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Saturday, April 25, 2015

World Malaria Day

There is a global  effort to end the devastating disease called Malaria. Over 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk. April 25 has been set aside as a day to call the world to help prevent, diagnosis and treat Malaria.  A half a million lives are lost to this preventable disease each year.  The youngest children under age five are the most vulnerable.

Community health workers are put into place as caretakers  of children who have been infected.
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"During the rainy season like March, malaria cases rise,"  Makono a health worker explains.
"I see 30 children every day and 20 out of the 30 have malaria."  The child is given a three day drug intervention to treat malaria which saves lives.

Makono is from Malawi, Africa. He starts seeing mothers and their children as early as 6:30 in the morning.  He is one of 2,105 health workers supported by the Presidents's Malaria initiative through the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The good news about this disease is the reduction of deaths has declined dramatically because of the interventions in place.  Many are purchasing mosquito nets to help save lives.  Five million houses in thirteen countries have been sprayed with residual insecticide protecting over 18 million people.

As I enjoy spring in Texas I want to remember others who need our help.

Defeat Malaria





Sunday, April 5, 2015

Resurrection Power

The resurrection power of Jesus is given through the Holy Spirit by faith in Him.  It  flows through us as a river of life.



"But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. " Romans 8:11.

"For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. " Galatians 6:8

Jesus said,"I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in ME, though he  may die, he shall live. and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.  Do you believe this?"  John 11:25-26

Jesus said to him.  "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."  John 14:6


Leviticus 8:6  "Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water."

Leviticus 16:30  "because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you.  Then, before the Lord, you will be clean from all of your sins."

John 3:5;  Jesus answered, "Very truly I tell you,  no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.



Amos 5:24  "But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!"

John 4:13-14  "Jesus said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty.  The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life."

Hebrews 10:22  "Let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."


Happy Easter!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday

Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey to celebrate the Passover.  Jesus is our Passover Lamb  Seven days later he died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins.  When the Jews left the captivity from Egypt a plague came to take the first born son.  God instructed the Jews to sacrifice a lamb and put the blood on their doorpost in the shape of a cross.  The plague of death passed over the house that had the sacrificial blood of the lamb on it.

Blessed is HE that comes in the name of the Lord.  Children carry palm and olive branches to shout Hosanna on Palm Sunday morning.   As Jesus entered Jerusalem crowds spread their cloaks and palm branches on the street and shouted

"Hosanna to the Son of David.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" to honor him as their long awaited Messiah and King.  Jesus rides on a donkey as a symbol of peace as prophesized in Zechariah 9:9 in the Old Testament.  It was a custom for kings and nobles to ride on the back of a donkey to proclaim peaceful intentions.  Jesus did not come with a sword but with the miracle of peace.  The laying of palm branches showed a king was arriving in victory.  Jesus is victorious over our sins.  He has set us free.

Jesus suffered five Holy or Sacred Wounds during His Crucifixion.  
After Jesus died he appeared to over five hundred people.  
Doubting Thomas struggled with his faith  in John 20:25
Jesus disciples told Thomas;
"We have seen the Lord!"  But Thomas said to them;

" I won't believe it until I see the nail wounds in his hand and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side. "
Psalm from the Old Testament predicted Jesus's Piercing
Psalm 22:16
"Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet."

Mark 16;14
"Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen."

Jesus was merciful to Thomas and said,
John; 20 27
"Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  
STOP DOUBTING and BELIEVE."



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Saint Patrick and the Shamrock

As this week was full of festivities to celebrate the life of Saint Patrick its a good time to remember how he taught the people of Ireland about God.  He used something that is universal, the shamrock.  I know it grows in Texas and I'm pretty sure it grows all over the world.  It comes up each spring as a sign of life.  Saint Patrick used the Shamrock to show the trinity.  At the time Ireland were Druids who believed in many gods.  Saint Patrick picked up the green plant and held it in the air.
He said the Shamrock is one plant but has three parts. Just like God is one God but has three parts.  There is God the father, God the son Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit.  He explained God the father sits on the throne of grace.  Holy, holy holy is the Lord God almighty.  His son Jesus sits on the right hand side of his throne as the sacrificial lamb for our sins.  He paid the price for all the times humanity has sinned against God and broken the ten commandments.  The Holy Spirit is our counselor, our comforter and guide to truth.  The Spirit gives us the gift of faith.   


FATHER:
    • "Doubtless Thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: Thou, O LORD, art our Father, our Redeemer; Thy Name is from Everlasting" (Isaiah 63:16).
    • "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto Everlasting Life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed" (John 6:27).
SON:
    • "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).
    • "27 My sheep hear My Voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: 28 and I give unto them Eternal Life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. 29 My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand. 30 I and My Father are One. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from My Father; for which of those works do ye stone Me? 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your Law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If He called them gods, unto whom the Word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken; 36 say ye of Him, Whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"(John 10:27-36)
SPIRIT:
    • "And the Earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Genesis 1:2).
    • "7 Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into Heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in Hell, behold, Thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me" (Psalm 139:7-10).



