items. Organic farming promotes a healthy earth, clean water, and healthy people.

Organic products are created using natural ingredients that were grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers; haven't been treated with preservatives, hormones, or medicines; and don't contain artificial additives. Using organic products whenever possible not only helps lessen your exposure to harmful chemicals but also helps the health of mother earth as well. Organic farming uses helpful insects to combat pests and natural fertilizers like compost and manure, or crop rotation, to keep vital nutrients in the soil. Healthy soil contains microbes beneficial to plants and thick earthy hummus that retains water, reducing the need for artificial irrigation and the rate of top soil erosion. The benefits of using organic products go far beyond health concerns. Organic farming promotes necessary biodiversity through seed collecting and by encouraging wildlife to thrive alongside humans.

We have only just recently begun to understand the effects of chemical-intensive growing on the environment. Organic farming of vegetables, cotton, or any other crop, is a gentle way to reap the earth's bounty and is conducive to a healthy ecosystem. Sometimes the results are slightly more expensive, but the environmental and health costs can be much higher and increased demand for such products can help to lower prices. Your use of organic products encourages a world where birds and insects help control pests, wildlife is an essential part of farming, and nutrition takes precedence over mass production.

Roberts Confirmed as Chief Justice to the US Supreme Court

Judge John Roberts now presides over the nations highest court as the 17th Chief Justice to the US Supreme Court.

Today, Justice Roberts was confirmed to the top post in the US Senate by a vote of 78 to 22. This position was left vacant due to the recent death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

During the confirmation hearings, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Justice Roberts demonstrated his brilliant intellect and legal knowledge. Even his critics on the committee praised him and his demeanor. Justice Roberts will bring to the court not only strong leadership, but also his belief in the Supreme Court’s role to strictly interpret the Constitution and not legislate from the bench.

“Try as I might, I cannot find the evidence to conclude that John Roberts understands the real world impact of court decisions on civil rights and equal rights in this country,” said Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy.


Judge John G. Roberts, Jr., was born in Buffalo , New York , on January 27, 1955.

He grew up in Indiana, where he captained his high school football team and worked summers in a steel mill to help pay his way through college.

In 1976, he received his bachelor's degree from Harvard, summa cum laude , after only three years.

He then attended Harvard Law School , where he was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude in 1979.

The year after he graduated from law school, Judge Roberts clerked for Judge Henry J. Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

* Friendly is acclaimed as the preeminent appellate judge of his generation. Chief Justice Warren Burger said of Judge Friendly that he could not identify “any judicial colleague more highly qualified to have come to the Supreme Court of the United States than Henry Friendly.” (Jeffrey B. Morris, Federal Justice in the Second Circuit 178 (1987).)

In 1980-81, Judge Roberts clerked for then-Associate Justice William H. Rehnquist on the United States
Supreme Court.

Judge Roberts then served as Special Assistant to Attorney General William French Smith during 1981-82.

* In that role, he advised the Attorney General, wrote speeches, and acted as the Attorney General's representative to other officials in the Executive Branch and state and local governments.

From 1982 until 1986, Judge Roberts served in the White House as Associate Counsel to President Ronald Reagan.

* His duties in the White House included reviewing bills submitted to the President by the Congress, drafting and reviewing Executive Orders, and generally reviewing the full range of presidential activities for legal problems.

In 1986, Judge Roberts left the White House to enter private practice as an associate at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson. He was elected a partner a year later. His practice focused on appellate litigation and was by all accounts extremely successful.

* In 1989, Judge Roberts argued his first case before the United States Supreme Court as court-appointed counsel in United States v. Halper, 490 U.S. 435 (1989), a double-jeopardy case. He prevailed on behalf of his client.

From 1989 until 1993, Judge Roberts served as Principal Deputy Solicitor General, the second-in-command in the Office of the Solicitor General.

* As Principal Deputy Solicitor General, Judge Roberts briefed and argued a variety of cases before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the U.S. government.

In 1992, when he was 37, President George H.W. Bush nominated Judge Roberts to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The nomination languished without action by the Senate.

In January 1993, Judge Roberts returned to Hogan & Hartson and resumed his appellate practice.

Including his tenure as a government lawyer, Judge Roberts argued 39 cases before the United States Supreme Court, placing him among the country's most experienced Supreme Court litigators.

* Judge Roberts's Supreme Court arguments alone span a vast set of issues within the Supreme Court's jurisdiction, including admiralty, antitrust, arbitration, environmental law, free speech/religion, health care law, Indian law, bankruptcy, tax, regulation of financial institutions, administrative law, labor law, federal jurisdiction and procedure, interstate commerce, civil rights, and criminal law.
* In addition to representing business interests, Judge Roberts at different times represented the States of Hawaii, Alaska , and Nevada in defending diverse state social, health-and-welfare, and environmental policies before the United States Supreme Court.
* He was retained by the various state attorneys general pursuing antitrust claims against Microsoft to defend the district court's remedial orders before the D.C. Circuit.
* From time to time he also represented criminal defendants and indigents on a pro bono basis.

Judge Roberts, a member of the D.C. Bar, is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. As an attorney, he was widely involved in bar activities:

* For example, he was a member of the United States Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules, the American Law Institute, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and the Legal Advisory Board of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest.
* He worked on the bipartisan Joint Project on the Independent Counsel Statute sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution.

In May 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Judge Roberts for a seat on the D.C. Circuit.

* Reaction to his nomination was overwhelmingly positive. His supporters included many prominent members of the D.C. bar, including Democratic lawyers such as Lloyd Cutler and Seth Waxman, who collectively praised his “unquestioned integrity and fair-mindedness.” (Letter to Senators Daschle, Hatch, Leahy, and Lott from members of the Bar of the District of Columbia , reprinted in Hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Part I , 108th Cong., 1st Sess. (Jan. 29, 2003), at 652.)
* Judge Roberts received a unanimous “well qualified” rating from the ABA .

Judge Roberts' nomination was favorably reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 16-3. The Senate confirmed Judge Roberts' nomination by unanimous consent on May 8, 2003.

Judge Roberts lives in Bethesda , Maryland , with his wife, Jane, and their two children, Jack and Josie. Jane Sullivan Roberts is a partner at Shaw Pittman in Washington , D.C. She has a background in technology law and currently heads the firm's professional development program. She has practiced in the private sector as a litigator and transactional lawyer throughout her legal career, including a year in Australia.

Internet and Blog Facts

84% of Internet users use a search engine to find information. That’s 113.5 million people. By affecting search engine algorithms, blogs have a huge influence on search rankings.

78% of Internet users do online research about a product/service before buying it. That’s 105 million people.

49% of Internet users get political information online. That’s 66 million people.

23% of Internet users read a blog. That’s 31 million people.

Blog readership increased by 58% in 2004 alone.

20.5 million Americans have visited an adult web site. 31 million read blogs.

The number of people who use dating sites is the same as the number of people who have created a blog.

Source: Pew Research Center

Prayer for America 09/29/05

Source of all life and love, let this nation be a place of goodness and opportunity, a haven for those who are lonely, a sanctuary of peace in the midst of the storm. Above all, let us reflect the kindness of your own heart, day by day.

What does it take to live a life of hope? Nothing more than a willing heart.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Our Sons In Iraq

Brave they stand
Giving each other a hand
As their efforts demand
Going forward on the sand.

