Christian books and novels

Some good reading:



And pretty much anything by this author.
She is a Christian romance author.









“Christianity has to be disappointing…”

I’m sitting in Julia Gatta’s foundations of Chrisitian spirituality at this moment

Getting There... 2 steps forward, 1 back

I’m reading a very good book at the moment: The Nearness of God: Parish ministry as spiritual practice, by Julia Gatta. She writes from an Anglican (actually, US Episcopal) perspective, and writes:

I will be looking at characteristically priestly ministries to see just how grace might show up, to notice how Christ might be at work in us and through us.

How we are formed as persons through ministry is of great interest to me. But ‘formation’ involves times that feel more like ‘de-formation’. So I was gabbed by a quotation Gatta takes from Simon Tugwell, Ways of Imperfection:

Christianity has to be disappointing, precisely because it is not a mechanism for accomplishing all our human ambitions and aspirations, it is a mechanism for subjecting all things to the will of God….Christianity necessarily involves a remaking of our hopes. And our disappointments are an unavoidable…

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Wrecking ball song

Came across this on a Facebook page. Decided to share it with you.
While Miley Cyrus being nude on a wrecking ball licking a hammer is controversial to say the least, I’m pretty sure many of us will agree the song itself is actually pretty good.

Chris Thompson and Rochelle Diamante (duet of Wrecking Ball)

The Gregory Brothers singing Wrecking Ball

The original Miley Cyrus video


Mixing fruit, sugar and vodka and letting it sit

Read this blog. It’s yummy!!!

I just came across this post from fifth on food and was reminded that I’d done something similar before.

Click link
I’ve done this before. I used canned tropical fruit undrained, sugar and vodka. Let still for about 2 weeks to a months in cleaned spaghetti sauce jars.

I’ve also used apple sauce, cranberry juice, sugar, cinnamon and vodka and let it sit for a few weeks.

Poverty: Don’t judge a book by its cover


I did not write this. It was posted on Facebook


Poverty in America


A place at the table
Hunger in America
A place at the table (should be a link to whole film but I haven’t tested the link yet)
(It was locked)

Here is another site to access it although it may not be free

Encore: The Faces of America’s Hungry
July 31, 2013
Here in the richest country on earth, 50 million of us — one in six Americans — go hungry. More than a third of them are children. Debates on how to address hunger – in both Congress and the media — are filled with tired clichés about freeloaders undeserving of government help, living large at the expense of honest, hardworking taxpayers. But the documentary A Place at the Table paints a truer picture of America’s poor.


“The cost of food insecurity, obesity and malnutrition is way larger than it is to feed kids nutritious food,” Jacobson tells Bill.

“There’s no opportunity for people who are low-income to really engage in our democracy,” says Chilton. “I think they’re actively shut out.”

Do something

The day the welfare man came





Albatross, garbage and the nesting grounds on Midway


The plastic plight of the albatross

documentary follows internationally acclaimed artist Chris Jordan to investigate an environmental tragedy in this remote Pacific paradise: tens of thousands of albatrosses lie dead on the ground, bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch – See more at:

Of the 500,000 albatross chicks born here each year, about 200,000 die, mostly from dehydration or starvation. A two-year study funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed that chicks that died from those causes had twice as much plastic in their stomachs as those that died for other reasons. Albatross scour the ocean surface for sustenance, finding all manner of plastic debris, bottle caps, lighters, combs, and minuscule photodegradated (broken down by the sun) pieces of plastic that can be mistaken for food. Hence, the birds swallow the junk, that perforates their stomach or blocks their esophagus or gizzard, leading to inability to eat, often leading to death.

– See more at:







Pope Francis- first heal

““We have a great pope,” said Father Spadaro in a phone interview from his office, surrounded by Italian journalists. “There is a big vision, not a big shift. His big vision is to see the church in the middle of the persons who need to be healed. It is in the middle of the world.”
“I see the church as a field hospital after battle,” Francis said. “It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars. You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else.””



4. There is an urgent need, then, to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim. The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God. Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives. Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfilment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us. Faith, received from God as a supernatural gift, becomes a light for our way, guiding our journey through time. On the one hand, it is a light coming from the past, the light of the foundational memory of the life of Jesus which revealed his perfectly trustworthy love, a love capable of triumphing over death. Yet since Christ has risen and draws us beyond death, faith is also a light coming from the future and opening before us vast horizons which guide us beyond our isolated selves towards the breadth of communion. We come to see that faith does not dwell in shadow and gloom; it is a light for our darkness. Dante, in the Divine Comedy, after professing his faith to Saint Peter, describes that light as a “spark, which then becomes a burning flame and like a heavenly star within me glimmers”.[4] It is this light of faith that I would now like to consider, so that it can grow and enlighten the present, becoming a star to brighten the horizon of our journey at a time when mankind is particularly in need of light.

