Musings – Random Thoughts

I have completely fallen in love with Phalaenopsis Orchids. Beautiful, delicate looking and tough with an astonishing number of varieties, they have become my favorite flower by far.

I have completely fallen in love with Phalaenopsis Orchids. Beautiful, delicate looking and tough with an astonishing number of varieties, they have become my favorite flower by far.

By Charlie Johnston

Now that my sister is making her presence felt here, a couple of things I will have to explain. First, my father and I (and my son, for that matter) bear the same name. When I was little, I was called “Larry,” my middle name to avoid confusion with my Dad. Sometime in first grade, it occurred to me that I knew and read of men named Charlie, but all the Larry’s I read of in stories were little kids. I knew of one man named Larry, but he was a complete goof and acted like a kid. So early on in second grade, I asked to make an announcement. I told everyone that henceforth I would only answer to the name of “Charlie.” They could call me Larry if they wanted, but I would not answer to it. And so I was Charlie.

It is rather pleasing that I,

White Phalaenopsis

White Phalaenopsis

unlike many, have gotten full use out of my names. I did notice, over time how peculiarly situational we can be. Among family, if someone calls out “Charlie,” I rarely notice or look up. Anywhere else, someone can scream “Larry” as loud as they want, but I don’t notice. That got a bit blurred when some of my family who lived for a time up north took to calling me Charlie in non-family situations. So now I usually respond to Charlie, but only when with family to Larry. And that is not a conscious thing…the mind just adapts to the situation. Weird.

*********

As for my sister’s tale of how she got introduced to my little peculiarities, I am sometimes told something specific about a particular person or given a specific message to give them. Frankly, this is usually the most dramatic direct evidence of something peculiar going on and has often occasioned tears or utter astonishment. But it is also something I pretty much keep silent about unless the person involved tells of it. I figure it is private to them. In this case, I was made aware that my nephew had said something that would have been terrifying if not properly understood. I did understand it…and I could not bear the thought of Kim agonizing over it. At the time, I always tried to be low-key about such things, to slip it by unnoticed if I could. So I just started off telling her that when he said what he did, it did not mean what it sounded like – and explained what it did mean. I said it as if we had discussed it before. At first, she was so relieved she just talked about it. Then a moment of silence and…”HEY…how did you know what he said? I haven’t told anybody. HEY!” (Kim can be quite impressive when she gets excited). So it occasioned a bit of a talk between us.

pattern phalaenopsisAmusingly, a few years later, after many discussions and experiences, in a casual phone conversation I told her, “I gotta tell you about the creepiest thing that happened to me yesterday…” Before I could continue, she started screaming in absolute panic, “Lord, NO! Don’t say anything!” Baffled, I calmed her and asked what she was so panicked about. “I don’t want to hear ANYTHING that creeps YOU out,” she said. I laughed and said that no, I just meant normal creepy…not the special creepy I sometimes have to deal with. She was dubious, but let me tell her my little story.

It does make for some interesting situations. When my Dad was being hospitalized for heart surgery, not everyone knew my situation, but all knew I had a weird way of knowing certain things. All of the family was coming in for his surgery. I talked to Kim and decided it was scary enough…and I told Dad I would be there right after it was over. We would visit then. Kim and I both figured it would be reassuring if I was not coming before, but waiting until after…and it was.

*********

Back in the summer of 2011 an American aid worker named Warren Weinstein was kidnapped in Pakistan by Al Quaeda. He remains in captivity. I doubt securing the release of a kidnapped American Jew by Islamic terrorists is a priority for the American administration. They are far too busy trying to clear the way for Iran to get nuclear weapons, wage verbal and diplomatic war on Israel, and empower Jihad to worry much about Americans held captive by the people they seem to consider allies. But as it turns out, Mr. Weinstein’s daughter is a close friend of the daughter of one of our regular readers.

If I were in charge of the secular authority, my prayers for such victims would be accompanied by specific actions. There would be no proportionality involved in responding to such provocations against American citizens. The terrorists would be give 24 hours to return the victim unharmed or we would rain deadly force upon them until they were completely wiped out. Terrorists would not be allowed to hide unmolested among civilian populations. Civilians would be informed we meant them no harm, but if terrorists were hiding by a hospital, they either better get the terrorists away from there or evacuate the hospital, because we are coming. purple phalaenopsisJihadists insist they will only settle for victory or death. If I were in charge I would oblige them – and not by ceding them victory. The sooner the world knows that we are all in and that there will be no proportionality or restraint, that the only acceptable diplomatic solution is for the Jihadists to unconditionally surrender, the fewer people will have to suffer and die in this wound that is gushing martyrs. But I am not in charge – and the people who are seem more interested in ennabling terrorists than forming alliances to defeat them.