These are our sons
Taking aim with their guns
The pressure weighing tons
Being supported by their loved ones.

They never waver
Going forth as a savior
Always in our favor
Knowing none are braver.

They valiantly fight
For what is right
With all their might
Knowing they may never see the night.

Young men for all to see
Warriors they may be
They came across the sea
To make all in Iraq free!

Healthful Slumber

The Importance Of Sleep

When life gets busy, sleep is often the first activity that we sacrifice. Considered a luxury by many busy people, sleep is actually as vital to sustaining a balanced life as are breathing, eating, and drinking. Getting sufficient sleep can be a potent energizer, just as not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling drained and sluggish. While eight hours is the average amount of sleep most adults should generally aim for, the right amount of sleep varies for each person. Some people may thrive on just four hours, while others don't feel well rested unless they've slept for ten hours. How much we sleep also varies, depending upon where we are in life. Young people often need more sleep, while older people may need less. The benefits of sleep always stay the same. Regular and consistent periods of wakefulness and sleep are key ingredients to fostering a healthy body and a clear mind. It is during sleep that your body renews itself.

The ability to forgo sleep is considered by some to be an asset. But while it may seem that the nighttime hours can be better used for more productive activities, sleep in itself is extremely productive. During sleep, your body and psyche are both regaining their strength for the coming day. You may even have the unique opportunity to explore the hidden recesses of your personality while you dream. Meanwhile, your long-term memories are reinforced.

Many cultures engage in an afternoon siesta. Taking a nap is refreshing and can increase both productivity and creativity. Author Lewis Carroll is said to have conceived his idea for Alice in Wonderland while dreaming. A good night's sleep also has been known to bring with it the gifts of clarity, wisdom, and a fresh perspective. Even the ancient Greeks thought of sleep as a gift from the gods. Give yourself the gift of peaceful slumber and you will likely find yourself feeling alert, refreshed, and ready for life's challenges. You may also find yourself feeling more centered, thoughtful, and aware throughout the day so you can live your full potential

Prayer for America 09/28/05

Thank you, Lord, for hot, fresh apple pie. Sure, I know it is a bit of a cliche. But it smells good and it reminds me of a cool crisp autumn day. Why is it American? I'm not sure. But it is comfortable, warm, and safe, like home, or like when I've been overseas and step back onto the soil of a land both safe and free. And apple pie warms me from the inside out, like mother's love. And your love. So thank you, God, for apple pie and for all the good things that remind me of home. Amen.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Giving To Receive


The most difficult time to be generous is when we ourselves are feeling poor. While some of us have experienced actually being in the red financially, there are those of us who would feel broke even if we had a million dollars in the bank. Either way, as the old adage goes, it is always in giving that we receive. Meaning that when we are living in a state of lack, the very gesture we may least want to give is the very act that could help us create the abundance that we seek. One way to practice generosity is to give energy where it is needed. Giving money to a cause or person in need is one way to give energy. Giving attention, love, or a smile to another person are other acts of giving that we can offer. After all, there are people all over the world that are hungry for love.

Sometimes when we practice generosity, we practice it conditionally. We might be expecting to "receive back" from the person to whom we gave. We might even become angry or resentful if that person doesn't reciprocate. However, trust in the natural flow of energy, and you will find yourself practicing generosity with no strings attached. This is the purest form of giving. Remember that what you send out will always come back you. Selflessly help a friend in need without expecting them to return the same favor in the same way, and know that you, too, will receive that support from the universe when you need it. Besides, while giving conditionally creates stress (because we are waiting with an invisible balance sheet to receive ourdue), giving unconditionally creates and generatesabundance. We give freely, because we trust that there is always an unlimited supply.

Being aware of how much we are always supported by the universe is one of the keys to abundance and generosity. Consciously remember the times you've received support from expected and unexpected sources. Remember anyone who has helped you when you've needed it most, and bless all situations that come into your life for the lessons and gifts they bring you. Remember that all things given and received emanate from generosity. Giving is an act of gratitude. Plant the seeds of generosity through your acts of giving, and you will grow the fruits of abundance for yourself and those around you.

Prayer for America 09/27/05

Lord, there's a big old harvest moon hanging low in the sky, and the stars look so close you could reach out, grab a fistful, and touch heaven for a while.

They're bringing home the harvest, Lord. And soon, as if at some secret command, the leaves will turn to gold then red, fall in the chill wind, and hide the bareness of the fields until spring.

But tonight the sky is halo-bright, lit by a sacred lamp, a gateway to the stars. You feel so near on nights like this. We feel so close to others, too, knowing the same moon is lighting up all of America. Tonight, it's all one sky, one God, one people, all giving thanks as we gather in our harvest.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Walking Your Path

Living A Spiritual Life

Throughout the journey from birth to death, many people choose to question life, strive for improvement, seek out knowledge, and search for the divine. Simply put, this is the essence of spirituality. One's spiritual practice can take on many forms, because embracing the spiritual is a very personal pursuit. While many people do relate their spirituality to a God or Goddess, this quest for the divine, or oneness with the universe, always springs from within. It doesn't matter where you find your spiritual path. We are all fundamentally spiritual beings and the essence of that lies in knowing one's true self and finding a peace that comes from within rather than the outside world. It is in remembering this that we awaken to our personal path.

The spiritual path springs forth from a daily routine that reaffirms our personal connection with a purpose or a way of life. Practicing compassion, gratitude, appreciation, forgiveness, generosity, meditation, and taking care of one's wellbeing can all be a part of one's spiritual life. If you are new to exploring your personal spirituality, remember that this is a process. You may want to spend a few moments each day giving yourself a spiritual gift. Try a new form of meditation, visit a sanctuary, or explore a specific deity.

Accepting the importance of spirituality can be a healthy decision, because a spiritual practice tends to include habits that promote healthy living. Take the time to carefully determine the action, thought, and ritual that most speaks to your soul. Remember that your most profound spiritual experiences may also come from the simple intricacies that make up your life. See the interconnectedness of all things. As you explore your "inner work," you will be walking your spiritual path and feeling your oneness with the universe.

Philadelphia Police Officer Garrett T. (Gary) Farrell

Lest we forget...


Police Officer Garrett T. (Gary) Farrell
Philadelphia Police Department
End of Watch: Friday, September 26, 1980

Biographical Info
Age: Not available
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Friday, September 26, 1980
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Not available

Officer Farrell was shot and killed while chasing down a thief who had beaten and robbed a 72-year-old woman of her purse. The thief was a career criminal out of prison on a weekend pass. When the day started, there were four Farrells on the Philadelphia police force—Gary, his two brothers, Michael and William, and his wife, Stephanie—there were only three when it ended.

Prayer for America 09/26/05

O Lord, hear my prayer for all who are in trouble this day. Comfort those who are facing the loss of a loved one. Encourage those who are finding it difficult to believe in the future. Heal those who are suffering. Uphold those who are being tempted in any way today. In all these things, I ask your blessing. Amen.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hold Your Head High

Standing for what you believe in regardless of the
odds against you,
and the pressure that tears at your resistance
...is Courage.

Keeping a smile on your face when inside you feel like
for the sake of supporting others
...is Strength.

Stopping at nothing and doing what's in your
heart that you know is right
...is Determination.

Doing more than is expected, to make another's life a
little more bearable,
without uttering a single complaint
...is Compassion.

Helping a friend in need, no matter the time or
to the best of your ability
...is Loyalty.

