Thursday, April 27, 2017

Worty of our 100% trust... Trustworthy... Jesus, we trust in you!

Baby chicks are here!  Also news about our big day on Sunday/David's first Communion day!  Not only will his grandpa be on his side of the Church with the cup of the Blood for him, but Father called and said that he wants to include Joy's Baptism during the First Communion Mass!  Two of Ruth's children receiving the Sacraments of First Communion and Baptism in the same mass!  Such a beautiful proclamation to all that The Church is loved and honored and showers us with blessings if only we embrace The Church without reservation and realize that through the Wisdom of The Catholic Church we are being helped down the narrow path to heaven forever with Jesus and Mary and The Saints!
Rose introducing Romeo to baby chicks for the first time!  He did reach out and pat his soft head with his fingers, and discovered SOFT!  Maybe today he will hold one, too?

The Gospel today is continuing on in John 3... the words "God is trustworthy" grabbed me as my mantra ever since we faced a grow back of John's brain cancer through the chemo came to us from our wonderful Bishop LeVoir..."When things are hard and challenging repeat these words; 'Jesus, I trust in you.'"
Each day since I have lived by this as we discovered in a dramatic way that our lives are out of our control and Jesus is in control!  It is a true and real reminder to me that I can trust in my Jesus and place all in him.  He is truly "trustworthy"!
Baby chick sandwich makes you smile in delight, right Rose?  We will also be celebrating Rose's 5th birthday on Sunday along with David's first Communion and Joy's Baptism/entry into The Church!  Surely a day of great JOY and Celebration in our family!  Then 3 days later Aunt Little Sister Hallel/Susan will be coming home to the farm with Nancy and her family!  The first time she has been here in 4 years!  She will miss David's first Communion, but told him that she will be at his second Communion at the Catholic School mass where she went along with her sisters and brother for 9 years on Thursday!  JOY and Hallelujah!  "Every time someone says my name - Hallel- they are giving God total praise to the highest heavens as it is truly Hallelujah!" 
Our baby chicks are in the new shop where the kids get in out of the cold and rain and play on their bikes as the men work on projects!  How grandpa Pat loves his new shop!  The kids love it too, and it is warm for these new baby chicks.  Who would have thought we would have such cold weather?  Lord, bring the spring back!
The gentle touch is needed with the tiny new baby chicks!

Jesus, there is so much each day that reminds us of our need for you as we humbly fall on our knees and turn to you in our weakness.  "When we are weak and sick is when we turn to Jesus."  Hallel told me 7 years ago when I had my hip replacement and I felt so worthless and weak.  "Then I want to be weak all the time, because I want Jesus!"  Yes, I want to be strong and shout from the rooftops your Truth, my Jesus!  That you are to be totally trusted and we need to give our all to You!  That we need to die to self and allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, minds and souls..."We must obey God rather than men... We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."  The Apostles today to those that told them to stop preaching in the name of Jesus in Acts 5 - the first reading from mass today.  The Apostles are now in heaven and are there to give us the strength and courage to preach The Truth!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
In 3 days our JOY will abound with David's first Communion, Joy's Baptism and Rose's 5th birthday - Family time is the Best most especially when we share our Faith with JOY from one generation to the next!  Then in 6 days we will all be together, minus Captain Joseph, when our Little Sister Hallel comes home... all 24 of us!  Lord, we place all this in your hands and trust in your plan for us... it all seems to be so amazing and we thank you!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Three years ago today... Mary's first Communion!

Now with one more, baby Joy on her Baptism day, too!

It will be so different without Pat's mom as she has been always there for all of our Family/Church/Farm occasions.   She will be missed!  She has been gone for 6 months soon. 

There will be 3 Jeanie cakes on Sunday... one for each occasion!  The best!
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“When we kneel before a wafer of bread transubstantiated into the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus, how can we justify our pride?” — Mother Angelica — at Saint John Cantius Church.
Danielle Rose - If I touch him
Peter Mayer - Holy Now

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"God so loved the world" no matter how crazy it gets!

David home sick gets to help settle in the new baby chicks!  Yes, I have returned from helping get them warm, fed and watered, and many pictures already!

