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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Happy New Year 2021!


 

Happy 2021 New Year!

As the New Year dawns

Let’s celebrate the good things

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines

The arrival of the Biden administration

And the promise of a revival in the land

 

The tragic deaths of thousands

The suffering of millions

Will all recede from our consciousness

Once millions of people

Around the world are inoculated

 

New hope is on the horizon

As America rejoins the Paris Climate Accord

Immigration of the less fortunate

Will be addressed with compassion

And there’s hope that Washington

Won’t be as polarized with partisan politics

 

Americans will once again

Inhale the fresh air

People would listen to news

That they will be able to trust

And hopefully there’ll be less misinformation

That’s cluttering the airwaves

 

“Great Arbitrator, help us to embrace the new days that lie ahead in 2021.  Give us confidence to trust our political leaders of this country.”

Amen     


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Season's Greetings! Happy New Year!


 

Season’s Greetings! Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

We wish you all the best in 2021.

This has been a trying year.

Thousands have died and are suffering

And like many we’re using zoom

 

There have been social justice demonstrations

Some issues with income inequality

But we’re hopeful about a Biden’s presidency 

And for this season it’s for us to be thankful

It means a lot to be happy this season.

 

Matthew and Shannon are doing well.

At UVA Matthew is busy as a Genetic Counselor.

Shannon is enjoying her job as a Real Estate Agent.

And they continue to live in Charlottesville, VA

Surrounded by their loving pets

 

Mary and Erwin continue to face some difficulties.

Erwin has health problems that he’s watching

But is making the best of these chronic conditions

Work for our kitchen and bathroom 

Is on hold because of the virus

However, we were able to give a face lift to the lawn

With new shrubs planted in the flower beds

Erwin has a new book out

It’s entitled, “Sunlit Streams of Water”

That’s a devotional for Religious Naturalists

He continues to write blogs

And posts them to his Facebook’s author page

These also appear on Twitter and his website –

https://www.amazon.com/author/erwinthomas

 

We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary

That surely was a milestone in our lives

But we haven’t done much travelling this year

We only visited the casino in Dover, Delaware

And Mary missed her sister-time in Oregon

 

We hope that there’ll be renewal of life in 2021.

This is promising since a vaccine is on the horizon.

Hopefully by mid-year there should be a new normal.

So all the best for the coming year!

Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year! 

 

“Almighty God, bless our families at this time of the year!  Be with us as we celebrate this season that has been dampened by the pandemic.  And may we all live in peace and prosperity in 2021!

Amen        


Friday, December 18, 2020

Religious Naturalism


 

Religious Naturalism

Religious naturalism

Is like a breath of fresh air.

Unlike the monotheistic faiths –

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Religious naturalists don’t believe

In sin, heaven, or the resurrection

Naturalists focus on scientific proof

About how all aspects of the universe works

 

Religious naturalists see the world as “sacred”

They extol the millions of galaxies

That adorns the night sky –

The moon, stars, and planets of all sizes

Those we can see, and those that are unseen

They celebrate the cyclical seasons of the year –

Spring, summer, fall, and winter

And all the wonders of our daily lives -

The air we breathe, the water we drink,

And the fire we light to be warm in winter

 

With religious naturalists “faith” and “hope”

Are based on scientific proof

This religious orientation always acknowledges

The “sacred” as opposed to the “profane”

People are considered in a real way

Interrelated with other species of the world

And there isn’t a hierarchical structure the way Westerners think

For religious naturalists don’t consider themselves better than other species

And when it comes to an afterlife, people like everything else in nature

Will merge and be one with all the other elements of the universe

 

“Ultimate Reality, help us to fully understand the cycle of life.  Let us be able to see ourselves as part of nature, and realize that we die we’ll be absorbed to become one with the vast universe.”

Amen     


Thursday, December 17, 2020

O Christmas Tree!


 

O Christmas Tree!

Oh what will I do without a Christmas tree?

Christmas tree growers are having problems.

The harvest is lacking this year.

And buyers are being turned away.

 

It takes about twelve years for trees to mature

To be sold to the public

But these tree farms were depressed in 2008.

There were forest fires on the West Coast

That has wiped out prospects of a good harvest

 

Other problems have arisen that impacted these growers.

There has been drought due to climate change.

On the East Coast infestation of these trees was a problem.

So from East to West there are shortages.

 

How can consumers get live trees this Christmas?

They have to deal with scarcity and higher prices.

The trees therefore will be smaller.

But they can still bring joy this Christmas.

So shop early.  Go to the tree farms.

And be sure to be the first in line to select your tree.

“Almighty Creator, you have provided Christmas trees to grace our homes.  Help us as we face this shortage, and don’t remove from our hearts the love of Christmas.”

Amen


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Peace with COVID-19


 

Peace with COVID-19

How can the elderly be at peace with COVID-19?

It’s killing them and reaping havoc in their midst

Yet people have to learn to live with the coronavirus.