So now I pray the Prayer of Miraculous Trust on behalf of Warren Weinstein and his family, asking the Lord to send St. Joan of Arc, a Christian warrior who knew how to deal with unrepentant aggressors, to accompany, console and guide them through this ordeal. I hope you will join me.

*********

If you do even a casual scan of news sites, you know that more astonishingly terrifying news arrives each day than used to arrive in a year. We have entered a certain hyper-drive; disorder is on warp speed. That complete crash has not already come is a testament to the vigor of a system that men who were better, wiser, more honorable and humbler than us created and sustained for so long. We won’t limp along much longer; complete chaos is at hand. I appeal to you that now is the time to be deliberate, now is the time to steady yourself.yellow phalaenopsis Do not get distracted by the outrages for the ages that are committed daily by people sworn to defend freedom. It is a distraction. Ironically, the more outrageous the offenses become, the more provocatively officials act, the less relevant they become to the outcome. They and their pompous pronouncements will soon be blown away like so much chaff. The only part they have to play in the next few years is as shrieking, vanquished, humiliated narcissists. It is you – and hundreds of thousands of average people like you, that will find the will and the strength to rebuild and to endure. And the way we will do that is to be deliberate…do the simple things with steady resolve. Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. The final crash is at hand. Do not prepare for crash: prepare to give succor and endure.

 

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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310 Responses to Musings – Random Thoughts

  1. Bob says:

    A letter, condensed I wrote to the Monsignor who was involved in the decision to not retain that teacher in NJ. I share it as I think God sometimes gives me a bit of grace when I write!
    Msgr Seamus Brennan
    Dear Monsignor:
    Regarding the non-renewal of Pat Jannuzzi I have this to say.
    Jesus gave full welcome to the Magdalene. He said not to judge her that is true but he also said. “Go and sin no more”. Some who are told to “Go and sin no more” may choose to not repent or attempt to stop sinning. That is on them. But we are also reminded as a church that if we don’t tell the sinner of their sin we will be held accountable, and “admonishing the sinner” is one of the spiritual works of mercy. It is truly sad that our society has come to such a sorry state that Christians are being persecuted for stating basic Catholic teachings. It is even sadder when Shepherds of God’s church join in the persecution by not defending their people. It is time for our church to stand firm for the truths of the faith, and yes in a loving and charitable way, but we must do it. And sadly no matter how charitable we try to be some will call it “Hate” when we call them on their sins. And how can we stand firmly for the truths of our faith if we do not allow our teachers to teach them in our Catholic Schools? The truth must be taught with love and with humility but shame on those who do not support those who are standing up for the faith and give in to the attacks of an on line mob attack action.
    Dear Monsignor, please strengthen your weak knees and support your people in times of persecution or I assure you it will only get worse not better. The enemies of our faith will only feel emboldened if we seem weak now and they will never love us for our beliefs anyway. May God bless you and give you prudence and wisdom in your ministry and yes courage too in making your decisions. Please work to reverse the decision and put Ms Jannuzzi back in good graces and allow her to return to her teaching job she did so faithfully for so many years.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-school-suspends-theology-teacher-for-defending-marriage-on-faceboo

    Liked by 3 people

  2. CrewDog says:

    Sadly, 5000 years of Human History, Biblical & otherwise, demonstrates that a majority of people don’t want to “hear” bad news and belittle … or worse .. those Watchmen or Prophets that attempt to raise an alarm! This goes for Physical AND Physical dangers. It must and will be much worse for those of US in 1st World Countries as we have become comfortable in our “plenty/safety” zones and with the distractions of all those Made in China gadgets! …… and comfortable with the idea that our Government will “Take-Care” of US when the SHTF …. even when the History of just the past few decades shows otherwise! Sooooo??? Pray, don’t get discouraged and, if able, put some “stuff” aside for the others!!
    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jessica says:

    ok, ok, ok …. could we all just hold off on the storm, for a minute here?!?!? Our insurance appeal ‘needs’ to go through and then our family ‘needs’ to travel to Dallas, have a surgery for our daughter and come home safely before things get too crazy 🙂 So if everyone could just put that collapse thing on hold for a minute while we safely do that … I’d appreciate it!