Life is a crazy unpredictable zoo for me these last few days... today we are soon to have our baby chicks home to get settled in... no field work yet due to cold and rain, but it seems that with my husband free from that he finds reasons to travel for parts and fenceposts with me by his side.  Good yet not allowing me to get other things done.  When I read the Gospel today from John 3:16... it filled me with the knowledge that no matter how out of control and out of our hands our life gets to be ... God so loved our world!  The call has come and we are on the road to help settle in the baby chicks!  Beware of too many baby chick pictures for our own good to arrive here when I can find a minute to myself.  Hard to find these days... Jesus, may I die to self so that you may live in me, and I may serve without counting the cost!
Grandpa Patrick and grandson Patrick snuggle with little Evangeline on these rainy mornings!  She loves it!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke 

I am back and trying to share some here before I make a big grocery run... with many mouths to feed we are out of some essentials and with Easter upon us... some treats that come with Easter!  We are a week away from our Little Sister Hallel coming for her home visit as she is brought here with Nancy, Bill and their 4 to join the spinning world we call our farm.  Hopefully by then the cold and rain will have cleared out and the crop will be going in, so that will add to the intensity of her time here!
Rose shows her new baby sister, Joy her fist baby chick, but she only peeks at it now.  It is so fun to see Ruth, my chicken girl, now showing her kids how to care for them.  When they get bigger they will move over here and I will become the chicken farmer.
Patrick is not too sure about them...

There is sickness adding to the struggles along with the cold wet weather... well below normal for this late April.  With our early spring this is disappointing to the farmers, who are now behind schedule getting the crop in.  Talk about having to trust in Him!  The peace flows all around me as I read these amazing words from John 3 in the Gospel today.
"God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life...But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God."
With the struggles and crosses and suffering that comes with our lives lived for Jesus and serving Jesus in each other... we find The Way, the Truth and the LIFE... Jesus in our midst!  We are given all we need to persevere!  One of my favorite sources of this strength comes from the glorious Saints that fill each day with models of strength and holiness and we are called to be saints ourselves!
Romeo getting used to these new little soft baby chicks.

Jesus, we love you and are forever humbly grateful and unworthy of your undying unending unconditional love for us.  May we dwell in the LIGHT and share the love and mercy we have been given most especially with those the closest to us in our domestic Church/family. I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Psalm 34 from mass today fills us with hope and strength knowing that you so love our crazy world if only we dwell in the LIGHT and be open to LIFE and raise LIGHTS!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Luke with chick...
Patrick is learning to handle them and trust that they are not going to hurt him... they are soft and gentle!  I must go and shop for the family... Lord, give me the strength as shopping is one of the hardest jobs there is.  Bless-bless, Barb
Riding around the shop  and taking a baby chick break...
I can't stop...  Maria is now heading over, so beware many more coming!
Three in a hand, and I'm done!
Danielle Rose - The Saint that is just me

Monday, April 24, 2017

filled with the Holy Spirit in order to speak boldly/the wind blows where it wills...

Our two newest granddaughters are becoming aware of each other with the times they have together.  They are living just 3 miles apart and usually get together most every day.  Last night we shared a meal at the farm with the invite to include meeting the new pigs that had arrived a few hours before/the fair pigs.  The two girls were on the floor and it was precious when 6 month old Evangeline noticed her 3 week old cousin laying next to her.  A sure reminder of the closeness they will share in their lifetimes with each other, and joining them is their cousin, Josephine, who is 5 months older than Evie.  I am so excited to get them together for the first time when our Little Sister Hallel comes  home for her first home visit in 4 years on May 3rd!
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This delightful memory came up today from 4 years ago of the 3 babies at the time of Hallel's visit in April of 2013.  Rose in the middle will be 5 on May 1st and the others are just a few months behind her.  Two years later we had 3 grandsons, who are between 3 and 2 1/2, and now we have had 3 new granddaughters in the last year!  The best!!!! 

I am sitting in Ruth's quiet house watching cow TV... Ruth was out watching gates and now she is in town picking up David, who is sick.  We are struggling with foot/hand disease in both houses, and with David having his first Communion this weekend, we are hoping that in this week he has time to recover.  It is hard to watch the little ones sick...
Grandpa getting some baby time... how he loves to hold those little ones in his big arms. and little Joy was wide awake and checking out her grandpa Pat.  She will have lots of time with him over the years for sure. 
5 year old Rose with her new baby sister...  she is very attentive to her needs.  When the pigs arrived Ruth was out meeting them..."David brought Joy out to me and told me that she had been crying, and that he had changed her diaper for me." reported Ruth.  How must it be to have 5 older siblings and having them care for you as well as your mom?  They will certainly know and love their new sister!

Lots about The Holy Spirit today in the two readings!  Before entering The Catholic Church, my parents were baptized in the Holy Spirit, and prayed over me and my sisters... I had a new awakening of LOVE for my Lord, and spoke in tongues.  I also attended Charismatic prayer groups with my parents.  When we moved to Minneapolis the summer after I graduated HS in Flint, MI... we found a prayer group at a convent in Wayzata/Charismatic nuns!  The Holy Spirit then led our entire family... all 13 into The Church!  here is the entire amazing story-
New LIFE is a gift and sharing such life-filled family time is the Best!

