Why I Wrote “Only by the Grace of God”

My brother Bob died in December, 2013. Three months later my brother Bill died. As I was the executor of Bill’s estate, I had the job of going through all his papers. I found some typed and handwritten pages about our experiences as prisoners of war in the Philippines during World War II. I have no idea why he wrote those pages or what he might have done with them. A little while later, I received an email from my nephew, Bob II, with his father’s memoir covering the same period in our lives. I too had written my memoirs...

On Becoming a Successful Dieter: Suggestions on How to Lose Weight Successfully

Becoming a successful dieter does not happen overnight. It takes time, persistence, dedication, consistency, a plan of action and a firm commitment. Not everyone can be a successful dieter. Some people are successful for only the short term while others can “take it off and keep it off.” Successful dieters know there is no “quick fix” that can take off twenty pounds in two weeks; there is no miracle diet pill that substitutes for cutting out certain foods or cutting down on calories; and there is no way success can be achieved by dieting for a few hours at a...

Causal Relationships between Diabetes and Heart Disease

The leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease, affecting one in four people (both men and women). Finding the cause, or following the causal links, may lead to strategies for prevention. One of the causal links appears to be Type II diabetes. Before they show signs of Type II diabetes, however, many people develop what is called Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X. There is evidence that Metabolic Syndrome predisposes people to both Type II diabetes and heart disease. The problem with diagnosing Metabolic Syndrome is that it consists of more than one symptom or marker. One...

A Catholic Christian View of Abortion

The Catholic Christian definition of abortion is the deliberate killing of a Child of God. The secular definition is the removal of an unwanted pregnancy. Both definitions agree that the fetus in a woman’s womb is a human fetus and not that of a cat or dog. Both definitions agree that removal of human fetus before it can survive on its own means depriving the fetus of life, no matter what stage of pregnancy. The Catholic and secular definitions disagree about whether a fetus has all the rights and protections of other human beings. Catholicism states that all the rights and protections...

Puppy Classes are to Puppies what Kindergarten is to Children

Not only is it good to take a puppy to puppy kindergarten (puppy classes), it can be a lot of fun. At puppy classes, you will meet other new owners and their adorable puppies. You will meet knowledgeable people who will be able to answer many of your questions. You will have an evening filled with so many things to learn you will be completely distracted from your daily worries and responsibilities. Even if you are an old hand at raising and training puppies, taking your puppy to puppy classes is still a good idea. The AKC (American Kennel Club)...

The House in Need of Love

I was living in the country, in a very pleasant house, in a very pleasant neighborhood, but the drive into town to work in the winter became tedious. So I decided to move into town nearer work.  I contacted the Real Estate Agent who had sold me the house I was living in. She and her partners always interviewed prospective house buyers as to their likes and dislikes, hobbies, work, price range and other requirements before searching out a list of houses meeting those requirements. So I went to our meeting prepared with my list of house types by preference;...

The Stolen Miracle Mark 5:24-34

A brief incident, sandwiched in the middle of a story of another of Jesus’ miracles (Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:22-43) is unusual in that it tells of a stolen miracle. Unlike other miracles that Jesus freely gave away for the asking (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:24-34, Luke 8:42-48), it was stolen because the woman who stole it was forbidden to touch any man or any object or she would render it unclean. She was a social outcast. It is doubtful that she would appear in public and never in a crowd of men because even if she brushed by a man he...

Review of Stanley Coren’s Book Called “How to Speak Dog”

Dr. Stanley Coren has written a remarkable book on “Dogish” or the language of dogs.  (Stanley Coren, PhD, How to Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication. Simon and Schuster.2000.) This isn’t the first book he has written on dogs but it is the one all dog owners should read; especially dog owners who also live with cats. The sub-title, “Mastering the art of dog-human communication,” provides a further indication of the content. Learning “Dogish” is an art form as well as a skill that will help humans understand what a dog is saying whether the dog is a...

An Invitation to Attend a Roman Catholic Mass this Christmas

Many people are curious about what goes on at a Catholic Mass. Some think they know what goes on but have never been to a Mass. Some are hesitant to see for themselves for fear of being evangelized or of standing out from the Catholics present because they do not kneel or stand at the appropriate times. Still others are hesitant to visit because they don’t know what to wear or are not sure whether their race or color will limit access or seating. Mass is for everyone. Come and see. The Catholic Mass, at its most basic, follows the...

Reflections on the Christmas Story in the Bible

Reflections on the Christmas Story in the Bible

Most Christians are familiar with the Christmas story. Every year on December 25th, Christians celebrate the birth of Christ, and listen to the tale of how Mary and Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem, how they could find no lodging for the night so had to make do with the stable; how the baby Jesus was born and celebrated by angels who announced his birth to nearby shepherds who visited him. (Luke 2:1-20) Some include the visit of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12) in the story; others celebrate the visit of the Magi on twelfth night or twelve days after Christmas....