They should try to do so and find peace.

 

With millions worldwide being affected by this virus

There are scams perpetuated during this pandemic

These are major incidents that cause many to stress

Especially the elderly that are sitting targets

But seniors must learn to protect themselves

So they don’t lose it and sink into depression

 

Seniors should therefore have their families

And trusted friends looking out for their welfare

Don’t let scammers try to talk them into their schemes

Telling them they have won a prize in a competition

And wanting them to pay taxes up front

 

But the elderly should remain calm and rely on loved ones

They shouldn’t isolate themselves by living alone

But reach out to family and friends that are helpful

Dependence on trusted relatives brings comfort

They have to be at peace in this crisis

 

They can depend on the North American Securities Administrators Association

By reporting schemes that attempt to disrupt their life

To be widows and widowers shouldn’t be seen as vulnerability

Know that scammers want to bleed them dry and drain their accounts

So they should be calm and be at peace when on social media

Don’t answer telephone calls that ask for their personal data

All these incidents are red flags that they should report to the authorities

 

“Ever-loving Benefactor, help the elderly to be at peace when they are faced with schemes by scammers.  Give them insight and guide them to detect these swindlers that seek to rob them.”

Amen


Sunday, December 13, 2020

God is Nature


 

God is Nature

The 17th century Jewish philosopher

Of Dutch origin Baruch Spinoza viewed religion

In Theological-Political Treatise as superstitious

He considered Nature and God ubiquitous

 

Nature encompasses all things Spinoza considered Providence.

Every aspect of its essence is reflected in good and bad experiences.

Miracles described in the monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity,

And Islam could be explained through the varieties of ever-changing nature

These are natural occurrences that surprise people when such phenomena occur.

 

The first rainbow that humans saw must have struck them as a miracle.

But science later showed this resulted from scientific evidence.

Prophecy could be viewed as another of these phenomena.

In ancient times people were uneducated and had vivid imaginations.

Many of their delusions were motivated by vivid dreams and visions.

 

In modern society these ancients would be seen as having psychotic episodes.

But these visionaries appear to the Israelites to be filled with images of a Creator.

Therefore God is perceived as being human and personalized.

Nature is all things good and bad that exist in the vast Universe.

It’s more realistic to think about the Divine as Nature by an objective analysis.

 

God in Nature is material and immaterial.

God doesn’t have human characteristics that are alluded to in sacred texts.

This spiritual essence is universal and governs all things.

Putting a human face on God of Nature is an error that equates God with humankind.

 

“Divine Creator, who isn’t conservative or liberal, help people so that they will promote what’s best for the citizenry.  Let them see the 20th century treatise and ethics of Spinoza as a visionary work in religion for democracies where free speech is a hallmark.”

Amen     


Friday, December 11, 2020

Working from Home


 

Working from Home

Workers are experiencing an array of emotions

Brought on by the coronavirus pandemic

Their feelings are exacerbated in isolation

But many see hope by working at home

 

These home bound workers

Are able to spend more time with their families

Their new schedule gives them more flexibility.

They are enjoying the convenience of their own homes.

Many have ventured out at lunchtime for walks.

 

In working from home there’s less distraction.

Workers’ productivity has greatly increased.

McKinsey survey research finds that 41 percent

At their desk at home are more productive

Many introverts have benefited from changes in the work place

They are presently being able to judge by what they produce

And not by how they promote themselves at meetings

 

Working parents are happy to be spending time with their families.

They are able to be teachers of their kids that are taking remote classes.

Many have found new ways in practicing gratitude and being imaginative.

Parents are more relaxed and are spending more time caring for their needs.

 

“Great Emancipator, help all the families and friends that are quarantined by the coronavirus pandemic.  Continue to guide them as they work from home in unison with their children as they face these trying times.”

Amen    


Saturday, December 5, 2020

Holiday Shopping


 

Holiday Shopping

The coronavirus pandemic

Is surely making its mark

It’s changing the way

People will shop during the holidays

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas

Won’t be the same for shoppers this year

 

Stores like Best Buy, Macy’s, and Target

Are planning ways to safeguard the health of their consumers

So these businesses have decided to have early shopping

This shopping season will start in early October

And is meant for shoppers not to flock to the stores

Just cutting down on the dangers of them being infected

 

But there exists uncertainties if buyers’ demand will be great

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought quite a back lash

Many workers have been laid off, others furloughed

And while many more are working from home

Quite a few have lost their jobs with the down turn of the economy

 

Companies will use a variety of tactics to get consumers to buy their products

People could be expected to be steered to their stores’ websites for deals

So consumers will have the option of shopping online

But businesses don’t know what to expect because of the down turn

Some executives predict since people are spending less on travel and restaurants

There will be a great chance for online businesses like amazon.com to pick up the slack

 

“Heavenly Provider, help businesses at this time of uncertainty as they cater for the needs of consumers during the holiday season.  May shoppers act wisely and be safe as the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic rages.”

Amen