Do you consider yourself to be detail-oriented? Do you have a keen sense of observation ?

I was recently applying some hand cream, and noticed the friction ridges on my fingertips. Everyone has friction ridges on their hands and feet. These ridges, which begin to form during the sixth week of gestational development, are what cause us to leave fingerprints when we touch surfaces.

My fascination with fingerprints began when my son was training to become a police officer, and was studying crime scene investigation.

Humans have three patterns of fingerprints : loops, whorls and arches. My fingerprints are in the arch pattern, a trait shared by five percent of the population.

Within these three patterns; however, all human fingerprints are unique; not even identical twins share the exact fingerprints.

God is so incredibly detail-oriented, that He chooses to create distinct friction ridges for billions of people. We know that we can trust God with every detail of our lives. We can trust, and not be afraid.

After my fascinating contemplation of friction ridges and fingerprints, I realized that my refrigerator door had fingerprints on it; it was time to begin my homecaring duties.

I am detail-oriented too.

Sword Drill ?

Do you agree that sometimes different Christian groups can have misunderstandings ?

I told some Catholic friends that we used to have ‘Sword Drills’ in our Baptist church, and my friends thought this term sounded rather violent !

I explained that a sword drill was when the pastor called out a Bible verse, for example : John 3:16, and we, the attendees, who all had our Bibles ready, would compete to see who could locate the verse the fastest and read it out loud. It was an excellent way to learn, and to memorize Scripture passages.

In Ephesians 6:17, Paul describes the Word of God as the ‘sword of the spirit’.

It is our spiritual defensive weapon. Jesus himself demonstrated how He used this spiritual sword to defend himself when he was tempted in the desert, starting his defense statements with ‘It is written…’.

In the past, it was highly unlikely that a rural Catholic Newfoundlander of my generation would have had a Bible of their own to read. My friend Ellen confirmed this. At age 64, she is happy to now have her very own Bible to read and study.

Let us pray for the grace to maintain our desire to study God’s word. It will protect us.

A Prayer For Thermostats

Do you and your spouse or significant other sometimes have disagreements about your choices of ideal temperatures inside your home ?

Cooler weather has arrived in Newfoundland, and that means my husband and I need to make some serious compromises concerning our thermostat settings, since I am generally too warm, and he is too cold. The other day he had the heat turned up so high that I struggled to breathe, and we knew it was time to have a I Corinthians 13:4 discussion.

This has been the verse guiding our marriage of 45 years. Paul reminds us : ‘ Love is patient and kind…love does not insist on its own way…’

We have made some compromises. In some areas of the house, he will wear a warm sweater, while I wear summer clothes. In his T.V. watching room, he can turn up the heat as high as he likes; I rarely enter that room. We long ago accepted the fact that he watches television, while I don’t.

And thankfully, in my prayer and blogging alcove, I can keep the heat turned off and the window open.

Let us give thanks to God for the privilege of being to control our environment through heating or air conditioning. Let us also pray for all couples, and relationships. Thousands of loving compromises are necessary on the part of both partners in order to maintain healthy and rewarding relationships.

Miss Scott’s Reminder

Did you do something special to celebrate the last day of Summer yesterday? Today is the Autumn Equinox, when both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres will receive the same hours of daylight.

I spent yesterday in the garden, and started to prepare it for the time of winter rest. I thanked God for the beautiful flowers that He had allowed to bloom there this summer. I admit that I was feeling a little sad at the end of the growing season, and I thought I would take a picture of the last Summer sunset of the year.

To my surprise, our ‘pet’ seagull, Miss Scott, was sitting on the rocks, looking at me ! She first arrived in our garden in 2017, stayed all summer, and then flew away, returning again for the summer of 2018 and 2019. She has enjoyed many tasty treats in the garden ; her favourite was sardines in an ice cream cone.

Miss Scott will be leaving the garden for a warmer place shortly, and as I watched her intently focusing on me, my spirits lifted, as I realized that we are in the days of the harvest.

As the songwriter wrote , these are indeed the Days of Elijah. Let us thank God for the privilege of being labourers in his great spiritual harvest.

I thanked Miss Scott for her reminder, and I now look forward, with great anticipation, to the blessings of the Autumn season.

The Ocean Sings

Did you know that the ocean sings ? Sometimes it sings quietly, but today it is quite loud, and the waves are dancing !

I watched some YouTube videos on ocean waves, and the sound I heard was the same sound I hear every day. Some research is claiming that the sound frequency of the ocean is 528 hz (hertz), a measurement of sound frequency. The research says that this sound is soothing and healing.

I asked one of my spiritual advisors, a priest, if he knew anything about the sound made by the ocean and whether he knows anything about sound frequencies. He looked at me with great puzzlement, wondering if I was wandering into any “New Age ” territory.

He encouraged me; however, to read and meditate upon Psalm 148, where the psalmist encourages nature to praise God. I read that Psalm, and many others, and finished my reading with Psalm 150. I noticed how many times the phrase ‘Praise the Lord’ occurs. Let us praise the Lord for the magnificence of his creation, including the sea, that ‘sings’.

A Prayer For Grass

Have you noticed how often God allows nature to remind us of his Word ?

I was walking to the Post Office today to pick up a black cashmere sweater I ordered through Amazon. I have officially stopped shopping in the city, as my last visit to a shopping mall to buy Lululemon yoga pants left me frazzled and exhausted. It gets cold in Newfoundland, and despite PETA’s assertions that we should not use animal products, cashmere is remarkably warm, and so I wear it.

I had been watching baby cod fish swimming in the shallow side of the pond. They were playing and chasing each other. PETA says we should not eat fish, because fish have feelings. However, fishing boats pass our house every day.

As I was mulling over these things, and people’s opinions on everything, I noticed the beautiful tall grass swaying gently, and I was reminded of the words of I Peter 1 :23-25, ‘All flesh is like grass….but the word of the Lord abides forever.’

It helped me to put everything in perspective, to stay focused on God’s Word rather than what human organizations are telling me.

Some Sandpipers were playing in the pond, and I saw that the baby ducks in the pond were almost as big as their mothers.

And I smiled as I thought of the words of St. Catherine of Siena, who wrote : ‘All the way to heaven is heaven.’

Where is Everyone ?

Dos your community have a building that is considered to be its focal point ? This protestant church, built in 1918, is the centre of our fishing town. Until the 1970s , when plumbing came to town, many people would come to the town well, also located here, for their drinking water. It is Canada’s largest wooden church, built to hold 1,200 worshippers.

I attended the church a few months ago and sat in the back pew, to try to be inconspicuous, as most first-time church visitors are. From this viewpoint, I counted 31 attendees. I wondered where everyone was ! The minister was very friendly and welcoming, and she announced that the upcoming weekend there was going to be a wedding. Susan L., and Brenda G. we’re getting married.

Although it is the prayer of most Christians, I hope, to see unity in the body of Christ, this does not seem to be happening.

The Catholic Church is currently facing a possible schism, as the Traditionalists, and those supporting a more liberal Pope Francis are becoming further entrenched in their views.

It is a time in church history when all Christians are being asked to show a greater sense of love and charity towards everyone, even to those whose views differ slightly from our own.

Let us be encouraged by Paul, who reminds us in I Corinthians 13 :1, that without love, we become only noisy gongs or clanging cymbals. May the Lord give us the grace to love all the members of the body of Christ in the same way that He does.