Monthly Archives: June 2013


Friends tell me they don't have time to pray. It's a busy life, working, spending time with family, going to school, social activities, etc. Besides, they tell me they don't 'know' prayers; they feel disconnected. When you do offer up prayers, you are connecting with God. The more you send up even little prayers, you are opening yourself up to Him; the little prayers will turn into personal prayers and you will soon be having dialogues with Our Lord - and you will both enjoy it.

You don't have to pray in "thou shalt not" or "thee are"; you pray in plain old English or whatever language you speak in. You can pray in the shower; start by thanking God for that great hot water - if you've ever had your water shut off for a couple of days, you will be even more grateful.

Gratefulness makes prayers special. You can pray while stuck in traffic; Maybe God is keeping you from an accident a couple of miles up the road. Look around and find a person nearby to pray for - there will be one there fidgeting with two hands clenched on the wheel, with a red, annoyed face. Pray for them; they need it. Nothing formal; just talk to God -- "Lord, please keep that guy there from having a heart attack; give him peace". Now, that wasn't hard, was it?

        

Pray while waiting in the doctor's office - you can spend lots of time waiting your turn. It's better to pray for someone in the room with you (I'll bet there will be someone with a more serious reason than why you are there) -- don't read that old Newsweek from 2006 - pray for someone instead. It may help heal him or her.

 

Pray while waiting in line at the grocery store. Stop counting the items of the person in front of you to see if they are 'legal' for the speedy register and forget about the Enquirer tempting you to pick it up and read it. Look around - especially for older, widowed ladies - you'll know them - they are alone and don't smile much. Smile at them and then pray for them. It will lift them up and you, too.

God tells us to give special attention to widows and orphans. Just a "Bless them Lord, and give them hope." Yes, that is a prayer.

Pray for the kids you see; they'll have cell phones hanging out their ears and text away like mad; say a pray for their happiness and that they find love and relationships other than through technology. Yes, they dress funny and their underwear is showing, but they are children of God, too. Pray they find their own unique personalities and not need to be just like their peers.

Please pray for your family - they are closest and dearest to your heart - they each have issues in their lives - pray for them - you'll feel like you've helped them. You can say to our Lord, "Please watch over my family and keep them in good health and free from harm". Short prayer. But God hears it.

 

And pray for yourself. Ask God to guide you in your life; help you with that presentation that you really don't want to do; or soften your heart to call your partner who you really yelled at this morning more than you meant to. Become aware that you can contribute to the well-being of so many others. You can open up your heart to Him and He can become your Best Friend. Just by a simple prayer. I've just prayed that you will be open to this idea..... can you feel it?

© Marie Coppola June 2013


Author Unknown

Moses and the Israelites were in the desert, but what was he going to do with them? They had to be fed, and feeding 2 or 3 million people requires a lot of food. According to a Quartermaster in the Army, it is reported that Moses would have had to have 1500 tons of food for each day.

Do you know that to bring that much food each day requires two freight trains, each a mile long. They would have to have firewood to use in cooking the food. This would take 4000 tons of wood and more freight trains, each a mile long, just for one day. And, just think about it, they were forty years in transit, in a desert.

And oh yes! They would have to have water. If they only had enough to drink and wash a few dishes, it would take 11 million gallons each day, and a freight train with tank cars, 1800 miles long, just to bring water!

And then another thing! They had to cross the Red Sea at night. Now, if they wanted a narrow path, double file, the line would be 800 miles long and would require 35 days and nights to get through. So, there had to be space in the Red Sea, 3 miles wide so that they could walk 5000 abreast to get over in one night.  The Word in the Bible tells us how God parted the sea.

But then, there is another problem. Each time they camped at the end of each day, a camp ground two-thirds the size of Rhode Island was required, or a total of 750 square miles long.

Do you think Moses figured all this out before he left Egypt? I think not!! You see, Moses believed in God and God took care of these things for him.

Now, do you think God has any problem taking care of all of your needs?