Holding your head high
And being the best you know you can be when life
seems to fall apart at your feet,
Facing each difficulty with the confidence that
time will bring you better tomorrows,
And never giving up...
...is Confidence.

Hold your head high
and make your life better every day!

Author: Unknown

Pride For The Fallen

Looking to the stars in the midnight hour...

I can see the faces of our fallen warriors.
Their honor took them to a place that most will never know.
Comrades, brothers, family, friends tell me why they had to go.

So many fallen for a cause just and right.

Their life has faded yet their fire's burning bright.
And still when I wonder if all was not in vain,
My eyes will tear and my heart will ache from the pain,
For love ones lost and those yet to come.
Our fallen did what needed to be done.
They gave their lives so we could live on,
So our children can see a brighter dawn.
Their legacies given and their cause to keep.

Be strong in your fight yet still mourn for their sleep.
Remember the fallen and the mourning will come.
Be guided in their footsteps and be lead to the dawn.

By Judy Manns Gavette

Philadelphia Police Officer John J. Donovan

Lest we forget...


Police Officer John J. Donovan
Philadelphia Police Department
End of Watch: Friday, September 25, 1903

Biographical Info
Age: 28
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Friday, September 25, 1903
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Arrested

Officer Donovan was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a robbery suspect. The suspect attempted to flee but was shot and wounded by other officers and was taken into custody.

Prayer for America 09/25/05

Father God, as I watch the leaves begin to turn crisp and cover my yard with patches of gold, I know that nature knows just what to do. Through your grace, we, too, can trust your plan for us. I am just one believer, sitting along and thinking about leaves and trust. But I know that, in spirit, I am not alone. The coins in my pocket speak for a nation. Their value in metal is negligible, but their message is profound. Every sing one proclaims "In God We Trust."
Thank you, God, for golden leaves and copper pennies of priceless encouragement. Amen.

The thing that struck me most all over the United States was the physical beauty of the country, and the great beauty of the cities. Gertrude Stein,Everybody's Autobiography

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Philadelphia Policeman George Freeman

Lest we forget...


Policeman George Freeman
Philadelphia Police Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, September 24, 1912

Biographical Info
Age: Not available
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Electrocuted
Date of Incident: Tuesday, September 24, 1912
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Policeman Freeman was electrocuted while attempting to use a police call box at the corner of 52nd Street and Vine Street, in West Philadelphia. The telephone line connecting the call boxes became electrically charged. Several other officers were also shocked while trying to use the call boxes, but Policeman Freeman was the only one to be killed as a result.

Prayer for America 09/24/05

God, our freedoms are much like the air we breathe; they are taken for granted until they are taken away. So today I pause to thank you for the freedoms our citizens have been able to enjoy: being able to freely worship, choosing what we will wear, voting for whomever we wish, deciding whether and whom we will marry, and having the freedom to travel from place to place.

This is just the beginning of a very long list. God, you are the author of freedom, the champion of the privilege to make one's own choices. Help us honor you today by choosing well and wisely.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Hidden Treasure

Finding Another Vantage Point

The ocean can look very different, depending on whether you are standing at the shore, soaring above in a plane, or swimming beneath its waves. Likewise, a mountain can look very different relative to where you are standing. Each living thing sees the world from its unique vantage point. While from your window you may be seeing what looks like a huge shrub, a bird in its nest is getting an intimate view of that tree's leafy interior. Meanwhile, a beetle sees only a massive and never-ending tree trunk. Yet all three of you are looking at the same tree.

Just as a shadow that is concealed from one point of view is easily seen from another, it is possible to miss a fantastic view. That is, unless you are willing to see what's in front of you through different eyes. Seeing the world from another perspective, whether spatially or mentally, can introduce you to all sorts of hidden treasures. The root of the discovery process often lies in finding another way of looking at the world. The common human reaction to insects is one example. Spinning its web in a dark corner, a spider may seem drab, frightening, and mysterious. But seen up close weaving silver snowflakes between the branches of a tree, they can look like colored jewels.

Sometimes, there are experiences in life that from your vantage point may seem confusing, alarming, or worrisome. Or there may be events that look insignificant from where you are standing right now. Try seeing them from another point of view. Bury your face in the grass and look at the world from a bug's vantage point. Explore your home as if you were a small child. Take a ride in a small aircraft and experience the world from a bird's eye view. Just as kneeling down sometimes helps you see you more closely when you are looking for lost treasure, so can standing back help you appreciate the broader picture of what you are looking at. In doing so, you'll experience very different worlds.

Prayer for America 09/23/05

Like autumn leaves we sometimes feel dry, uninspired,
empty. We feel exposed, unprotected--as individuals
and as a nation. Remind us that we are always in your
care. Your loving kindness is without end. No matter
how alone or empty we feel, you wrap us in your loving
arms and hold us close. In all seasons you are with
us. We are your beloved children. Loving Parent,
comfort and sustain us always. Amen.

Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Resisting Control

Imposing Your Will On Others

The right to make your own choices is a precious one. We grow when we have the freedom to decide our own paths and determine what makes us happy. Yet there are those who are inclined to try and control others. They may be driven by insecurity, envy, fear, or the need for power. These people are deeply critical of themselves in their own minds, and underlying that critical nature is unhappiness. Their need to feel sure-footed and secure is quenched by controlling those around them, whether they are friends, colleagues, or even pets. However, nearly everyone has found themselves imposing their will upon others atone time or another.

Trying to impose your will on others can be tempting for many reasons. You may feel that your way is the best way or that you have a keener insight into the direction their life should be taking. But, in imposing your will, you are indirectly saying, "I want to control you." Even when you have the best of intentions, others may end up resenting you for your actions. It is always helpful to remember that it is possible to influence people and change their behavior through education or example without imposing yourwill on them.

If you've caught yourself being a bit bossy on a regular basis, make a note of it. Write down what the situation was and why you acted the way you did. You may have pushed a friend to try something new, because deep inside you wanted to try it yourself but were feeling hesitant. Or you may be unjustly interfering with work teammates, because you aren't sure of their abilities. Next, make an effort to understand and accept their preferences and ways of doing things. It
can feel natural to impose your will when you feel that you "know best." But there is a freedom to trusting others to find their own methods and joys, even when they might differ from yours. Sometimes the best course of action is to step back and relinquish control. You may, in doing so, see everything from a different point of view.


Forget his name. Forget his face.
Forget his kiss, his warm embrace.
Forget the love you once knew.
Remember he has someone new!

Forget him when they play your song.
Forget you cried the whole night long.
Forget how close you two once were.
Remember he has chosen her!

Forget you memorized his walk.
Forget the way he used to talk.
Forget he said that he would stay.
Remember he has gone away!

Forget his laugh. Forget his loss.
Forget he tried to be your boss.
Forget the way he held you tight.
Remember he was with HER last night!

A Cycle Of Reflection

Changing Of Seasons

In this modern world, it is easy for many of us to
feel loosely bonded to the world's cycles. As many of
our duties tend to stay the same through both heat and
cold, the equinoxes and solstices may carry little
weight. Yet the seasons do shift, daylight waxes and
wanes, and, sometimes extravagantly and often subtly,
nature changes her face. Many ancient cultures devised
artful explanations for the never-ending transition
from spring to summer to autumn to winter. The Navajo
Indians believed the seasons were caused by
Estsanatlehi, the wife of the Sun God. They believe
that Estsanatlehi renews herself each spring, blossoms
in the summer, ages through the autumn, and dies in
the winter.