    On a more serious note, thank you all for your witness. It calms the pre-game jitters!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I like your attitude, Jessica.

      Like

    • Michelle says:

      Praying for that tonight, Jessica.

      Like

    • SteveBC says:

      Jessica, I have ended up arranging a flight in the middle of April and believe that God and those who help me want it to happen. It appears to be an answer to some of my recent prayers. I’m hoping it will be an opportunity to heal some issues in my family and alert one sib who has become an aggressive atheist that perhaps he might reconsider.

      However, this week I have noticed for the first time that God appears to be nudging me on several points, all of which relate in some fashion to getting ready for the Collapse. It’s currently gentle nudges, but they do impress me as real, and such has not happened to me before now.

      I do pray that you can get that surgery done in time and see your daughter healed. May your appeal resolve speedily.

      And may you retain your sense of humor and perspective! 🙂

      Like

  4. Gwen says:

    When I am sharing with people how important it is to have provisions on hand, I refer them to FEMA and government recommend emergency preparedness. It’s just simple common sense.
    An idea inspired me that was posted on Survival Blog. Most canned goods now have expiration dates in mid 2017. I found some copy paper boxes at work and fill them with “food units”. In goes meal units such as ravioli, green beans and a can of tropical fruit. A can of chili, tamales and peaches and so on. When the bottom of the box is full of meal units I throw in plastic spoons and forks, a can opener, paper plates, hand sanitizer, candles, etc. There you have a food unit that can be stacked and grabbed to go if you need to bug out or to share for a family in need. Or when your food supply is running low. It is easy to pick up cans during regular shopping trips and add to a box.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Carmelite says:

    Jessica, dear, my prayers are with you and your family.
    Along the same line, but certainly MUCH more mundane, I request input on a decision I have to make. April is almost here .. grass will soon be growing in PA … we desperately need a new mower. I am the one who does mostly ALL of the outdoor work, since hubby cannot. Bottom line, do I get a good one that will be easy on my aging body or just something that will get by for this summer :-/.
    Sounds like a really stupid request, but gosh, I truly need input. Am trying to TDL and get extra few things (meds and such) for us and others.
    God’s blessings to all as we approach Palm Sunday!

    Like

    • Mary Ann says:

      I would say invest in a good mechanical mower. They are not any more difficiult to push, and they won’t need gas.

      Like

      • Lily says:

        We have a reel/mechanical lawn mower and my husband loves it. It works best if the grass isn’t too tall/overgrown.

        Like

        • Carmelite says:

          Mary Ann and Lily, thank you for your thoughts. At first I said, huh? Really?? Don’t they know I’m 60+ with a large, hilly lawn and I don’t have a helper???
          But I truly take all words to heart and am researching reel mowers. Lots of opinions, especially when it comes to my type of lawn … haven’t ruled it out 🙂

          Like

        • Mary-Louise says:

          Are you friendly with neighbors, or have someone you are close to at church? I might offer to trade something I’m good at for mowing. For example, a summer of fresh-baked pies in exchange for yard work. Just a thought.

          Like

          • Lily says:

            Ha ha, Carmelite, I was just going to say the same thing as Mary Louise. Maybe a neighbour will do it for you. It will be more useful than a gas mower with no gas.

            Like

          • Carmelite says:

            Now that’s a thought, hmmm.
            Also, mowing grass will most likely be my least concern, no?
            But meanwhile, it WILL grow and concern me and my neighbors.
            Thank you, Mary-Louise and Lily for your kind thoughts.
            Oh – guess a generator won’t be of much use either, eh, LOL? But I DO have lots of church candle stubs for light 🙂

            Like

  6. Mary Ann says:

    One thing that might be helpful is this: if you cannot prepare, are not permitted to prepare by circumstances, or if people prevent you from some aspect of preparing, or if you are religious and you are told not to prepare, no worries. You can only do what you can do. God knows circumstances. God prefers that we obey superiors, work cooperatively with relatives, and exercise prudence. After the law of God and the Church, and the duties of our state in life, circumstances are the next guide to God’s will. It is a greater call to trust if you are in a circumstance that just makes it darn difficult, physically or morally or socially, to do what you believe is the “right” (i.e. correct, though not morally obligatory) thing.