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

Author Unknown

Marie Coppola.  December 2014

 


I truly love weddings. There's something about wedding ceremonies that invoke emotions of love and commitment to celebrate the joining of two people into a new life path. Sometimes the couple express their feelings towards each other, in a spiritual or scriptural setting. The blessing asks for happiness, joy, commitment, sharing, and always love.

It is sad that many marriages break up - between 40% and 45% of them. But, what about that beautiful wedding and all the emotions that got stirred up? Where is that couple who vowed to love each other forever, forsaking all others? Where and why did 40 to 45% of them falter?

They may have forgotten something. They may have left Someone out.

The traditional wedding ceremony usually involves a religious setting, asking God to bless the union, free it of jealousy, anger, infidelity and selfishness. Church weddings include God in the service and He is a part of the day's happiness and union. A large part. One in which the entire family partakes.

It has more chance to succeed if they remember to include God in their relationship from the very beginning. We did just that. And we have been blessed with a happy, loving marriage.

Having God in your marriage is like being part of a tripod. It won't stand on just 2 feet. It needs the 3rd foot for balance. It is an essential accessory for holding a marriage steady at slow-moving speeds or when we plan long, hoped-for ranges. A God-tripod is the best way to prevent a problem marriage. Otherwise, it may cause out-of-focus problems or topple over and have to be discarded.  With God in the tripod loop, it is certain to photo many happy, shared memories.

We attend and work at church activities together. Doing so keeps us aware of keeping God in our marriage. Scripture heard at mass reminds us to: Accept one another; Care for one another; Carry each other’s burdens; Forgive one another; Encourage, build up one another; Spur one another on to love and good deeds, Confess your sins to one another; and Pray for one another.

Pray together. It is difficult - almost impossible - to feel anger or not forgive someone when you pray with him or her. We work at not 'holding on' to any anger overnight - it will still have embers that may flare up in the morning. "In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."

Taken all together, these Scriptures are a blueprint for a happy marriage. Include God in the blueprint, and you will be blessed with a mate who will love you as much as you love him/her.

A happily married couple once told us their secret: You have to feel that both of you are giving 125%. Include God in that percentage and your odds will go way up.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy... husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.......each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-33)

© Marie Coppola June 2013

 


 

We all want to walk into a party and have a good time. Some of us are extroverts and have no problem doing this. But, others, a little on the shy side, or introverts, may have a problem opening up to people. With holidays, informal and office party settings, it’s a good time to mix and mingle with co-workers, friends and people we’ve never met before or only briefly.

Looking your best and feeling confident, approach a group of people with a friendly hello, but it’s a good idea - if you want to be invited back -to never say things like this……………

1) Never ask someone in a group how old they are, especially a lady. Her bristling stance and lip pursing should warn you that you shouldn’t have gone there, so don’t make it worse by starting to guess how old she is. Back up and away from the group because you’ve probably caused some heartburn. Yes, you did.

2) Never assume somebody is pregnant because she is wearing a big overblouse and it looks like she is at least six months’ pregnant. Don’t ask when she is expecting and pat her stomach. She may not be. The look in her eyes should give you the hint that she is mortified, so smile nicely and quickly add what a pretty blouse she has on, even if you don’t think it is and it does look like a maternity top. Don’t say that it does look like a maternity top. You’ve said enough.

3) Don’t rub a balding man’s head and say, "Nice hair". That’s like him patting you on your behind and saying ‘Big rear’. These are not good communicating skills. Comment or compliment him on his suit or shoes and if you have to say something, but leave his hair or lack of it alone.

4) Stay away from political discussions even if it is hard for you to stifle yourself. Never ask someone why on earth he or she voted for that ‘dumb idiot.’ A party isn’t the place to show how politically savvy you are. No one wants to hear how you would handle the deficit or what you would offer for health care. Either the crowd will ‘gotta mingle’ and disperse or someone will want to duel you to a shouting match over what you said and the hostess will probably make a note never to invite you again.

5) Same with religion. Jim, who has had half a bottle of vodka most likely, is not in the mood to repent over the filthy joke he just told the hostess’ teenage daughter. It won’t do any good to remind him of the Ten Commandments while he’s adjusting the lampshade over his head. There’s a time and place for serious faith sharing and this isn’t the right time.

