By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
- Geo. Washington
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
"There are some upon this earth of ours,” returned the Spirit, “who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.”
Saturday, November 21, 2009
A recent study on cloture votes vs bill passage shows bills that passed cloture also go on to pass the Senate at a rate of 97.6% since 1999.
This vote will allow several moderate Democrats the opportunity to vote for the bill before they vote against the bill - an "out" for their reelection in tight states.
A vote for Cloture is a vote for the Health Care Reform Bill!
Friday, November 20, 2009
While most Americans want to see some sort of health care reform, I must ask you, is this really the reform you were expecting? Are you confident that creating a new government bureaucracy will control costs and perform the intended function better than a free market system? How sure are you? Confident enough to saddle future generations with this enormous debt?
If you take the time to read varied analysis of the Senate bill, they all agree they this bill will raise taxes, hurt small businesses, and encourage employers to dump their employees on the government plan to avoid their massive tax increases. In a time of 10.2% unemployment, can you afford more taxes? What happens to your job if your employer is confronted with the mandates, fines and taxes in this bill that would go into effect on January 1, 2010?
One of the tricky parts of this bill, that the media doesn't like to address, is the fact that the taxes go into effect on January 1, 2010, but the "health benefit" part of this bill does not begin until 2014. In order to make the bill appear "deficit neutral", they've front loaded the bill with taxes. What that means is the American people will pay four years of taxes before health care begins – or you pay taxes for ten years and receive health care for only six. But what happens after the first 10 years? How will they be able to fund these "benefits" and call them deficit neutral?
The Democrat leaders and President Obama state that we have to pass these bills without taking the time for public debate, analysis or even public reading because our health care system is in such a crisis that there simply isn't time to do so. If they truly believe that, then how do they explain not starting any benefits for another 4 years? What about the millions of people who have lost their health insurance when they lost their job this year?
Another lovely provision added to the bill is a $100 million gift to Louisiana to help their moderate Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu make up her mind to support the bill. They have also included, in the 17 new tax increases, a 5% tax on all elective cosmetic surgeries, whether covered by insurance or not. The Senate bill also creates a new marriage tax penalty after Congress allegedly removed the previous marriage penalty earlier this year.
I'm sure you've heard by now that new federal health care regulations have been introduced this week that includes limiting mammograms to women over the age of 50 and allowing only one every two years, rather than the current standards set by the American Cancer Society of once a year for women over the age of 40. This rationing of care for "cost savings" is only a beginning of what to expect under government run health care.
On the Senate side, Harry Reid has created a monthly Abortion Fee on all Americans in the new Government run health care plan. His plan provides for an unprecedented expansion of federally-funded abortion, even though almost 2/3 of Americans oppose the federal funding of abortions. Don't leave this issue to the Catholic Bishops and pro-life groups.
There is enough in these health care reform bills that will affect every one of our lives. We should be paying close attention to the tax increases Congress is passing before it starts coming out of our paychecks and wallets this January, especially in this current economic climate. The deficit was already at an unprecedented high in 2008, and this year it has quadrupled under the current Congress and President.
These bills propose healthcare for most, but at what cost?
This vote Saturday, tomorrow, in the Senate proposes to create a massive new government bureaucracy that cannot be undone. I encourage you to take the time to read about the proposals in the links above and the two below, and then call your Senator's office to let them know what you think. At the very least, they should not be rushing as they are to pass something so large without time for a full and public debate.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
As over 30,000 runners took to the streets of San Antonio early Sunday morning, we staked out our first viewing area at mile 2, Alamo Plaza. The wheelchair marathoners started first, arms bulging as they spun their chairs, legs absent or tucked tightly into place. The Kenyans and other favored front-runners led a long steady seemingly never-ending stream of runners of all ages that passed by for over an hour.
Running is a solitary sport; the average marathoner races not against others, but against himself, striving to find his limit and go farther. This internal struggle about pushing yourself, telling your body it can keep going--my husband says that’s where you find faith.
At the Runners Expo the day before the marathon, he found himself drawn to a booth for a ministry called Team 413. Their name comes from Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. When you are focused on running, you draw on your faith that God is going to support you towards that finish line. Even when your body says you can’t, He says you can.
Even though running is a solitary event, I’ve heard from our five family runners how much they prefer to run with others. How they fall into packs of other runners with a similar pace and run together, not necessarily as part of a team, but still drawing encouragement from one another. Just as we go through life as individuals, we surround ourselves with people that encourage us and push us to succeed in a variety of ways.