The four seasons are often associated with a joyous,
eternal cycle of life. We can look to the cycle of the
changing seasons to create meaning within our own
lives. In each season, there is a prevalent mood that
can inspire poignant reflection. Autumn ushers in
crisp, chilly mornings and evenings. There is a
shortening of days and a lengthening of shadows.
Winter creates a bare landscape bathed in bright, pure
light. Spring is a time of regrowth and new
possibilities. While summer is a time of long days
during which the rich fullness of those possibilities
can fully blossom. Like the changing seasons, life is
cyclical. Look back over the years, and you can see
your own symbolic springs, summers, autumns, and

Each new season brings with it familiar joys that can
be pleasurable to reacquaint yourself with. Try eating
seasonal foods and participating in seasonal
activities. Decorate your home with spring flowers,
yellow and brown leaves, or holly. Give in to your
body's seasonal desires. You may feel like nesting in
the autumn or staying close to home in the winter.
Embrace the feelings that each new season awakens
within you. Above all, savor the changes, knowing that
each season that passes will come again. As we welcome
in autumn, breathe in the last perfumes of summer's
flowers while enjoying the coolness of autumn.
Celebrate the longer nights by spending time with
loved ones, just as you celebrated the lengthening of
days by rushing to greet a renewed outdoors. Always
remember that each season can connect you closer to
the earth's cycles while bringing something special
into your life.

Prayer for America 09/22/05

Thank you, God, for the people you have chosen to be my family, my friends, and my fellow citizens. They are my guides, my teachers, my angels, and my cheerleaders. Though I may often be in conflict with them and we fight and argue and say things we regret, I am blessed to have these people walking beside me along life's path, helping me to grow and become whoyou created me to be. Amen.

We trust in the Lord to care for us, and he, in turn, trusts in us to care for each other. We can honor his faith in us by pledging to serve our communities. We can truly live his love by caring for our neighbors.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Philadelphia Police Officer Jose M. Ortiz

Lest we forget...


Police Officer Jose M. Ortiz
Philadelphia Police Department
End of Watch: Thursday, September 21, 2000

Biographical Info
Age: 29
Tour of Duty: 3 yr
Badge Number: 1433

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Struck by vehicle
Date of Incident: Monday, September 18, 2000
Weapon Used: Automobile
Suspect Info: Not available

Officer Ortiz died after being in critical condition for three days as a result of being struck by vehicle. Officer Ortiz was in a foot pursuit of a suspect when he was struck by a police cruiser responding to his calls for assistance. He was transported to a local hospital where he remained in critical condition for three days before being taken off of life support. Hisorgans were donated to others.

Officer Ortiz had been with the agency for three years. He is survived by his wife, three-year-old daughter, and 11 siblings.

Philadelphia Police Officer Thomas J. Nihill

Lest we forget...


Police Officer Thomas J. Nihill
Philadelphia Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, September 21, 1924

Biographical Info
Age: Not available
Tour of Duty: 17 yr
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Assault
Date of Incident: Sunday, September 21, 1924
Weapon Used: Person
Suspect Info: Not available

Officer Nihill was beaten to death while investigating a call at a barber shop on 2nd Street. He had served with the agency for 17 years.

Philadelphia Policeman David M. Simpson

Lest we forget...


Policeman David M. Simpson
Philadelphia Police Department
End of Watch: Saturday, September 21, 1912

Biographical Info
Age: Not available
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Stabbed
Date of Incident: Saturday, September 21, 1912
Weapon Used: Edged weapon; Knife
Suspect Info: Apprehended

Policeman Simpson was stabbed by a youth while attempting to stop a group of juveniles who was chasing another group of juveniles. He was able to trip one of the boys, who then stabbed him in the chest. The suspect was arrested by other officers and identified by Policeman Simpson before he succumbed tohis wound.

Prayer for America 09/21/05

God, your grace is our country's comfort in times of
trouble and our beacon of hope amid the blackness of
despair. By opening ourselves to your ever-present
grace, dear God, we know we are loved and cared for,
and our hearts sing out in joyful gratitude. Amen.

One flag, one land, one heart, one hand,
One Nation, evermore!
Oliver Wendell Homes, Sr.,
"Voyage of the Good Ship Union"

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

If I Knew...

If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.

There will always be another day
to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance
to say our "Anything I can do?"

But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day,

That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear

Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
"Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today.

The 10 Most Important Things Are...


The Special Feeling That Makes You Feel
All Warm And Wonderful.


Treating Others As Well
As You Would Like To Be Treated.


To Be Grateful For All The Good Things
Life Has To Offer.


The Full Enjoyment Of Each Moment.
A Smiling Face.


The Ability To Let Things Be
Without Anger.


The Joy Of Giving
Without Thought Of Receiving.


The Quality Of Always
Telling The Truth.


The Purity Of Doing What's Right,
No Matter What.


The Essence Of Feeling Another's Pain,
While Easing Their Hurt.


The Reward For Living
The 10 Most Important Things.

Author Unknown

Now make a wish and send this to 10 people you truly care for...

Look For Me

I will always be with you
Look for me in the clouds, I will be there.
Look for me in the sunlight, For I will be the ray
that shines in your hair.
Look for me in the falling rain, For I will be the
rain drop that kisses your cheek.
Look for me in the star's, For I will be the one that
catches your eye.
Look for me in the wind, For I will be whispering your
Look for me in a field of wild flowers, For I will be
the one you choose to pick.
Look for me in music, For I will be the song you'll
When you are lonely, Think of me and the laughter we
When you are happy, I will be the smile upon your
Yes, Look for me, For I will never leave you.
I will always be with you forever and a day.

By Geraldine Graziano

Waking To Goodness


At the start of each new day, the first sliver of dawn paints the horizon, and gradually the color spreads, brightening dew, illuminating the world, and inspiring birds to song. Mornings, whether we rise early or late, are more than the buzz of the alarm clock or breakfast time. They are world's rebirth, and can carry with them a sense of hope and renewal. Mornings are an opportunity to start the day with rituals and activities you love, to greet the coming day, and to gather your thoughts over a quiet cup of tea before the responsibilities of living rear up. They can also be a time of appreciation, meditation, or gratefulness. Getting up with the sun gives you a chance to watch the world come to life as the sunshine envelopes everything in its nurturing radiance. But there are also joys inherent in getting up late, in spending a languid morning savoring breakfast and yourthoughts.

Mornings, of course, become more enjoyable when we are well rested and organized. If you have collected your day's necessities the night before, you will have more time to appreciate the sparkle of the morning dew, the stillness, or the yellow haze of the sun's first rays. You may want to incorporate a ritual into your morning routine. Five minutes of contemplation, yoga, cuddling with your mate or pet, or a meal with your family can all be valued rituals that center and invigorate you. Whatever your ideal morning ritual, make sure your morning routine is one you enjoy. If you love time to yourself, get up a bit earlier. Likewise, if you find the morning rush stressful, take extra time and concentrate on only essentials so you have time toslow down and enjoy the start of your day.

The early hours of each day mark the beginning of new opportunities, discoveries, and pleasures. Starting the sunlight hours peacefully and happily can leave you with good feelings that last throughout the day. Like the morning, you, too, are reborn each day, given another chance to live well. Make the most of it byembracing each new day right from the start.