6) Don’t ask the hostess where she got her drapes and how much they cost. It’s tacky. Ask her over coffee at another time; not when she’s handing out canapés and doesn’t want to tell you in front of all her guests that she bought them in a thrift shop.

7) Never, never ask anyone how much they make or what their salary is. People would rather tell you all about their sex life instead of divulging their personal info like how much they make. This is taboo and even family members are sometimes reluctant about sharing this with each other. Then people will offer comments and butt in with their views on what things you’re spending too much or too little on. No, no. Don’t go there. It’s none of your business.

#8) Don’t ask a man or woman how much they weigh. Again, folks, especially women, would rather tell you all about their sex life instead of telling you how much they weigh. If they do tell you, notice the rapid eye blinking (sign of fibbing) and deduct 15 or 20 pounds from what they tell you.

9) Don’t bring your cell phone to the party and talk on it all night. You came to a party for Pete’s sake and no one wants to hear you converse with someone else while they’re standing there trying to be sociable. The same goes for texting. Don’t do it. And your blackberry. And iPod. Don’t bring them. Did we cover them all? Leave them home.

10) Don’t gossip at a party. The odds are that someone will know the person you are talking about and it will be twittered and tweeted to 12,539 people who will know a secret that you weren’t suppose to tell anybody. It makes you look like a blabbermouth and others will avoid talking to you about anything other than the weather and how nice the house is decorated.

11) Don’t make flirty eyes at anybody’s boyfriend or girlfriend, especially if you are married. It’s no excuse that you had a bottle and a half of wine and are feeling frisky. It makes people uncomfortable and you could be sporting a black eye or a frosty partner the next day.

12) Don’t announce that you hate cats or dogs if the host’s pet comes into the room. The pet is probably more cherished to them than you are. And never be unkind to the pet or make fun of it. You can bet the pet will be at the next get together and you won’t.

13) Never try to guess who’s older, if two women or two men approach you and ask, "Which one of us is older?" This is a time-bomb question. You can only lose on the answer, but people love to ask this.  Just say you’re really bad at guessing ages and if they persist, ask where the bathroom is and jiggle around like you really have to go bad. Same thing applies if two women who resemble each other approach you, never, never say "You're the mother and this is your daughter, right?  If they’re sisters, you’re black-balled for the rest of the night.

14) Don’t give a dissertation on your personal life, your woes and problems. Chances are, everyone knows all about them anyway.

15) Never talk about your sex life. It’s really tacky and they probably know about it anyway.

16) Say nothing; practice your listening skills and head-nodding exercises. Say ‘mmmm’; ‘wow’ and ‘awesome’ at intervals. People will love you and invite you back.

 

© Marie Coppola June 2013

 


In these economy-challenging times, many of us will be let go from our companies due to down-sizing, layoffs, or restructuring. It is disheartening and stressful to have this happen at any time, but it is crucial especially today that you have a recent updated resume at your fingertips to email, fax or send to a prospective employer.   Keep one in your car.

Remember, the resume is important; hopefully, it will lead to an interview and you should keep that in mind as you are preparing or updating it.

Due to the nature of our changing job environment in today's world, I am going to deviate from the formal, watermark paper resume that has been expected and makes a good appearance. Time is of essence today and you want your resume to be in the hands of someone who is seeking you and your requirements; you can be sure there will be many more wanting that same thing! 

I usually recommend a one-page resume. Two or three pages are OK, especially if you want to elaborate your skills. However, in these technological times, you should be aware that large corporations (and even time/cost saving small business) employ scanners that look for buzz words that will match up with the job they are trying to fill.

The human resource or personal department of a company receives your resume. The HR assistant may scan them, usually by an electronic scanner or manually and see how many buzz words match the job description.  If there is a good number of them, the assistant puts them aside to be given to an HR person who will look the resume over.