As a new Catholic at my confirmation with my parents and the older kids after me - like about 5 of the 11 kids old enough - we found ourselves at a huge adult confirmation in The Cathedral in St Paul!  The first time in that glorious building filled with new Catholics walking forward to be prayed over to receive The Holy Spirit!  The Catholic Church has it all right and together and it's wisdom is never questioned by me!  I love love love The Church and follow all that is The Truth in dogma and teachings.  All of it!!!  I know there are struggles and factions pulling this way and that, so I have added a decade on my daily rosary - the 3rd luminous - The Proclamation of the Kingdom - to pray for my beloved Church from Pope Francis to Archbishops and priest shortage and all the needs of The Church!  Lord, hear my prayer and may your Church be ever filled with your LIFE/LOVE/LIGHT!
Little Joy is now 3 1/2 weeks old and it was fun to have her awake and looking at us intently last night.  Our love is expanded by her/our 15th grandchild!  Pat and I driving home last night marveled at how our cup runneth over with our family sharing Faith on the farm!
Mary and Therese showing grandpa Pat and Patrick their pigs - 6 of them that the 3 older ones will show at the fair.  Simon is old enough to take a State Fair project this year, so maybe pigs?

The Gospel for today is a quote that has become very familiar in my family about the Holy Spirit, and is the thought behind our wonderful cabin on Lake Michigan which is called Crosswinds.  My maiden name was Cross, so that with the added blowing of the Holy Spirit in our lives...
"You must be born from above.  The wind blows where it wills, and you cannot hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."  John 3:8
I find this hard to grapple with but am starting to see that The Holy Spirit is not something we can pin down or truly put in a bottle and understand.  As we discovered with John's brain cancer 8 years ago... Jesus is in control and we are not!  The Holy Spirit blows where it wills and we are to die to self and be the hands and feet of Christ!
Rose and Luke like to spend time with the pigs... today when I was there Rose was brushing a pig, that really seemed to like it, and Luke was checking out their feed.
Lots of fun times with animals on the farm!

Lord, Your Spirit of LIFE and Truth shows me the Way I should always speak boldly the Word of God!  Each day your Church reads the Gospel throughout the world from a tiny church in Africa or rural Minnesota to St Peters in Rome!  Jesus you come to us in your Word and Sacrament!  We are filled with so much each day of our journey in The Church!  We walk with your Saints and they intercede for us... St Fidelis of Sigmaringen, pray for us on this your feast day.  Mary, our Mother of heaven and earth... how she gives me so much each day as we share The rosary prayer throughout my day.  Today running errands the beads were my companion and the joy wells up in my heart, mind and soul!  The time with husband, farm daughter, grandkids all happy to now be living on the farm... it is right!  Your Way is mysterious and we listen to your promptings... Come Holy Spirit and show us the narrow path we are to take until we arrive in heaven forever with YOU.  Jesus , we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
The girls hanging out together in the midst of Family time on the farm!  I think it is obvious why grandma takes too many pictures when there are so many special moments to record.  I use these to share my heart filled with thanksgiving and JOY at all the wonderful ways we are touched and blessed by Jesus alive and well in our lives/Holy Spirit at work!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Chickens are starting to lay green eggs again!  One for breakfast today and two went into our rhubarb cake yesterday!  One tulip on my table from the garden.
Lilacs on my Easter tree in the house.  Happy Easter!
Rose finds a pig that likes to be brushed - the freckles on his butt makes him a blue butt pig.... a random fact of pigs...
 The two Davids on the tractor together.  So special for Maria's 5 to have this time on the farm!  Both of the Davids will be having their first Communion here in Marshall within a week of each other!  We are super excited to share in this landmark beginning of their journey with Christ in His Body and Blood!
One more of Rose and her baby sister!  LOVE!
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Divine Mercy Sunday and each day after!
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Casting Crowns - If we are the Body

“Draw near to our Lord,
thoroughly aware of your own nothingness,
and you may hope all things
from His Goodness and Mercy.
Never forget
that Jesus Christ is no less generous
in the Blessed Sacrament
than He was during His mortal life on earth.

St Mary Euphrasia Pelletier
France ~ 1796-1868
Her "three inseparable devotions":
Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Eucharist, Mary
Foundress ~ Sisters of the Good Shepherd
By time of death:  established 110 convents in 35 countries
Motto: "One person is of more value than a world." 
FEAST DAY - April 24
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Sunday, April 23, 2017