Prayer for America 09/20/05

Today, bless those who are teaching our children.
Bless them for
their patience, their creativity,
their devotion, their kindness,
their commitment, their energy,
their humility, their persistence,
their smiles, their compassion,
their wisdom, their knowledge,
their friendliness, their responsibility.
And bless them for being so much more than
teachers--bless them for being friends, counselors,
caring adults, guides, listeners, and firm believers
in the value of every young life. Bless them, Father,
a hundredfold.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Philadelphia Policeman George Eppley


The Officer Down Memorial Page Remembers . . .
This Day in History - September 19th

Policeman George Eppley
Philadelphia Police Department
End of Watch: Wednesday, September 19, 1917

Biographical Info
Age: Not available
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Wednesday, September 19, 1917
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Sentenced to 20 years

Policeman Eppley was shot and killed during an
assassination attempt of a political candidate for the
city council. Policeman Eppley was guarding the
candidate at the time.

The suspect was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in

Military Hymns

God Bless all whom serve!!

Marines’ Hymn

From the Halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli,
We will fight out country's battles
In the air, on land and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom,
and to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title of

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun.
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far off northern lands
and in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job,

Here's health to you and to our Corps,
Which we are proud to serve.
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded by

United States Army Hymn

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.

United States Navy Hymn

Eternal Father, strong to save
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep:
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Christ, whose voice the waters heard,
And hushed their raging at thy word
Who walkedst on the foaming deep
And calm amid the storm didst sleep:
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Holy Spirit, who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude
And bid the angry tumult cease
And give for wild confusion peace:
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O trinity of love and power
Our brethren shield in danger's hour.
From rock and tempest, fire and foe
Protect them wheresoe'er they go:
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

U.S. Air Force Hymn

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces of the sky;
Be with them traversing the air
In darkening storms or sunshine fair

Thou who dost keep with tender might
The balanced birds in all their flight
Thou of the tempered winds be near
That, having thee, they know no fear

Control their minds with instinct fit
What time, adventuring, they quit
The firm security of land;
Grant steadfast eye and skillful hand

Aloft in solitudes of space,
Uphold them with Thy saving grace.
O God, protect the men who fly
Thru lonely ways beneath the sky.

Flame of Hope

I saw you reaching out somehow
I felt your heart of care
Your heartbeat for a stranger
The love you sought to share

I saw you going in by air and boat
To lift a motherless child
When there was no-one else who could
I saw your gentle smile

I saw you cuddle close a crying tot
Though she was not your own
You held her sorrow to your heart
So she was not alone

I saw so many different folk together
Sharing all they had
Touching with a gift of love
To make another glad

I saw the heart of God
In all you sought to do
The flame of hope yet burning bright
Within the gentleness of you

Derry aka Heartwhispers

God of our life,
there are days when the burdens we carry
chafe our shoulders and weigh us down;
when the road seems dreary and endless,
the skies gray and threatening;
when our lives have no music in them,
and our hearts are lonely,
and our souls have lost their courage.
Flood the path with light, run our eyes to where the
skies are full of promise;
tune our hearts to Your brave music;
give us the sense of comradeship with heroes
and saints of every age;
and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to
encourage the souls
of all who journey with us on the road of life,
to Your honour and glory.

In the midst of this raw view of man's struggle,
I have seen and heard of Christ's light shining
radiating out of the darkness.
Men giving their own lives in order
to save others. God's people leading prayer services
in the filth of the New Orleans Superdome.
-in the middle of the war zone, silently praying,
Services of worship rising forth
in the mist of knee-high rubble.
creating bubbles of peace
that invite those around them
into a sanctuary only the Holy Spirit can provide.
I have no doubt we will hear tale after tale
of God's miracles in lives
bringing forth good news
in action, word and thought.

Conscious Idle

The Art of Inactivity

Our world is one of cycles. Tides ebb and flow, one season gives way to the next, night follows day. In our own lives, we have periods of great activity and periods of rest. Just as high tide is no better than low tide and summer no better than spring, activity is not, in itself, better than inactivity. If fact, these times of rest and rejuvenation, idleness and dreaming,help us connect to ourselves and to our divine source.

Our culture tends to applaud action and achievement. We are often most comfortable with ourselves when we are clearly traveling toward a goal. During these times of striving, we direct our energy outward. We take action on our vision and follow the steps that lead us to our goal. But there are moments in this process when the urge comes to take a break, retreat,or just lay low. The tendency may be to judge ourselves negatively as we may be less comfortable with these moments of down time which is a great timeto check in with our intention.

By being aware of your intention behind the action of laying low you can gain a higher perspective on it. Ask yourself if your intention is to honor an essential part of your being or to hide from it. Is your intent one that is ultimately kind to yourself - empowering rather than diminishing? Perhaps you sense it is simply time to pause and allow the universe workits magic on your behalf.

When you feel the urge to have down time, trust that this is a natural part of the process of achieving your goals. Know that what may appear to be a deviation from your path can actually prove to be a shortcut and give yourself permission to do exactly as you are moved to do. Curl up under the covers with a favorite book or catch an old movie on TV. Soak upsome sun or daydream the day away. Better yet, do nothing at all. Allow yourself to simply be - aliveand at ease.

Say A Prayer

Good Morning, it's me again
Wishing you a happy day
Before you get too busy, now
Take the time to pray

There's work to do, deadlines to meet
You've got no time to spare
But before you start this hurried day
Stop and say a prayer

In the midst of all your problems
With such little time to spare
Slow down, take a deep breath
And say a little prayer

Sometimes it seems your worries
are more than you can bear
Remember the load is lifted
Each time you say a prayer

God knows of all your struggles
He wants to ease your cares
He always will respond to you
When you say a prayer

He's waiting now to hear from you
Tell Him your needs for today
Then thank Him for all the times
He listened to you pray

Yolanda Cohen

Prayer for America 09/19/05

Enliven my imagination, God of new life, so that I can see through today's troubles to coming newness. Surround me and my nation with your caring so that Ican live as if the new has already begun.

Each American citizen holds a piece of the puzzle that is our nation, since no one perspective or form of patriotism represents the whole. When we all join together with united hearts, the puzzle is complete. This wide array of ideas and impressions, this mixture of religions, ethnicity's, and cultures: This isAmerica.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Philadelphia Policeman Frank A. Sankey


The Officer Down Memorial Page Remembers . . .
This Day in History - September 18th

Policeman Frank A. Sankey
Philadelphia Police Department
End of Watch: Friday, September 18, 1914

Biographical Info
Age: Not available
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Friday, September 18, 1914
Weapon Used: Handgun; Revolver
Suspect Info: Apprehended

Policeman Sankey was shot and killed near the corner of 56th Street and Vine Street while attempting to arrest a man for causing a disturbance. The suspect resisted arrest, drew a revolver, and shot Policeman Sankey in the stomach. The suspect fled to his rooftopwhere he was apprehended.

This is beautiful..........and you may cry...

Sally jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: "How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?"

The surgeon said, "I'm sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn't make it."

Sally said, "Why do little children get cancer? Doesn't God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?"

The surgeon asked, "Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he's transported to the university."

Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good-bye to her son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair.

"Would you like a lock of his hair?" the nurse asked.

Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy's hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally. The mother said, "It was Jimmy's idea to donate his body to the university for study. He said it might help somebody else. "I said no at first, but Jimmy said, 'Mom, I won't be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom." She went on, "My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting tohelp others if he could."

