This Sunday, Orthodox Christians commemorate the Icon of the Theotokos of Kazan and the deliverance of Moscow and Russia from the Polish incursion in 1612. Through deceit, the Poles had succeeded in taking Moscow. In response to the appeal of Patriarch Hermogenes, the Russian people rose up in defense of its native land. From Kazan, the wonderworking icon of the Mother of God was sent to the army headed by Prince Demetrius Pozharsky. Emboldened by the arrival of the Icon, Russian forces on October 22, 1612 liberated Moscow from the Polish usurpers. A celebration in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos was established in 1649. With the Icon of Our Lady of Vladimir, the Kazan Icon is one of the most revered and celebrated Icons in Russia. The image shown is a modern copy of the original Icon.
Tomorrow the Church on the Arroyo kitchen committee will host a Pastor appreciation luncheon after the worship service (around noon). Barbecued chicken quarters with assorted sides will be the delicious fare. All are welcome – come and show your appreciation to Bob and Annette for guiding our community in the right direction. May God bless them!
This weekend South Padre Island is holding its annual sandcastle building competition. This year is the 30th anniversary of the event. Clayton’s Beach Bar is the site of the competition and we dropped by on Friday afternoon to check the progress of the castles. I believe tomorrow is judging day, so amble on down and check out the beautiful creations on display. The weather has co-operated with a break in the rain for the duration of the event. Here is a preview of the sculptures – still in progress. We missed one that was not very far along.
An Orb-weaver has taken up residence in our carport. He has become our friend – catching and consuming wasps, bees and other nasty stinging things. He measures about 2.5 inches tip to tip and has been there for almost 2 weeks now.
In researching these spiders, we came up with the following story. In 2009, workers at a Baltimore Wastewater Treatment Plant called for help to deal with over 100 million orb-weaver spiders, living in a community that managed to spin a phenomenal web that covered some 4 acres of a building with spider densities in some areas reaching 35,176 spiders per cubic meter. What a horrifying image!
The Fire Department auxiliary committee has adopted a section of FM 2925 – from SeaWay Village westward for 2 miles. This morning at 0730, 11 volunteers turned out and did a sterling job until rain halted the work at around 0945. This was just as well – the heat, humidity, age and fatigue were taking toll. A huge thank you to the auxiliary, department members and others who came to perform a welcome community service.
A polite request to drivers and passengers along FM 2925: we live here and don’t like looking at (or picking up) your trash discarded on the side of the road. Please show some consideration and DO NOT LITTER.
With all the furor surrounding privileged and overpaid sports figures protesting at sporting events by dishonoring the National Anthem and hence the flag, we decided to take a look at the history of the Anthem and the flag which inspired it.
The flag is two centuries old, spans 30ft by 34ft and has suffered the effects of age and being snipped for souvenir hunters. The original star-spangled banner, the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song that would become the US national anthem, lies horizontally at a 10-degree angle of elevation in a low light chamber at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington DC.
The anthem started in an act of military defiance by a young nation seeking to assert its identity. In 1812, the US declared war on Britain, smarting over what it saw as British interference in trade. But it suffered numerous setbacks, including being helpless in August 1814 to prevent British troops marching on Washington and setting the White House ablaze. A month later, the British spent 24 hours bombarding Fort McHenry, which protected Baltimore. By the “dawn’s early light” on 14 September, the lawyer Francis Scott Key, who was aboard a ship several miles away, could just make out the American flag flying above Fort McHenry. He realised that British ships were pulling out of Baltimore and the US had survived. He began to compose a poem on the back of a letter under the title The Defence of Fort McHenry. Copies were given to every man at the fort and around Baltimore. The published work included instructions that it be sung to the 18th-century British melody To Anacreon in Heaven. The first documented public performance of the words and music together took place in Baltimore on 19 October 1814. A music shop published the words and music under the title The Star-Spangled Banner.
The Star Spangled Banner is a stirring and patriotic statement about our country. We passionately support free speech, expression and the right to protest. However, we’re nauseated and disgusted by the petulant behavior of the sports figures. Dishonoring our Anthem and Flag is not the way to exercise democratic rights. If you don’t like a politician running for office, or duly elected by the people, use your vote. Once someone is elected, he becomes your elected official – respect him and the office – the people have spoken. Don’t use your status as a role model to promote anarchy.
It’s that time of year again when sunrise is a little later in the morning and the weather generates spectacular cloud formations for us to enjoy. This was yesterday around 0715.
“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” …. Romans 1:20