Saint Patrick wrote notes about the Trinity in his autobiography called the Confession.  






hus in his Confession, he records an ancient Irish creed of faith in the Trinity:
“[T]here is no other God, nor ever was, nor will be, than God the Father unbegotten, without beginning, from whom is all beginning, the Lord of the universe, as we have been taught; and His son Jesus Christ, whom we declare to have always been with the Father, spiritually and ineffably begotten by the Father before the beginning of the world, before all beginning; and by Him are made all things visible and invisible. He was made man, and, having defeated death, was received into heaven by the Father; and He has given Him all power over all names in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess to Him that Jesus Christ is Lord and God, in whom we believe, an whose advent we expect soon to be, judge of the living and of the dead, who will render to every man according to his deeds; and He has poured forth upon us abundantly the Holy Spirit, the gift and pledge of immortality, who makes those who believe and obey sons of God and joint heirs with Christ; and Him do we confess and adore, one God in the Trinity of the Holy Name” (Confession of St. Patrick 4 [A.D. 452]).

I took a picture of this beautiful stain glass window in a little country church in Ireland. Patrick started three hundred churches.  He was a true missionary of his faith and relied on the Holy Spirit to not be afraid even when there were many attempts on his life.  He relied on the Holy Spirit to give him wisdom as he preached to the Irish people.  Saint Patrick was only one life but influenced many.  He was a lesson in forgiveness and faith.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Memories

I explained to  my second grade students we might have a special visitor today.  My husband usually brings me pink roses on Valentine's Day to my classroom.  Sure enough, right after the spelling test I heard.

"Ms. Kent, there  is someone  in the room for you."  I glanced to the door and there he was holding a dozen pink roses in a  beautiful striped vase.

I gave him a big hug and said, "Thank you. that's so sweet of you."

"Okay students do you have any questions you want to ask my husband?" I questioned.

"How many years have you been married?"  a student asked.

Jim said,  "Let's do the math.  If we got married in 1988 and its 2015 how many years is that?"  Two eager students went up to the board and started subtracting.  

"It's twenty-seven years,"  a  student called out.


"How old were you when you got married?"

 He answered "mmmmmm thirty ........I said," Five."  I knew that quickly because he is four years older than me.

" Do you have any children?"

"Yes two in graduate school." he answered proudly.


"Okay let me ask you some questions.  What country do we live in? " he wondered what they would say..

Some students said, "Texas."

In a child's scope of things Texas does seem like a country full of Texas Bluebonnets, Texas Longhorn Cattle, and  Texas Pride.

Finally a child shouted out,  "The United States of America." I was relieved they knew the answer.

It's was so fun having Jim see the students I so love and talk about.  He was impressed everyone wanted to answer questions.






Later we had our Valentine's Party and the students exchanged their cards.  I remembered when I was in second grade and read each Valentine  with care.  Valentines Day exposes the treasures of our hearts.  It's nice to know my husband is thoughtful enough to come to my school and give me beautiful pink roses.




Friday, February 6, 2015

Momma Duck is Back But Daddy Duck is Missing


     Usually in  early February or March Momma and Daddy Duck come to our backyard pool to prepare a nest for their ducklings.  This year Momma Duck returned the first week in February but Daddy Duck was missing.  Yes there's a picture of a male duck but I know its not Daddy Duck.

    It brings back a memory in October when Momma Duck comes to our pool and honks loudly.  She is flapping her wings hysterically  but there is not a Daddy Duck.  I had a thought that she was mourning her partner for over twenty years.  He had a limp last summer and looked weak.  It was very unusual for ducks to be there in the fall and she only came for one day.  Momma came to the place where they raised their ducklings to mourn his loss.


     I think I had seen Momma Duck's new friend in a group of ducks.  As I gazed outside our window I ventured outside to get a closer look.  The male duck seemed a little startled but let me take pictures.  Momma Duck was use to me taking pictures and went right on swimming.  Her neck turned toward my direction as if to say hello.  Did Momma Duck tell him about the place where she raised her ducklings?  They glided through the water in rhythm together from one end of the pool to the other side.
     Their heads started moving back and forth and I knew it was a sign they were about to fly away.  Did Momma Duck want us to see her new friend?  I hope they come back.  I'll be looking for a new nest.

    Will the nest be in the same place below the angel statue hidden among the grasses?
I'm glad Momma Duck found a new companion.  She is less lonely now that she has someone to share a life with.  She'll always remember Daddy Duck.  I miss him and think she does too.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Malcolm Butler's Vision

            Malcolm Butler caught the interception to win the game for the Patriots in the 2015 Superbowl.  In the interview afterwards he told the world he had a vision he was going to make a great play.  It caught my attention because he seemed humble, and amazed God fulfilled the promise and together they made a great team.  He was asking for God's direction. He knew he would do something special because he had prayed on it.

             There is a scripture in the Bible we must cling to, rely upon and have faith in Jesus.  It builds faith to see a Super Bowl Champion give glory to God.  He knew in his heart of hearts God was there for him.  Earlier in the game he had made a play he felt disappointed in.  Sometimes God humbles us before he gives us victory so the glory goes to Him.