Sally walked out of Children's mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy's belongings on the seat beside her in the car. The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy's belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son's room. She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She laid down across his bed and, hugginghis pillow, cried herself to sleep.

It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Laying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said:

"Dear Mom, I know you're going to miss me; but don't think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just 'cause I'm not around to say I LOVE YOU. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won't be so lonely, that's okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn't like the same things us boys do. You'll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know. Don't be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything. The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn't look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God's knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That's when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good-bye and everything. But I already knew that wasn't allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him 'Where was He when I needed him?' "God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children.

Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I've written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn't that cool? I have to give God His pen back now. He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I'm, sure the food willbe great.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don't hurt anymore. The cancer is all gone. I'm glad because I couldn't stand that pain anymore and God couldn't stand to see me hurt so much, either. That's when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was aSpecial Delivery! How about that?

Signed with Love from: God, Jesus & Me.

Let's see Satan stop this one.
Take 60-seconds and send this to five other people, within the hour, you will have caused a multitude of believers to pray to God for each other. Then sit back and feel the Holy Spirit work in your life for doing what you know God loves

Prayer for America 09/18/05

Lord, when we have nothing left to hold onto, you provide us with hope as an anchor for our souls. Americans, and people throughout the world, need that hope now, and we pray that you will fill every broken place in our hearts with its reassuring light. Thank you, Lord, for in you we have an unending supply of hope in the midst of uncertainty and failure. We know that if we could see this situation through your eyes, we would see how you will bring us through it. We place our hope in you and you only. Amen.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Prayer for America 09/17/05

Your plan for our country, Lord, is that we follow those who uphold the right and the good. Your spirit fills those who walk in humility, patience, and self-sacrifice. Please open our eyes that we may see those gentle faces beckoning us upward and onward in a spirit of love. They are all around us, we're certain. Open our eyes!

Let's revive the custom of blessing. When we bless someone, we show love and respect, encourage greatness and pride. Sincerely honoring the people and things in our lives is a wonderful way of showing gratitude to the Lord. Let's join God in blessing America.

Friday, September 16, 2005

This is really sweet but very sad!!

Girl: Slow down I'm scared

Boy: No this is fun

Girl: No its not please its too scary!

Boy: Then tell me you love me

Girl: Fine I love you but slow down

Boy: Now give me a BIG hug

*Girl hugs him*

Boy: Now can you take my helmet off and put it on yourself? Its bugging me

(In the paper the next day):

...A motorcycle crashed into a building last night because of break failure. Two people were involved, a male and a female, but only 1 survived. The truth was that half way down the road, the 18 year old boy realized that his breaks had broke, but he didn't want to let his partner know. Instead, he made her say she loved him and felt her hug 1 last time, and let her wear his helmet so that she would live, realizing hewould be the 1 that would die...


Seeing Yourself Through Different Eyes

How Others Perceive You

Each time we look in a mirror, we choose the lens through which we view ourselves. We choose which aspects of ourselves - of our bodies and of our beings - we focus our attention on. Sometimes we take in our whole figure, or more often, we see ourselves as a collection of individual parts, some of which we classify as "good" and others as "bad." We compare ourselves to our peers and to an ideal image we hold in our mind. We wonder if others see us the same way we see ourselves, if they make the same classifications and hold the same judgments.

A young child looks at the world through fresh eyes, seeing, taking it all in, but not judging. As we grow and learn about our world, we develop our own associations. We absorb the notions of beauty held by the culture in which we are raised and we internalize the remarks of parents, friends, and even strangers.All of these elements color our view of ourselves.

Others view us through the filter of their own experiences. They bring their own associations to bear on what they see, but they also pick up the images each of us projects outward. Those little mental snapshots we take when we look at ourselves in the mirror become part of our energy field and part of our self-definition. Interestingly, we can change others' view of us simply by shifting the images we hold of ourselves.

The next time you look in the mirror, challenge yourself to see yourself anew. Be like a young child and, for a moment, suspend your judgments. Release the very human need to classify and label. Instead, see yourself with an open heart. Ask the universe to send you a higher, truer vision of yourself, then get quiet. If you're lucky, you may just catch a glimpse of the eternal you, the you that is perfect exactly as you are.

Opportunities To Grow

Life Lessons

While we may not recognize it at the time, every challenge we face is ultimately an opportunity to bring more love and higher consciousness into our lives. The obstacles we encounter every day - whether great trials or minor bumps in the road - provide us an opportunity to learn and to grow. By placing obstacles in our path, the universe focuses our attention on life lessons that, on a deeper level, we wish to comprehend more fully. If we choose to, we can view any disharmony in our daily lives as an invitation to shed an old belief or behavior patternin favor of a more enlightened one.

The challenge is to recognize the lesson being offered by a given situation. Often we learn about a positive quality by experiencing its opposite. An impulse toward anger may teach us about love or acceptance. A sense of constraint may teach us about freedom. A situation that appears beyond our control may prompt us to discover our own role in its creation. The lessons presented to us may encourage us to develop soul qualities such as humility, patience, or forgiveness.

Sometimes we are too involved in our present difficulty to find that higher perspective is more easily recognized in hindsight. Yet this doesn't mean we are without the tools to deal with it. Regardless of the size and nature of your difficulty, an attitude of love and gratitude will move you through it more easily and bring resolution more quickly. When difficulties arise, hold a loving thought for yourself and for whoever else is involved. Challenge yourself to find something in the situation to be grateful for, no matter how small, and thank the universe for it. This shift in attitude will shift the situation and your perspective, and it will bring you closer to that deeper understanding your soul is seeking on your behalf. Life lessons don't always come packaged the way we expect them to, and it is sometimes these lessons that ultimately bring us the greatest joy.

Centered Silliness

Laughing Meditation

Many people might be surprised to think of laughter as a form of meditation. Yet not only is laughing meditation one of the simplest forms of meditation, but also it is a very powerful one. The physical act of laughing is one of the few actions involving the body, emotions, and the soul. When we laugh, we give ourselves over to the immediacy of the present moment. We also are able to momentarily transcend minor physical and mental stresses. Practiced in the morning, laughing meditation can lend a joyful quality to the entire day. Practiced in the evening, laughing meditation is a potent relaxant that has been known to inspire pleasant dreams. Laughter also can help open our eyes to previously unnoticed absurdities that can make life seem less serious.

There are three stages to mindful laughter. Each stage can last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. The first stage involves stretching your body like a cat and breathing deeply. Your stretch should start at the hands and feet before you move through the rest of your body. Stretch out the muscles in your face by yawning and making silly faces. The second stage of the meditation is pure laughter. Imagine a humorous situation, remember funny jokes, or think about how odd it is to be laughing by yourself. When the giggles start to rise, let them. Let the laughter ripple through your belly and down into the soles of your feet. Let the laughter lead to physical movement. Roll on the floor, if you have to, and keep on laughing until you stop. The final stage of the meditation is one of silence. Sit with your eyes closed and focus on your breath.

Laughter brings with it a host of positive effects that operate on both the physical and mental levels. It is also fun, expressive, and a way to release tension. Learn to laugh in the present moment, andyou'll find that joy is always there.