Here is why I suggest a one-page resume. Due to the large influx of resumes, it may be eye-scanned for how it relates to the open position. Only then, if it could be a fit, will the resume be given to the department head seeking to fill the position. Although the resumes are kept on file for a time, they usually aren't looked at again.

Make sure your resume is relevant to your objective of career choice. Normally, it is a good idea to put your objective at the beginning of the resume; however, in these competitive times, it may be more prudent not to.  You may have skills relevant to another position in the company that they may consider.

Objectives state what you are interested in looking for in a job and the company may be more interested in getting the biggest bang for their buck. Again, this is because of the times. On the other hand, it does let the future employer know what you are interested in doing. Your call here.

Make sure your History Experience is consistent. The scanning assistant will not include your resume if there are unexplained gaps in your work date history. If there is a good reason why there is a lapse in employment, be sure to include it with an explanation why.

Use specific phrases or clauses (bulletized is fine) instead of sentences. They can be grasped at a glance. Select strong action verbs; watch grammar and spelling. It is representative of you. When it is completed, read it aloud to someone who can be objective for feedback.

The resume will have your name, address, and phone number. At the top. I always add email address (and fax if you have it) - it won't hurt. Then the optional Objective underneath your statistics  - make it short - one or two lines at most. For example: "Paralegal professional specializing in real estate and litigation." Then list your qualifications (I would again bulletize). This can be education related (paralegal certified from Legal Business College) for how long (8 years) and how (developed and wrote court briefs for active litigation; maintained and resourced law decisions on Lexus).

Then comes Experience starting with the present going back in time. The general rule is don't go back beyond 10 or 15 years. Business practices and technology change and make some skills obsolete. An exception would be if you were once an Attorney General. List titles of past work positions (I put this first in bold, that's what they are most interested in) and then bulletized accomplishments under each title. Always add numbers if you were responsible for personnel or $$ budgetary projects. This info is KEY for the hiring company. This will tell them what you do and how you did it - depth & breadth. Two lines description for each title - use positive modifiers.

Next is Education. Start with most recent working back. Include co-op and intern positions. (If I have taken extra courses that are relevant to the position I am seeking, I also list them.)

References: I always write in the blank: Professional references provided from employer, college or individual supplied upon request.  (You don't want to list references on the resume - if the company is interested, they will ask you for them. Besides, if the company asks for them, you will want to ask the referenced person for their willingness to recommend you).

Tip: I always keep my resume in my online file. If I am interested in a particular job and I use that file copy, I can change it for different disciplines - I change the wording and buzz words to fit the classified. You want those buzz words so the scanner will pick them up. You can easily do this as tasks, responsibilities, and disciplines have many features in common.  For example, if you are a teacher seeking a corporate business position, you can mention your presentation, conflict management, communication and problem solving skills. They are in there. You use them as a teacher all the time. Do not put in skills and responsibilities you do not have; they will be quickly found out if you are interviewed. And that's a downer.

Remember: It is likely that if you get past the HR scanning of your resume and you are asked in for an interview, you may be asked questions regarding the resume: for example, how are you qualified? That's your skills and qualifications. And where and how have you done it? That's your experience. They might ask why do you want it? That is the part that is usually in the objective. You know why you want it. Be honest. And they might want to know how well you did in achieving your objectives at other positions. This includes bonuses and promotions.

Good luck to all of you who are seeking new jobs. And for extra credit, include God in your prayer for guidance.

 

©  Marie Coppola Revised November 2014

On Flag Day,  June 14th, several Sir Knights  had the privilege and honor to participate in a Flag Retirement Ceremony that was being held at our local VFW Post.

On Flag Day, we honor our Flag, and in addition, we retire those Flags, that may be torn and frayed, in a very respectful way. The VFW post was retiring their Flag, and they asked our Assembly to participate in it's retirement. Part of the retirement ceremony is to properly fold the Flag, by folding it 13 times.

We have all been to funerals of Veterans, where the Honor Guard folds the Flag that draped the Veteran's coffin, and handed it to the spouse or parents of the fallen Veteran. We probably never noticed that the Flag was meticulously folded 13 times, or even knew what each fold represented. I was part of the folding team, and before each fold, our team leader read the following so that all in attendance understood the significance of this ceremony.