This is the second half-marathon for my husband and he noted that the Rock'n' Roll marathon series attracted a noticeably larger number of spectators lining the entire route. In addition to the various music stages set every few miles, there were local cheerleader, dance teams, and a high school band out motivating the runners.
At one point, runners passed by a gathering of severely disabled young people, ages four to fifteen, who had been brought out to witness the runners even though the children were largely unable to cheer and may not have been entirely cognizant of what they were seeing. They lined the sidewalk taking it all in with their teachers in attendance. My husband noticed them because of their headgear and special needs wheelchairs. He grew up with a cousin who has a severe form of cerebral palsy, so as he passed by the students he waved to them, made eye contact and called our Hi, Good Morning, Thank you for being here. Some of the students recognized that he had made eye contact, was talking to them, and their faces brightened. As he continued running, other runners were also acknowledging the children.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally designated to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918. The US legislature modified the holiday to include American Veterans of all wars in 1954 at the urging of veterans service organizations.
America Supports You
Cell Phones for Soldiers
Landstuhl Hospital Care Project
Move America Forward
Treats for Troops
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Even on an ordinary day, God reminds us that He is with us everywhere.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Yesterday, on the anniversary of her baptism, my older daughter participated in the Mass as an Altar Server for the first time.
As one of four servers, she assisted the Liturgy of the Eucharist. She and an older boy, the veteran, processed down the aisle with the priest and others; she helped to receive the gifts, held the bowl and towel as Fr. Mathew washed his hands, and stood proudly to receive communion with the other servers and Eucharistic Ministers.
She didn’t fidget or look bored, but responded and sang in the appropriate places. She behaved like a very mature young lady. Words cannot express how proud I felt watching her participate.
My mother drove an hour to attend our morning Mass and see her oldest granddaughter. I wish I’d been able to take a picture of them together, with my daughter in the alb. Growing up, Lisa and I often heard Mom wistfully comment how much she wished she could be an altar server, and she said it again more than once this morning. I don’t remember having any such desire myself, but it wasn’t available even then. Girls have only been allowed to serve since 1994.
As a parent, you try to teach and lead your children by example, without pressure. My daughter’s interest in participating shows me that she is beginning to develop her own identity within our church community.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
What Every Catholic Mom Longs for . . .
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
After discussing the topic with my husband, I attended the second information meeting. During the meeting, I became cautiously excited about this opportunity to serve. It seemed as though God was opening a door and revealing a new path. I considered how various events in my life over this past year may have been given to me in preparation for this invitation. There were about 15 people attending this meeting and we were told only four or five would be discerned into the Council.
I had some time to pray about whether this was a true calling. I considered it carefully, checked my schedule, spoke to my husband, and decided to attend the official discernment meeting.
There were only six of us.
While listening to the others talk and observing the interactions, I knew that I wanted to be a part of this group. I received my call – on the telephone, from Father Bob – asking me to serve on the Council later that evening.
After this one weekend I am filled with hopeful anticipation of the year ahead. I’m looking forward to getting to know the other members, to making (face to face) friends based on our mutual faith, and growing in my own spirit and faith from this experience.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Thankfully, I had my phone with me, so I made a couple of calls and arranged for my mom to pick up Birdie and come unlock my house. I hung up and suddenly realized I had an hour to kill outside by myself with nothing in particular to do. It was a strange feeling to suddenly have nowhere to go, no one with me and nothing to accomplish. I remembered my magazines I keep in the car for carpool and took them around to my front porch to sit. In the two years we’ve lived in this house, I have never once sat in my big wicker chairs decorating our wraparound porch. Very sad, I know, but I did discover they are very comfortable as well as good looking.
As I sat there, I realized what a beautiful day it was; nice and cool with a clear blue sky. My thoughts kept coming back to the idea that I really needed this break, to take the time out and do nothing. Even though I had my iPhone on me with all its glory and connectivity, I didn’t use it. Instead, I just sat and enjoyed doing nothing, just flipping absentmindedly through my magazines watching the cars drive by the house.
In that hour, I realized this “break” is necessary in my life. It was rejuvenating and calming to be still. A smile came across my face as I realized this was God’s way of telling me to enjoy life and remind me that I do have time to be quiet and still.
When I saw my mom’s minivan come around the corner, a part of me was sad. Even though I knew she brought me lunch and my precious daughter, I really didn’t want to go inside and leave that moment. God, in his infinite wisdom, found a way to speak to me in a manner I would hear clearly and understand. I’ll admit that it’s been a few weeks since I locked myself out and I haven’t been back to my porch to sit, but I am making much more of an effort to be still, quiet and thank the Lord for all his blessings in my life every day.