Prayer for America 09/16/05

Sing out in celebration! Raise your voices to the heavens in gratitude and joy, for we are a strong and mighty people living in a strong and mighty nation! Sing for the cities that pulse with ideas and opportunities. Sing for the country where life bursts forth in bold colors. Sing for the prairies where the big sky reigns. Sing for the wheat fields, the corn fields, the thundering plains. Sing for the seashores, the beaches, and the lakes. Sing for the communities where people build homes and dreams. Sing for the neighborhoods where children laugh and play. Sing out, O America, sing loud and free and clear. We are a nation among nations. Let your voices ring out from sea to shining sea!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

President Discusses Hurricane Relief in Address to the Nation


Jackson Square
New Orleans, Louisiana

8:02 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. I'm speaking to you from the city of New Orleans -- nearly empty, still partly under water, and waiting for life and hope to return. Eastward from Lake Pontchartrain, across the Mississippi coast, to Alabama into Florida, millions of lives were changed in a day by a cruel and wastefulstorm.

President George W. Bush delivers remarks on hurricane recovery efforts during an Address to the Nation in Jackson Square in New Orleans, La., Thursday, Sept. 15, 2005. White House photo by Eric Draper In the aftermath, we have seen fellow citizens left stunned and uprooted, searching for loved ones, and grieving for the dead, and looking for meaning in a tragedy that seems so blind and random. We've also witnessed the kind of desperation no citizen of this great and generous nation should ever have to know -- fellow Americans calling out for food and water, vulnerable people left at the mercy of criminals who had no mercy, and the bodies of the dead lying uncovered anduntended in the street.

These days of sorrow and outrage have also been marked by acts of courage and kindness that make all Americans proud. Coast Guard and other personnel rescued tens of thousands of people from flooded neighborhoods. Religious congregations and families have welcomed strangers as brothers and sisters and neighbors. In the community of Chalmette, when two men tried to break into a home, the owner invited them to stay -- and took in 15 other people who had no place to go. At Tulane Hospital for Children, doctors and nurses did not eat for days so patients could have food, and eventually carried the patients on theirbacks up eight flights of stairs to helicopters.

Many first responders were victims themselves, wounded healers, with a sense of duty greater than their own suffering. When I met Steve Scott of the Biloxi Fire Department, he and his colleagues were conducting a house-to-house search for survivors. Steve told me this: "I lost my house and I lost my cars, but I stillgot my family ... and I still got my spirit."

Across the Gulf Coast, among people who have lost much, and suffered much, and given to the limit of their power, we are seeing that same spirit -- a core of strength that survives all hurt, a faith in God no storm can take away, and a powerful American determination to clear the ruins and build better thanbefore.

Tonight so many victims of the hurricane and the flood are far from home and friends and familiar things. You need to know that our whole nation cares about you, and in the journey ahead you're not alone. To all who carry a burden of loss, I extend the deepest sympathy of our country. To every person who has served and sacrificed in this emergency, I offer the gratitude of our country. And tonight I also offer this pledge of the American people: Throughout the area hit by the hurricane, we will do what it takes, we will stay as long as it takes, to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives. And all who question the future of the Crescent City need to know there is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and thisgreat city will rise again.

The work of rescue is largely finished; the work of recovery is moving forward. In nearly all of Mississippi, electric power has been restored. Trade is starting to return to the Port of New Orleans, and agricultural shipments are moving down the Mississippi River. All major gasoline pipelines are now in operation, preventing the supply disruptions that many feared. The breaks in the levees have been closed, the pumps are running, and the water here in New Orleans is receding by the hour. Environmental officials are on the ground, taking water samples, identifying and dealing with hazardous debris, and working to get drinking water and waste water treatment systems operating again. And some very sad duties are being carried out by professionals who gather the dead, treat them with respect, and prepare them for their rest.

In the task of recovery and rebuilding, some of the hardest work is still ahead, and it will require the creative skill and generosity of a united country.

Our first commitment is to meet the immediate needs of those who had to flee their homes and leave all their possessions behind. For these Americans, every night brings uncertainty, every day requires new courage, and in the months to come will bring more than theirfair share of struggles.

The Department of Homeland Security is registering evacuees who are now in shelters and churches, or private homes, whether in the Gulf region or far away. I have signed an order providing immediate assistance to people from the disaster area. As of today, more than 500,000 evacuee families have gotten emergency help to pay for food, clothing, and other essentials. Evacuees who have not yet registered should contact FEMA or the Red Cross. We need to know who you are, because many of you will be eligible for broader assistance in the future. Many families were separated during the evacuation, and we are working to help you reunite. Please call this number: 1-877-568-3317 -- that's 1-877-568-3317 -- and we will work to bring your family back together, and pay for your travel toreach them.

In addition, we're taking steps to ensure that evacuees do not have to travel great distances or navigate bureaucracies to get the benefits that are there for them. The Department of Health and Human Services has sent more than 1,500 health professionals, along with over 50 tons of medical supplies -- including vaccines and antibiotics and medicines for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes. The Social Security Administration is delivering checks. The Department of Labor is helping displaced persons apply for temporary jobs and unemployment benefits. And the Postal Service is registering new addresses so that people can get their mail.

To carry out the first stages of the relief effort and begin rebuilding at once, I have asked for, and the Congress has provided, more than $60 billion. This is an unprecedented response to an unprecedented crisis, which demonstrates the compassion and resolve of ournation.

Our second commitment is to help the citizens of the Gulf Coast to overcome this disaster, put their lives back together, and rebuild their communities. Along this coast, for mile after mile, the wind and water swept the land clean. In Mississippi, many thousands of houses were damaged or destroyed. In New Orleans and surrounding parishes, more than a quarter-million houses are no longer safe to live in. Hundreds of thousands of people from across this region will needto find longer-term housing.

Our goal is to get people out of the shelters by the middle of October. So we're providing direct assistance to evacuees that allows them to rent apartments, and many already are moving into places of their own. A number of states have taken in evacuees and shown them great compassion -- admitting children to school, and providing health care. So I will work with the Congress to ensure that states are reimbursed for these extra expenses.

In the disaster area, and in cities that have received huge numbers of displaced people, we're beginning to bring in mobile homes and trailers for temporary use. To relieve the burden on local health care facilities in the region, we're sending extra doctors and nurses to these areas. We're also providing money that can be used to cover overtime pay for police and firedepartments while the cities and towns rebuild.

Near New Orleans, and Biloxi, and other cities, housing is urgently needed for police and firefighters, other service providers, and the many workers who are going to rebuild these cities. Right now, many are sleeping on ships we have brought to the Port of New Orleans -- and more ships are on their way to the region. And we'll provide mobile homes, and supply them with basic services, as close to construction areas as possible, so the rebuildingprocess can go forward as quickly as possible.

And the federal government will undertake a close partnership with the states of Louisiana and
Mississippi, the city of New Orleans, and other Gulf Coast cities, so they can rebuild in a sensible, well-planned way. Federal funds will cover the great majority of the costs of repairing public
infrastructure in the disaster zone, from roads and bridges to schools and water systems. Our goal is to get the work done quickly. And taxpayers expect this work to be done honestly and wisely -- so we'll have a team of inspectors general reviewing all expenditures.