Aquarium and pets and well a general update

So, I’ve added to my family and there have been some small pet deaths, so here is the new count

2 Boys
3 dogs
2 hermit crabs
3 aquatic dwarf frogs
3 danios (fish)
1 minnow
4 flame tetra
1 Betta (male)
2 gold mystery snails
3 black mystery snails
2 blue mystery snails (baby)
2 ivory mystery snails (baby)
3 Japanese trapdoor snails

The aquatic dwarf frogs are kept on a separate tank within The main tank.
The snails roam in both
The hermit crabs are in a desperate separate habitat all together.

One dog has had 2 ccl repair surgeries (torn ligaments in both rear knees) within 2 yrs.

One dog caught an infection from a tick but we caught it right away so no harm done. (Except the vet bill) 2 yrs ago

One dog had a toe infection from a wound between her toes (possibly a stick stab) either way antibiotics cleared that up. 6 months ago

So far none of the humans in the house have come Dow with anything besides colds and allergies.
We are also in our last school year in seminary! Yeah!!!!!!
Hopefully, we will be moving back to Florida next summer.




My response piercing and circumcision

Excerpt from post:

Jews do it for religious reasons. I believe Muslims do too, but I don’t know for certain. I still think it’s an unnecessary bit of surgery and all surgery carries risk, but these mothers don’t seem to mind about that, but piercing ears they all want laws passed so babies can’t have it done. The dichotomy between the two amazes me, especially when pointed out to them, they still don’t see it.

So if I am blessed with a son, he will have a bris and will be circumcized. And I’m eagerly awaiting for the day when my husband thinks my daughter is old enough to have her ears pierced.

Now what do you think–are either of these barbaric or is it just a personal choice?

My response:

I dislike both procedures for babies.
Ear piercing should be done by a professional piercer, not a Claire’s employee with a piercing gun…. The child should be able to communicate a desire for the piercing and be at an appropriate age to understand the pain and necessary after care.

I do think circumcision of infants and minors without medical need is barbaric and cruel. Forced circumcisions of male and female minors happens around the world in various cultures and is unethical. Yes, the elders may be carrying out their cultural traditions but that doesn’t mean that the tradition is humane, ethical and not ritual abuse.
Even in medical infant circumcisions proper pain relief for pre/during/post surgical procedure may not be effectively administered because the child is so small the amount of pain relief given is minimal for safety reasons.

Boys and girls can be damaged sexually for life if a circumcision if done wrong or becomes infected.
The child should be able to choose, when the child is mature enough to understand the consequences of circumcision and the aftercare necessary. If the circumcision is of a religious nature the child needs to know what it is for and accept the responsibility of the faith.

(Please excuse typos)


(To anyone reading this I am not linking the original article for you to reply to the article. Please, never leave mean messages to anyone. Period)

Other links:

Jews against circumcision

Beyond the bris

Jewish circumcision resource center

Muslims against circumcision: fb page

Quarinic path

The American Muslim

Christians against circumcision: fb page of peaceful parenting

Christian answers

Catholics against circumcision

Nurses for the rights of the child

Doctors opposing circumcision

Paid in full 30 years ago

The Thai telecommunications conglomerate True is getting rave reviews worldwide for its latest spot, “Giving,” which tells the story of a man unexpectedly rewarded for a lifetime of good deeds he performed without expecting anything in return.

TrueMove too says it “believes in the power of giving without expecting a return.”

Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon on the impermissibility of circumcision of minors


Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 01:59PM
This essay was originally published in the Journal of Medical Ethics

Prompted by last year’s court ruling in Germany that sought to make the circumcision of minors illegal[1], Joseph Mazor, a political philosopher at the London School of Economics, published an article in this journal entitled “The Child’s Interests and the Case for the Permissibility of Male Infant Circumcision.” Mazor’s argument is rather subtle and worth reviewing point-by-point. The position he arrives at is an evolution of the Benatars’ 2003 position[2]. While he argues that an orphan ward of the state should probably not be circumcised, he agrees with the Benatars that parents should be able to decide one way or the other, and he suggests that Orthodox Jewish parents in particular have good reason to circumcise their children. In this essay, I will directly address Dr. Mazor’s central arguments and explain why they are ultimately unconvincing.


But even if we were to grant Mazor that self-determination is a mere interest when it comes to the entire category of education, there are morally relevant differences between education and permanent body modifications that would prevent the same logic from applying to the latter. Permanent body modifications like circumcision are irreversible in a way that education is not. The son of the chess master can grow up and decide never to play another game of chess again in his life. He might very well forget (that is, un-learn) much of the chess strategy that was once drilled into his head. But a circumcised person cannot decide to not be circumcised anymore. He cannot un-do the surgery. For this reason, permanent body modifications like infant circumcision are a clear and uncomplicated violation of the child’s future right to self-determination[iii].