A mind tumbler..."Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

Grandpa paused in the bright sunlight to adore his little granddaughter, Evangeline Mary, as we were on our way to mass as a family this Second Sunday of Easter/Divine Mercy Sunday/always so amazing to share it with our two daughters and son... 17 strong!  Above the mirror is the wonderful crucifix Pat's mother gifted to us years ago, and was part of their home on the farm growing up.  A reminder of the faith we share going back generations - the tie which binds us into our domestic Church/family and from which we can experience the small slice of heaven here on earth.  Sharing the Banquet when heaven comes down to earth and we all praise Jesus to the Highest Heavens - Hallelujah!!!
Notice the tiny bootied foot... Mary holding her new 3 week old baby sister, Joy, at mass this morning!  Family sharing Faith and yes, the farm too!  Today Ruth and Paul's 3 oldest are going to pick up their fair pigs about an hour and a half away.  Lots of excitement!
Such a good little precious girl!  The Gospel today is doubting Thomas...  Pondering all that I have witnessed of the Lord at work in my life... the words of Jesus to Thomas about those that have not seen him but believe... caused me to pause and ponder today as I do not consider myself one of these with all the ways he reveals himself to me.  As I was reflecting I looked up to the altar and as the body and blood were lifted up in the consecration - I echoed St Thomas' words - "My Lord and my God"... ever since I had an older lady sit behind me and say this out loud... I have adopted it as it helps me to realize that this is Christ there in the sacrifice of the altar!  He is truly there for me - it is Christ!  I cannot say that I am one who has not seen and have believed!  I have seen Him over and over and he dwells in me!

Ruth holding 3 week old Joy Jean and grandpa holding 5 1/2 month old Evangeline Mary.  We filled the first two rows at mass with 11 kids and 6 adults including 3 of our 5 children.  In two weeks when Hallel is here we will have all 5 of our children here together worshiping in the church they attended since they were days old!  My heart is full to overflowing with the blessings we have received... most especially the recognizing of Christ on the altar each week and sharing our Faith with JOY!  St Peter says it so amazingly today in I Peter 1 - the second reading..."Although you have not seen him you love his; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 
I tried to underline joy... yes, we said her name today in this amazing reading!  We might not see Jesus with our eyes anymore, but more importantly we see him with the eyes of our hearts, minds and souls!  Sin and death and darkness are no more!
So much wonderful LIFE in the LIGHT!  Open to LIFE and raising LIGHTS!  Sharing mass as a family each week with JOY, and now really with Joy Jean!  Our domestic Church/family in The Church each Sunday!  In two weeks all our kids together with the return home of Little Sister Hallel for her first home visit in 4 years!  We just shared Sunday dinner here, and when we get together for a meal we know that the dishwasher will be full with every meal!

"That rhubarb was growing just 5 minutes ago, Therese."  We picked it from the garden after we got home from mass and soon it was in our first rhubarb upside down cake for the dessert with our Sunday dinner on the farm.  Tonight we will gather together for a chicken dinner at Ruth's and see the baby pigs... Family Sundays are the best!  We experience a lot of the joy and community and sharing of faith as the early disciples did... "Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes.  They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.  And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved." Acts 2 - the first reading at mass today, and much of Father spoke about how we need to invite.  As parents and grandparents we are the first and most important teachers of our young!  May we add daily to our number as we share our faith clearly and with JOY!
Family time with RaTerra at our school fundraiser last night.  The girls each brought their baby girls...
Truly a family time... all of our 5 went 9 years at HRS, and now Ruth's 6 will attend there!  The Catholic school has been a blessing to us over the years!
Ruth and her sweet newborn!   Her baptism will be in a week after her older brother, David, has his first Communion!  Lots to celebrate in The Church!  Little David, Maria's son, will also be receiving his first Communion here when they come through Marshall for 2 days on their way to Fort Lewis, Washington!  Both of our Davids receiving Jesus to last them a lifetime ( every Sunday and possible daily) having their first Communion just 2 weeks apart here in Marshall!  Little David will have his first confession with our wonderful friend Fr Craig when he comes to visit Hallel for her home visit!  "We have seen the Lord."  John 20/The Gospel today!

Jesus, I am overwhelmed by the beautiful way you are orchestrating our lives - You are in control and we give it all over to you!  Your Mercy is all around us, and may we then return it to all those in our domestic Church/family.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
A beautiful bloom... Rose and the Easter flowers in the gathering space.  How we are loving The Spring with the return of birds and green grass and rhubarb and asparagus and clothes on the line, and leaves on the trees!  LIFE has returned and we rejoice!  Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
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St Faustina, pray for us.  Jesus, we trust in you.
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Maria put a fire breathing dragon out of frosting with dino bites cereal for his scales in honor of St George feastday today... Grandpa cut his head off and ate it! 
Happy Feast Day
Saint George
Died: 303
Feast Day: April 23
Patronage: England, crusaders, soldiers...

St. George was a Greek who became an officer in the Roman army. He is venerated as a Christian martyr, put to death for his faith. He is usually pictured with a dragon, which in the Middle Ages was commonly used to represent the devil.
Chaplet of Divine Mercy