How To Recognize a Gentleman

Do you long for the days when Emily Post taught people good manners and social etiquette ? We should always strive to treat others kindly.

I can recognize a gentleman immediately, when I am introduced to him in a social setting. This is because a gentleman never extends his hand to shake mine, unless I extend my hand first. If of course, I am first to extend my hand upon meeting, then, he may shake my hand , but gently, please !

I remember three things about our former Baptist pastor: his excellent sermons, his shiny green suit, and his bone crushing handshakes, which left me with my spirit soothed, and my hand sore.

So, dear gentlemen, please wait to see if a woman wishes to shake hands with you before you extend your hand.

May God give us the grace to treat everyone kindly.

Pictured is the ‘Ball Family’ crest on my husband’s black blazer.

Prayer For A Comb

What do you do to comfort yourself when you are anxious or stressed ?

I comb my hair ! I have a comb made of pale green jade, from China. Jade is beautifully cool to the touch, and when I comb my hair with it, it makes a gentle, very soothing sound.

Combing the hair with jade combs is part of the Chinese Therapy of Tui Na. Hair combing therapy is not, as yet, well-known in North America.

At the end of a hair combing session with my jade comb, I feel relaxed yet invigorated, and my hair is very shiny.

I told my friend Heather, who attends a very strict Christian Church, that I practise hair combing therapy. She told me that this was wrong ! She said that Christians should never participate in healing therapies from other cultures. I asked her : ‘Who said so ? She said she wasn’t sure, but it was “Somebody”. I do not listen to the opinions of “Somebody”. I do, however, strive with all my heart, mind, and soul, to follow what God has revealed to us in the Bible.

I did a reference check, and I could not find any biblical passages saying ‘Thou shalt not comb thine hair.’

I continue to enjoy my Chinese comb, and I pray also for Heather, whose Church has filled her with many fears.

I smile then, as I recall the words of our Lord in Luke 12:7, when he tells us that he loves us so much that the hairs of our heads are all counted.

Spy Glasses

Do people sometimes form the wrong impression of you ?

Last Sunday at noon I was sitting in our local coffee shop wearing my black leather jacket ( sorry PETA), my Lululemon yoga pants, and my dark glasses which I wear when my eyes are tired. They are excellent for letting me observe people without them knowing that I am watching them.

Six ladies from a local church, established in 1793, came in, after church service, to have brunch.

I was sitting beside the door, and they each gave me disapproving looks. No doubt they felt that by looking at my attire, I was a heathen woman who had not attended Sunday morning church.

I had been to Mass that previous Saturday evening, and now I was just waiting for the Convenience Store to open to I could buy some muffin liners to bake blueberry muffins.

I was fascinated by the ladies’ behaviour ! One woman threw the church bulletin from that morning on the table and announced : ‘ Just the same old stuff ! ‘. Her friends agreed, just the same old stuff ! After the criticism of the bulletin, the friends decided on the serious business of ordering their food.

My friend Sheila was the only waitress on duty that day. As she took their orders, none of the ladies greeted Sheila, or looked at her. The first lady ordered the jumbo breakfast special. Her friend, who , from appearances, did not do much fasting, also ordered the jumbo breakfast platter with a double order of bacon. She gave specific instructions that the bacon was to be crisply done. The women seemed oblivious to the fact that Sheila would also be cooking their meals, and doing the dishes. I thought of the Lord, who came to serve, rather than be serve.

As Christians, we need to be aware that people are constantly watching us, to see if we are showing Christ-like behaviour.

I finished my coffee and got the muffin liners to make muffins for my neighbour Lorna, who recently had surgery.

May the Lord give us the grace to lead lives that are consistent, so that our light will draw others to Him.

Prayer For a Housewife

How do you feel when you hear the word

‘housewife’? As a young woman, I feared that word !

I came of age at the height of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Radical Feminists such as Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan taught that women must be freed from the shackles of Patriarchy. They must compete with men in the paid Labour Force. Being a mere housewife was a shameful thing, we were taught.

I bought into this ideology, and so did my best friend, Betty. She became a Chartered Accountant, and I, a Sociologist. We also married, had children, and lived our lives at a frantic pace, assisted by loving extended family support.

Now, being older, and somewhat wiser, I am a housewife, a nurturer of my husband, and of friends who stop by for tea or lunch. I am also a nurturer of this community, through Social Advocacy work.

There is beauty in being a nurturer, and in small delights such as enjoying the comfort of Egyptian cotton sheets, dried outside in the fresh salt air, crisply ironed, and lightly sprayed with lavender.

May God forgive me for my earlier attitude towards housewives.

Pictured is my Superwoman apron.

Are They Allowed ?

Are candles allowed at your church ? They were prohibited in our Baptist Church. It was felt that they were too mesmerizing, and would distract us from making detailed study notes on the pastor’s excellent sermons. I was mesmerized, though, by his shiny green suit.

In the Catholic Church, candles are universally lit before every mass. They symbolize the light and divinity of Christ, and remind us that we are the light of the world too.

The candles are always made of pure beeswax. Light from the sun causes flowers to produce pollen. Bees gather pollen from thousands of flowers and produce wax from their own bodies. Their wax is formed into candles, which give beautiful light while purifying the air and creating a relaxing environment by the negative ions they create in the air.

I visited a Anglican Church once, and they used candles, but they were cheap paraffin candles which smoked and polluted the air so that poor Mrs. Butler, with her allergies, had to flee the sanctuary.

I use pure beeswax candles at home for my personal devotion time. They are relaxing to watch, and remind me that Christ has pulled us out of the darkness and into his marvellous light.

May our spiritual lights shine brightly, so that the World may know that we are children of the King.

A Prayer For Voicemail

Do you have voicemail on your telephone ?

Do you enjoy leaving voicemails for others ?

I have no voicemail, and never leave voicemail for anyone. It is one aspect of leading a very peaceful life !

Recently I assisted a physician friend by retrieving his office voicemails while his secretary was away. I thought it would be an easy task. I was wrong !

Many people mumble when leaving voicemails, and most speak way too quickly. They leave their telephone call-back numbers hastily, and unclearly. This caused me considerable frustration, as I was forced to listen to some messages four or five times, and still could not figure out the telephone number.

Now, as an exhausted and retired voicemail retriever, may I offer the following tips for those who choose to leave voicemails at professionals’ offices :

  1. Speak clearly, and enunciate carefully when stating your name. Spelling your surname is useful.
  2. Please state your telephone number slowly and clearly. Repeating your telephone number once or twice is helpful too. Please remember, a person listening to the voicemail needs time to copy the numbers down.

We remember also that God leaves no voicemails for us. He expects us to be attentive to Him at all times. We never know when his still quiet voice may be speaking to us.


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.