In the rebuilding process, there will be many important decisions and many details to resolve, yet we're moving forward according to some clear principles. The federal government will be fully engaged in the mission, but Governor Barbour, Governor Blanco, Mayor Nagin, and other state and local leaders will have the primary role in planning for their own future. Clearly, communities will need to move decisively to change zoning laws and building codes, in order to avoid a repeat of what we've seen. And in the work of rebuilding, as many jobs as possible should go to the men and women who live in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Our third commitment is this: When communities are rebuilt, they must be even better and stronger than before the storm. Within the Gulf region are some of the most beautiful and historic places in America. As all of us saw on television, there's also some deep, persistent poverty in this region, as well. That poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action. So let us restore all that we have cherished from yesterday, and let us rise above the legacy of inequality. When the streets are rebuilt, there should be many new businesses, including minority-owned businesses, along those streets. When the houses are rebuilt, more families should own, not rent, those houses. When the regional economy revives, local people should be prepared forthe jobs being created.

Americans want the Gulf Coast not just to survive, but to thrive; not just to cope, but to overcome. We want evacuees to come home, for the best of reasons -- because they have a real chance at a better life in aplace they love.

When one resident of this city who lost his home was asked by a reporter if he would relocate, he said, "Naw, I will rebuild -- but I will build higher." That is our vision for the future, in this city and beyond: We'll not just rebuild, we'll build higher and better. To meet this goal, I will listen to good ideas from Congress, and state and local officials, and the private sector. I believe we should start with three initiatives that the Congress should pass.

Tonight I propose the creation of a Gulf Opportunity Zone, encompassing the region of the disaster in Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama. Within this zone, we should provide immediate incentives for job-creating investment, tax relief for small businesses, incentives to companies that create jobs, and loans and loan guarantees for small businesses, including minority-owned enterprises, to get them up and running again. It is entrepreneurship that creates jobs and opportunity; it is entrepreneurship that helps break the cycle of poverty; and we will take the side of entrepreneurs as they lead the economicrevival of the Gulf region.

I propose the creation of Worker Recovery Accounts to help those evacuees who need extra help finding work. Under this plan, the federal government would provide accounts of up to $5,000, which these evacuees could draw upon for job training and education to help them get a good job, and for child care expenses duringtheir job search.

And to help lower-income citizens in the hurricane region build new and better lives, I also propose that Congress pass an Urban Homesteading Act. Under this approach, we will identify property in the region owned by the federal government, and provide building sites to low-income citizens free of charge, through a lottery. In return, they would pledge to build on the lot, with either a mortgage or help from a charitable organization like Habitat for Humanity. Home ownership is one of the great strengths of any community, and it must be a central part of our vision for the revivalof this region.

In the long run, the New Orleans area has a particular challenge, because much of the city lies below sea level. The people who call it home need to have reassurance that their lives will be safer in the years to come. Protecting a city that sits lower than the water around it is not easy, but it can, and has been done. City and parish officials in New Orleans, and state officials in Louisiana will have a large part in the engineering decisions to come. And the Army Corps of Engineers will work at their side to make the flood protection system stronger than it hasever been.

The work that has begun in the Gulf Coast region will be one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen. When that job is done, all Americans will have something to be very proud of -- and all Americans are needed in this common effort. It is the armies of compassion -- charities and houses of worship, and idealistic men and women -- that give our reconstruction effort its humanity. They offer to those who hurt a friendly face, an arm around the shoulder, and the reassurance that in hard times, they can count on someone who cares. By land, by sea, and by air, good people wanting to make a difference deployed to the Gulf Coast, and they've been workingaround the clock ever since.

The cash needed to support the armies of compassion is great, and Americans have given generously. For example, the private fundraising effort led by former Presidents Bush and Clinton has already received pledges of more than $100 million. Some of that money is going to the Governors to be used for immediate needs within their states. A portion will also be sent to local houses of worship to help reimburse them for the expense of helping others. This evening the need is still urgent, and I ask the American people to continue donating to the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, other good charities, and religiouscongregations in the region.

It's also essential for the many organizations of our country to reach out to your fellow citizens in the Gulf area. So I've asked USA Freedom Corps to create an information clearinghouse, available at usafreedomcorps.gov, so that families anywhere in the country can find pportunities to help families in the region, or a school can support a school. And I challenge existing organizations -- churches, and Scout troops, or labor union locals to get in touch with their counterparts in Mississippi, Louisiana, or Alabama, and learn what they can do to help. In this great national enterprise, important work can be done by everyone, and everyone should find their role and do their part.

The government of this nation will do its part, as well. Our cities must have clear and up-to-date plans for responding to natural disasters, and disease outbreaks, or a terrorist attack, for evacuating large numbers of people in an emergency, and for providing the food and water and security they would need. In a time of terror threats and weapons of mass destruction, the danger to our citizens reaches much wider than a fault line or a flood plain. I consider detailed emergency planning to be a national security priority, and therefore, I've ordered the Department of Homeland Security to undertake an immediate review, in cooperation with local counterparts, of emergencyplans in every major city in America.

I also want to know all the facts about the government response to Hurricane Katrina. The storm involved a massive flood, a major supply and security operation, and an evacuation order affecting more than a million people. It was not a normal hurricane -- and the normal disaster relief system was not equal to it. Many of the men and women of the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the United States military, the National Guard, Homeland Security, and state and local governments performed skillfully under the worst conditions. Yet the system, at every level of government, was not well-coordinated, and was overwhelmed in the first few days. It is now clear that a challenge on this scale requires greater federal authority and a broader role for the armed forces -- the institution of our government most capable of massive logistical operations on a moment'snotice.

Four years after the frightening experience of September the 11th, Americans have every right to expect a more effective response in a time of emergency. When the federal government fails to meet such an obligation, I, as President, am responsible for the problem, and for the solution. So I've ordered every Cabinet Secretary to participate in a comprehensive review of the government response to the hurricane. This government will learn the lessons of Hurricane Katrina. We're going to review every action and make necessary changes, so that we are better prepared for any challenge of nature, or act of evil men, that could threaten our people.

The United States Congress also has an important oversight function to perform. Congress is preparing an investigation, and I will work with members of bothparties to make sure this effort is thorough.

In the life of this nation, we have often been reminded that nature is an awesome force, and that all life is fragile. We're the heirs of men and women who lived through those first terrible winters at Jamestown and Plymouth, who rebuilt Chicago after a great fire, and San Francisco after a great earthquake, who reclaimed the prairie from the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Every time, the people of this land have come back from fire, flood, and storm to build anew -- and to build better than what we had before. Americans have never left our destiny to the whims ofnature -- and we will not start now.

These trials have also reminded us that we are often stronger than we know -- with the help of grace and one another. They remind us of a hope beyond all pain and death, a God who welcomes the lost to a house not made with hands. And they remind us that we're tied together in this life, in this nation -- and that thedespair of any touches us all.

I know that when you sit on the steps of a porch where a home once stood, or sleep on a cot in a crowded shelter, it is hard to imagine a bright future. But that future will come. The streets of Biloxi and Gulfport will again be filled with lovely homes and the sound of children playing. The churches of Alabama will have their broken steeples mended and their congregations whole. And here in New Orleans, the street cars will once again rumble down St. Charles,and the passionate soul of a great city will return.

In this place, there's a custom for the funerals of jazz musicians. The funeral procession parades slowly through the streets, followed by a band playing a mournful dirge as it moves to the cemetery. Once the casket has been laid in place, the band breaks into a joyful "second line" -- symbolizing the triumph of the spirit over death. Tonight the Gulf Coast is still coming through the dirge -- yet we will live to see the second line.

Thank you, and may God bless America.

END 8:28 P.M. CDT