Furthermore, the argument that circumcision is costlier at a later age is not quite as clear as Mazor asserts. Here are the reasons why Mazor believes adult circumcision to be more severe than infant circumcision:

a. The dangers of medical complications.

b. The anticipatory dread.

d. The unease relating to a change in what one is used to.

The first contention is dubious. The infant penis is such a small structure that it is more difficult to operate upon with precision than the adult penis. This is why partial glans amputation, buried penis, and total penectomies are complications that are limited to infant circumcision. In addition, due to the fact that infants are so small, the amount of blood loss that would result in exsanguination is so minimal that it is often difficult to catch before it is too late[5]. Finally, the risk that an infection may become life threatening is higher in infants due to their small size–the infection has less distance to travel–and inability to communicate with language.

Cut the film:

Cut is a documentary film by Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon which examines the subject of male circumcision from a religious, scientific and ethical perspective. Using cutting-edge research, in addition to interview footage of rabbis, philosophers, and scientists, Cut challenges the viewer to confront their biases by asking difficult questions about this long-standing practice.

Docking and circumcision

Why do we are have a fascination with cutting parts off of creatures?
This link: is against the tail docking of Rottweilers. (Awesome) in its arguments it actually makes a good case against circumcision or rather for leaving things as nature intended.

We successfully finished one of the first tailed dogs in Canada – where they allow both docked and tailed dogs in the show ring (CanCh USRC NYS’04 SWRYS’03&’04 NCRSA’04 SWRSA’05 Redwood Krest’s Friday CS BH). Now there are MANY finished Canadian Champions! Both AKC and CKC judges have put up quality dogs, Friday received a 5 point major in Canada under a well known, highly regarded AKC judge. When I approached him after the show and told him “Thank you for finding my dog with the tail.” he simply replied “What’s not to find, he is a beautiful, correct Rottweiler and the tail doesn’t make a bit of difference.” Hmmm, Apparently the judges are still able to assess a dog’s structure with a natural tail.

…tail selection will suddenly move from no consideration at all to major consideration in the selection of breeding stock”

We have had many litters with natural tails and have found no need to change our breeding program to accommodate some imaginary problem with the tails or structure. Despite the fact that they were previously removed, the tails still knew what they were supposed to be if left intact. Ring tails and kinked tails do occur – in some bloodlines more than others – however they have no impact on the health of the dog, they are a simple cosmetic fault.

“…a long tail would probably become injured by beating it against the wall, the table, etc.”

A Rottweiler is no more prone to tail injuries than any other natural tailed dog. Would it be logical to argue that all dogs breeds should be docked to protect against tail injury? Tail sprains and injuries happen to all natural tail breeds but this has never been used as a reasonable argument to support docking of all dog breeds.

Docked or natural in the U.S. is purely personal preference. The presence of a tail has not, and will not change the structure of the breed, it is the breeders that change the structure of the breed. In the United States of America, ALL Rottweiler fanciers should striving for the same thing…



And a separate link:

Tail docking today is the amputation of a dog’s tail at varying lengths to suit the recommendations of a breed standard. Docking involves the amputation of the puppy’s tail either with scissors, a knife or with a rubber band (called banding). The cut goes through many highly sensitive nerves in the tissues including skin, cartilage, and bone. This procedure is usually performed without any anesthetic at between three to five days of age. The procedure can be performed by either a registered veterinary surgeon or by an experienced dog breeder. In many countries veterinarians are declining to perform this unnecessary procedure, meaning that breeders are now docking more dogs.


Yes, there is strong evidence that this is the case. The puppy has a fully developed nervous system and a well-developed sense of pain. Puppies scream during the procedure and they whimper, whine and cry for 2-3 days following docking. During the recovery stage they do not eat well and tend to gain weight at a slower rate than undocked puppies. Many veterinarians condemn the practice and refuse to perform the procedure because it is totally unnecessary and can lead to serious complications. Some veterinarians continue perform tail amputation reluctantly in order to keep the procedure under professional supervision, please their clients and to minimize the risk to the pups.


There is considerable scientific evidence that docking can lead to complications, including hemorrhage, infection and occasionally death of the puppy. In later life the stump of the tail may be painful due to the formation of neuroma (nerve tissue scar) in the stump. This also occurs following amputation of limbs in people and causes considerable discomfort. Dogs have evolved into their current shape over many thousands of years. If a tail were not useful to a dog, natural selection would have eliminated it long ago. Indeed, tails have many useful functions and are important for balance and body language among other things.