The 1st fold of our Flag is a symbol of Life.

The 2nd fold of our Flag is a symbol of our belief in Eternal Life.

The 3rd fold of our Flag is made in honor and remembrance of the Veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our Country to attain peace throughout the world.

The 4th fold of our Flag represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war, for His divine guidance.

The 5th fold of our Flag is a tribute to our Country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she be always right, but it is still our Country, right or wrong".

The 6th fold of our Flag is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

The 7th fold of our Flag is a tribute to the Armed Forces, for it is through them that we protect our Country and our Flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within our without the boundaries of our Republic.

The 8th fold of our Flag is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of death, that we might see the light of day.

The 9th fold of our Flag is a tribute to womanhood and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, their loyalty, and their devotion, that the character of the men and women that have made this country great, has been molded.

The 10th fold of our Flag is a tribute to the father, for he too has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our Country since they were first born.

The 11th fold of our Flag represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in the Hebrew's eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The 12th fold of our Flag represents and emblem of eternity, and glorifies in the Christian eyes, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold of our Flag, or when the Flag is completely folded, the stars are in the uppermost, reminding us of our Nation's motto, "In God We Trust".

After the Flag is completely folded, then tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the Soldiers that served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

In the future, you may see a Flag folded, and now you will know the significance of each of the steps.

Prepared by Joseph Morrone - June 14,  2013

wordpress counter


 

If you want a stable career with rewarding work, a physical therapy assistant (also known as a PTA) career may be just the right one for you. As the baby boomers age, there will be more demand for physical therapy to recover from illness and injury.

Like most health care jobs, insurance companies are starting to cover more procedures, so more workers will be needed. The Department of Labor expects to see fast growth in job openings for this position.

PTA work can be demanding, but physical therapy is one of the fastest growing fields in the country. Complex therapies are done by the physical therapist for which a masters or doctorate of physical therapy is required PTAs help patients recover after an injury or illness. Interpersonal skills and excellent physical health are important.

To become a physical therapy assistant, you need to get a degree from an accredited program. You may also need certification in CPR and other forms of first aid.

PTAs, assist physical therapists with the rehabilitation of patients. People who seek the help of physical therapists may include accident victims, or people who have suffered burns, amputations, stroke, low back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, or even head injuries.

Many assistants move into administrative roles in larger therapy programs, or more specialized clinical areas, such as geriatric or pediatric therapy programs.

What is needed: Associate degree in Physical Therapy and a Physical Therapy Certificate.

Median Salary: $46,140

Marie Coppola Jume 2013

Ref: Education-Portal.com; US News

 

 

 


Some might ask: How can I praise the Lord when everything is tumbling down? How can I give thanks in all circumstances? My life is upsidedown.

We all do things in love for people. Whether it’s loving, cooking, shopping, repairing, teaching, listening, sharing, or whatever you give of yourself for another’s good; it’s a gift.

Parents spend many years raising children, instructing them in life’s ways. Besides teaching them the rules of life, parents also share their love by supporting, encouraging, and nurturing. Although they are not seeking pats on the back for things they do, it is always joyful to parents when a child appreciates their efforts and shows gratitude and thanks them.

Wikipedia defines ‘thanks’: "gratitude, appreciation, or thankfulness is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive".

It is a positive emotion to give or receive thanks. Do you give thanks? I don’t mean the polite, politically correct and etiquette kind of thanks. I mean thanks that come from positive emotions of gratitude. Wikipedia describes ‘gratitude’: a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation; "he was overwhelmed with gratitude for their help".

It’s hard to give thanks or feel gratitude when the economy is poor; there are wars and rumors of war; heated disagreements over how the government should be run; yours or another’s job loss, foreclosures; and that’s not even counting personal problems caused by these things. It is disheartening that there are mega problems that surround us today. A hopeless feeling might come over some of us. Have you even thought of giving thanks for anything recently?   What are you thankful for?

