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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ready for dessert?

Yes, this story has roamed around the internet for a while. Then again, you may never have heard or read it. Forwarded to me by Debbie, source of Hodgepodge and so much else, it has certainly gotten me through some difficult hours and days ... and I'll pass it on to you with a few 'tweaks', in case you're in need of a dose of hope and promise.

The Woman and a Fork

June was a young woman who was recently diagnosed with aggressive, terminal cancer and given about three months to live. While getting her things 'in order,' she contacted her priest who made a home visit to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told Fr. Dave which hymns she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she preferred, even what clothing she wanted to be buried in.

As he was about to leave, she suddenly remembered something very important. 'Dave, there's one more thing,' she said excitedly with a smile on her face.

'What's that, June?'

'Now, this is very important ... I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.'

David stood speechless looking at her, not knowing quite what to say.


'To be honest, June, that's a new one for me!' said Fr. Dave. 'I'm all ears!'

They both sat back down and June began explaining. 'My grandmother once told me this story, and in the last few days it keeps coming to me. She told me "Whether at big family gatherings or at church social dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, one of the old-timers would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was their way of saying that, although the meal was down home delicious, something even more delightful was coming next ... like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, made with love and with substance!" So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' Then when you make your remarks, I'd like you to tell them "Keep your fork, the best is yet to come."

Fr. Dave was so moved at this story of hope and faith that his eyes welled up with tears as he hugged Julie good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. He also realized that Julie had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven than average people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

Julie died shortly afterward. Mourners walked by Julie's casket and couldn't help noting her gentle smile and the fork grasped in her right hand. Over and over, the priest heard the question, 'What's with the fork?' And over and over he smiled.

True to his word, during his message, David told congregation about the conversation he had had with Julie and the story she recounted to him before she died. He recalled how he could not stop thinking about the fork and hoped that they would remember it as well.

So the next time you sit down with parishioners, family and/or friends and reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come ... for you and all those around you. God blesses us, every one!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Will We Always Make War?

I was drawn to an amazing radio program on WNYC today. The program Radiolab began today with a story of how a layman gave a sermon in church one Sunday two decades ago posing one question: "Will we, as humans, ever stop fighting; will we ever cease to make war?" As a teacher he began posing to pedestrians in Hoboken every summer many years ago. Twenty years ago 67% of people said yes, we are capable of changing. Today only 10% responded that we could change our evil ways. "It's just human nature to fight" was the standard answer.

Is it "natural" for us to fight, make war? The avid teacher then went to study baboons - one of our ancestoral cousins - known to be more exciteable and agressive than other primates. His findings were amazing and telling for us all. That discussion led to the story about a transgendered person in Silverton, OR who became mayor of that tiny town. Overall this Radiolab explores whether humans can - on a basic level - change. Want to hear this or other editions of this interesting series? Go to Friday is science day on this public radio station and there are many programs that catch the imagination and encourage further thought. Check your local public radio station to see when this and other programs are broadcast ... or podcast ... or available on your computer!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Some Animals Need Human Heros and Homes

Being the ex officio 'dog person' on The Farm I get lots of dog stories and pictures send to MOLC. This e-mail came in from Farmer Linda Maumus of New Orleans, LA who earlier had sent me photos of the dogs that were rescued in the aftermath of Katrina's devestating impact. She's now sent the message below. If you have the kind of lifestyle that can support and enhance the life of a German Shepherd or large dog, please look into it.

You may recall that I was blessed with the Divine Miss Emmy Lou as a result of scoping out -- so the issue's close to my heart. Here's Linda's e-mail, forwarded by a friend of "Camp Wolfgang". Thanks Linda for sending this. Here's hoping some of God's loyal creatures will find new forever homes through your efforts.

From: Kapela, Sheila Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 12:16 PMTo: Subject: FW: Camp Wolfgang

This is terrible news. Camp Wolfgang has been a wonderful rescue group to German Shepherds and other large breeds, too. Please forward this email so we can help find homes for all these GS’s.

Camp Wolfgang, the rescue group that I adopted Isis from has to close at the end of October.
They still have almost 200 German Shepherds that need to be placed.
If you know of anyone looking to adopt or foster a beautiful and faithful dog, please give them this information. All adoptable dogs can be seen using the link on their web site to

Camp Wolfgang6234 FM 879Ennis, Texas
Neisha Livengood, Kennel Master: 214-755-1627

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