              In interviews people kept asking him what was going on in his mind.  But I ask the question, "What was going on in his heart?"  He said he just wanted to make up for his mistake and help his team win.  He didn't give up or get discouraged. He didn't complain.   He kept his goal in mind with the promise God gave him to keep striving.  What a great living parable.  Perhaps angels were on the Superbowl field this year.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fort Worth Stock Show Traditions

I grew up with the Fort Worth Stock Show because my dad always had rodeo tickets and it was a family affair to view the pageantry.  He had adjoining seats with his dairy farm friend from Oklahoma. They knew each other from high school and dad stayed in touch each year at the rodeo.




 We knew where our milk came from because we visited his dairy farm and saw the hard work it was each day to care for his cows.  My dad's friend rarely had a vacation because his cows did not go hungry.  The farm had been passed down from his father and he was willing to carry the tradition.  So as I gaze at each contestant holding the reins of their prized cow I remember the dedication my dad's friend showed  to his Dairy Farm.
I see the same heritage as this boy holds the head of his prized cow high hoping the judge will give him a ribbon.  The cow is willing to follow because he is cared for and has love for his owners.  
The boy feels satisfied because his hard work is rewarded.  His dad watches with pride because he knows his farm is a family tradition.  His dad taught him how to handle a calf.  He is following his fathers footsteps of making a living for his family with devotion to his animals.

As a consumer we owe our chicken at the dinner table to the growers who chose to make farming their livelihood.  I see cages of hopeful farmers who want a prize for their beloved rooster.
 Many varieties of farm animals are in display at the Fort Worth Stock Show.  Growers are competing with other farmers who carry the traditions of their family.
Children display their artwork of creative interpretations of what it is like to live on a farm.  Their heart of love for the animals they take care for is exploding with color on the wall of art.
Precision is desired as their sheep needs a trim.  
It brings imaginations of Wilbur in the beloved novel Charoletes Web as Fern wins a prize for the pig she saved.  
Each animal is loved through taking a bath. Agriculture the world over is appreciated as farmers provide food for our tables.  
Murals show culture of the many families it takes for the Fort Worth Stock Show to exist.  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Times Square New Years Eve 2015 A Community of Talent in NYC

Times Square New Years Eve became the crossroads of the world to ring in 2015.  Hundreds of Thousands of revelers jammed the streets to celebrate a new year.
 It took a community of talent to make sure the evening was safe and entertainers could display their creativity.  News crew lined up to get their spot in covering the world's most watched event as the New Year's Eve Ball descended the flagpole at midnight. The tradition began in 1906 and New York City carried on the ceremony in style.

Cranes were lined in a straight row eager to help put on the show.

It started twelve hours before the ball dropped when revelers were checked for explosives and other dangerous devices as they entered pens on Broadway and Seventh Ave.

New York Police Department's goal was to make sure everyone was safe.  Security in Times Square was heightened because of the potential terrorist threat.   Police officers remembered the attack on the Boston Marathon and did everything to prevent another tragedy.  
"We're absolutely concerned about the security of everyone there, including the police officers," NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill. "We will be patrolling the city by air, by sea, on the ground and in the subway system."
There were no trash cans along the route and backpacks were prohibited.  

Stage crews checked the sound so Taylor Swift and other performers gave their best music.  Microphones were put in place as news media gave their own interpretation of the events.  Anderson Cooper, my favorite, and Kathy Griffin hosted for eight consecutive years.  Carson Daly featured Tony Bennet, Lady Gaga, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell.
As more people came to get their place in line anticipation grew.  
Starting at 6:00 entertainment took the stage.  The giant switch was turned on as the New Year's Eve Ball raised high above majestic New York City.  The ball was designed by Waterford Crystal with 2,688 crystal triangles shining their glory in a 12 foot geodesic sphere.  The original ball was only a one hundred and 25-watt bulb.  It shows the advancement of technology over the years.  
It was a display of talent as each performer gave their best tune in frigid temperatures of 30 degrees.  Colorful pyrotechnic devices shown beams of color along with the beat of melody.   

  Taylor Swift was the grand finally as she danced on stage as her body shook with cold.  


She gave her best effort along with the NYPD, news media, stage crew, party goers willing to stand in freezing temperatures for twelve hours, and workers of New York City.  




My family and I watched from our hotel room along with millions of people from their homes the display of community talent.  
The next day the light shown on a new year in 2015.  Memories were made and families were entertained as Times Square put on a great show for another year.  
On New Years Day the streets were full of people taking pictures with Micky Mouse.
Looking at display windows showing fashions for 2015.
Spending time with family and friends.  
Buying from local street vendors creative displays of art revealing New York life.  

Sampling delicious hot food at a great price.
Taking their son or daughter on a ride on the Merry Go Round in Bryant Park.
Taking a selfie in front of the Apple Store.
Celebrating books at Simon and Schuster.

Eating after a long New Years Day at a favorite NYC restaurant.

Perhaps the greatest community of talent lives and works in the best city in the world. 
New York City.