God talks to us via the Bible and tells us:

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." Psalms 100:4

"Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him for his excellent and surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the stringed instruments and organs, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord." Psalms 150

Some might ask: How can I praise the Lord when everything is tumbling down? How can I give thanks in all circumstances? My life is upside down.

Again, the Bible speaks to us:

The Lord tells us in Psalm 32:8 - "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."

God wants us to be happy. His Word in Scripture reflects this. He instructs us in His Ways in the Bible and His instructions pave the way to happiness, peace and prosperity. How do we know that God wants us to be happy? He tells us in Proverbs 17:22:

"A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones."

One of the ways you can get happier and over the disillusionment of life’s events is to start praising God and thanking Him. There are uncountable things we can thank him for and show true gratitude for. They can be little things; in fact, it’s the little things that change your heart from downtrodden to a cheerful heart. I thank God for opening my eyes to see every morning and being able to get out of bed. I thank Him for the capability to drive, work, exercise, read, share love with my family and friends and for every meal I partake. These are all gifts and blessings from God. Not everyone has them.   We all have so many blessings we take for granted.

I don’t pray every minute - but I do give thanks a lot. It’s a habit now. For every close call in a car, or every misstep that didn’t end in a fall, or even if I get to the bank just as they are closing the door, but let me in, I give thanks to Him and Praise Him. ‘All good things come from God’. They don’t have have to be lottery wins, or windfalls or extraordinary happenings. The more I praise Him and thank Him, the more cheerful I become. The negative things in my life become less prominent. Two matters cannot occupy the same space. My praises highlight the thankfulness; my thankfulness highlights the good and negates the bad; my gratitude is mind-changing.

Become aware of all the good things in your life. Start praising God for all the good things; give Him genuine gratitude. And you will find that you will achieve a happy heart and a cheerful mind. And when you become uplifted, don’t forget to thank Him and praise Him for that, too!!

Marie Coppola June 2013


In our fast track world, people like instant gratification, or at least quick results. Disappointments can occur if your expectations are too high. You can become disenchanted with people, places and things. This can happen even in the place you go to for rest, renewal and refuge - your place of worship. For simplification of terms, I will call it a church.

As part of a faith-sharing group, I listened to multi-denominations share their expectations and disappointments regarding their Saturday, Sunday or any day of worship.

1} Many of the group did not like the emphasis of the church asking for money. Some of them complained that it was an on-going practice. We all know that worship establishments have bills like the rest of us. They pay electricity, heating and air conditioning, cleaning, taxes, salaries, etc.  Usually the church offers a balance sheet of where the money is going.  If not, offer to be part of the Finance Committee. You will see where it goes and have a voice in how it is distributed. If you are not asked to join, most Finance Committees have an open door policy whereby you can sit in and listen to where the money is going. If they don’t, initiate one by addressing it to the building or church administrator.

2} Closely related to regular collections is the matter of tithing. How much treasure do you tithe? Tithing is explained in Deuteronomy 14:22 “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year." The definition of the tithe was very simple and plainly laid out for Israel. They were to gather their harvest and count the tithe out from what they’ve gathered. For instance, if you had 100 apples, you must count them out from one-to-ten, and the tenth one you set aside for the Lord – Leviticus 27:32. Today, many denominations pay heed to the 10% of income for church tithing. And many people complain that they cannot afford that. I am not here to argue church’s expectations of tithes or what you should give. I believe that it is an individual choice - some give more; some give less and it should be a personal, private choice and not made public.  What you give is between you and God no matter how much or how many times you are asked.

3} Some of the group complained of their leader, minister, pastor or priest. They simply did not like him or her. They did not feel (s)he was leading the congregation correctly, said improper things, was insensitive, and many other things. In other words, (s)he was imperfect.  We all are imperfect. Even church leaders.  It is a difficult life for many of these leaders; it is a solitary life, especially if they don’t have partners to share stress with. And there is a lot of work and stress. Besides juggling the church’s expenses, administration, activities and worship programs, the church leader also give counsel, oversees funerals, weddings, christenings, baptisms, etc. etc. They are very busy people and churches are usually short-handed. If you don’t like the leader's mode of operation, volunteer to do some of the leg work he or she does routinely. We have ministry programs to give communion to hospital or shut-ins, bereavement committees help with funerals; there are countless things you can do to help an overworked religious leader. And they LOVE home-cooked meals AND the company - invite them to dinner; you may see another side of them.