    Like

  7. k parnell says:

    Thank you MMBev and Charlie for bringing up the topic of special needs children…I too have noticed numerous comments, and guess it’s time for me to chime in. Our 29 year old daughter Megan is developmentally disabled and struggles with serious neurological episodes, but no diagnosis, ever. We entered the Church in 2007 and she has been blessed with many, many Graces. Our priests have suggested I keep journals of her experiences and so I have. Her hearts desire is to be a nun, but considering her abilities and health problems that seems unlikely…she has had a lovely idea, which she says was given her by Holy Mother, of a group home for disabled young women. She maintains it must be next to a Catholic church so she can walk with her “sisters” to daily mass, and then they would pray the Rosary and knit!…we’ve had a few discussions with priests and friends, but for now nothing seems possible. So I thought sharing here might be good before “something” happens and I am not able to! Perhaps her lovely home is meant to be for “after”? Lent always seems to bring more illness to her and this year is no exception, so prayers would be appreciated….p.s. Meg said God told her to get 130 rosaries and bottled water….and so that is what we are doing!…as a caregiver I have been all but worn out and grateful for this wonderful community! God’s blessings to all, Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Monica Joseph of the Blessed Sacrament, OCDS says:

      Kathy, what a wonderful testimony you have. And, I don’t know if this would be something along the idea of what your daughter is thinking, but Regina Magazine had a great profile on an order of nuns in France, who accept Down’s Syndrome women as completely integrated into the community. Maybe your daughter is to be the impetus for a similar community here! http://reginamag.com/little-sisters-disciples-lamb/

      PS Regina Magazine allowed the message about Joe Cronin to be posted in their Facebook feed in the midst of the crisis. If you aren’t familiar with it, it is a beautiful and FREE online magazine! 🙂 And, I have no affiliation with it, so this is a completely disinterested plug. 🙂

      Like

      • NancyA says:

        Monica, I’m glad you posted.I was about to go looking for that same story on Regina for Kathy! Kathy, I’d say if Meg’s Mother is saying it, it will be. 🙂

        Like

        • Kathy P. says:

          Monica, thank you so much for the kind reply. I had seen a short video on the dear little sisters, but not with very much information. I know Meg would love that beautiful community! She wants so much to be “tucked in” to the heart of Church. Regina magazine was new to me so I appreciate the info…thank you!

          Like

        • Kathy P. says:

          Thanks for the reminder about Mary….it seems all to easy to feel overwhelmed in these times! NancyA, thank you.

          Like

      • Kathy P. says:

        Monica, thank you so much for the kind reply. I had seen a short video on the dear little sisters, but not with very much information. I know Meg would love that beautiful community! She wants so much to be “tucked in” to the heart of Church. Regina magazine was new to me so I appreciate the info…thank you!

        Like

    • Mick says:

      Prayers for you and yours.

      Like

  8. As this is a musings post, I wanted to share this sign of hope and the website I found it on, http://www.thechristians.com. Here is an opinion piece about how Prince Charles is defending the persecuted Christians: http://thechristians.com/?q=content/new-defender-eastern-faith-prince-charles . Apparently the Prince is more “orthodox” than he gets credit for, which is for me a sign of hope in itself as he is in line to be head of the Church of England. (Not sure how the storm will affect all that, but God is stirring his heart it would seem.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kathleen Vacheresse says:

    I ordered the Miraculous Trust prayer cards from Full of Grace and had them blessed and sent them in our Easter Mass cards with a note that it is a new prayer for our time. I also prayed the Miraculous Trust prayer for each one asking the Holy Spirit open their hearts to the truth. I am already hearing back about some answer to long awaited prayers. Praise Glory and Honor to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Like

    • Ruth Ayres (Ruth A) says:

      I was interested that someone is concentrating on collecting rosaries and bottled water. I’ve been spring cleaning today and am amazed at the number of rosary leaflets and divine mercy leaflets I have collected over the years. And I have a stack of rosaries I bought when last in Medjugorje. All ready for the Storm.

      Like

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