4} Everyone complained about children and small babies at church. Especially the fidgety and wailing variety. I admit that I use to complain about this, too. Religious leaders always welcome children to church - some churches have separate glassed rooms for young ones to prevent disrupting the congregation. My feeling is that children who attend church with their parents from an early age quickly adjust and become part of the church family/community easily and lovingly. It is natural for them to be there with family and most likely will duplicate this faith with their own families someday in the same way.

5} Some of the group complained they did not like the people in their church community; they were too high class, too low-class, too gossipy, and the beat goes on.  We don’t go to church for the people - we go to church for God.

They lament they will go to another church. There are people all around us we may not care for - maybe even in our own families, but we don’t go look for another family. Many times, the dislikes you feel are cosmetic; you may not really know the other people and let’s face it, you don’t have to socialize with them.  You attend church with them, same as attending college or any social gathering. Focus on why you are in church; and don’t focus on the people. You can be friendly and sincere, but you don’t have to live with them. Even Jesus had altercations with his twelve disciples. Peter and James wanted the honor of being on His right and left side in heaven to the consternation of the other ten. Another time, ’An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest."  Jesus didn’t replace them; and he didn’t go to another town looking for 12 different disciples. There will always be church members in ANY church you may not see eye to eye with, but you are there to worship and they are part of the community. Maybe they harbor similar feelings about you. Bloom where you are planted and try to grow in faith with everyone, especially those who are different from you. You are there to worship; not judge your brothers and sisters.

© Marie Coppola Revised February 2015

Ref: McDonald Road Sermons converted to HTML and last updated 4/21/04 by Bob Beckett English:

 

Now that's a comforting thought. According to the daily news today, research supported by the Russell Sage (no pun intended) Foundation, the National Institute on Aging and the National Science Foundation Grant, indicates that socially, older folks, more than younger or middle-aged ones, are more apt to recognize and accept different values, acknowledge and accept uncertainties and changes in one's life and to acknowledge others' point of views.

Mind your elders! It's not as important in life to know how the SEO works or how to program the DVR or how to text someone as it is to handle 'social wisdom' - how to get along with people and handle disagreements.

Researchers found that age affects wisdom at every social class, level of education and IQ. Even though older people don't have the technological wisdom that younger ages have in computers and everyday technology, they do have the advantage of analyzing and solving social problems.

Demographic splits of groups numbering almost 300 -- ages 25 to 40, 41 to 59 and 60 plus were given hypothetical situations regarding finance, economic growth, customs, and world problems. The researchers analyzed the results, not knowing which individual or group age the responses came from. Ratings were based on social interchanges such as compromise, flexibility, seeing the other viewpoint and mediating conflict resolution.

Then over 200 of the same groups participated in a second hypothetical area and yet a third comprising scholars, psychotherapists, clergy and counseling professionals.

The results of these tests concluded that economic status, education and IQ were related to having increased wisdom, but academics were no wiser than nonacademics with similar education levels. Researchers were surprised at how much wisdom the groups showed in disputing societal problems. Richard Nisbitt, one of the researchers said, "There is a very large advantage for older people over younger people for those (issues)". Another researcher, Lynn Hasher remarked that "the study is the single best demonstration of long-held view that wisdom increases with age."

She continues, "What I think is most important...is that it shows a major benefit that accrues with aging...rather than the mostly loss-based findings reported in psychology. As such it provides a richer base of understanding of aging processes." She also cited the critical importance of workplaces providing the opportunity for older employees to continue to contribute.

Many work places do the opposite and retire aging employees and replace them with younger employees at a lower salary, compromising the experience and life situations these employees can contribute to the work force by their ongoing and diverse experiences.

Marie Coppola  June 2013

Ref: Associated Press