Archive | June 2014

Giants in the Land by Clark Rich Burbidge (A Book Review)

Giants in the Land

Giants in the Land by Clark Rich Burbidge is a delightful story about a community of people who live in a rural land and are helped in their daily lives by giants who come every day to work with them.  Their presence in this town is a positive presence and the townspeople love them for helping them.

You will meet Forestmaster, Threadweaver, Mountainbiter, Bladesmelter and others.  Each with a name descriptive of their work life.  Interesting characters who will begin to teach what “TheWay of Things” are.

The day comes when the giants disappear.  How will the townspeople react?  Read this wonderful book and find out.

Sandy Ozanich (c) June 30, 2014

The Power of a Touch

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest accomplishment, or the smallest act of caring,all of which have the potential to turn a life around. . .

I saw this somewhere, and for the life of me I just don’t remember where or who wrote it, but boy do I subscribe to what it says!!!   (Thanks to a new colleague, I now know that this quote is attributed to Leo F. Buscaglia!  So I am giving credit where much credit is due!  Thanks Leo.)

Think about it.  What do humans crave?  We crave food, water, shelter and human contact.  These are the things we need to survive.  We survive all the better when we have human contact ~ a look, a touch, a smile, an intimate friendship or marriage.

Today I want to celebrate the power of a touch ~ the power of love.

Sandy Ozanich (c)  June 12, 2014

Quote for the day/intention for the day

Here is a quote for the day from Br. Andre’ a good friend of mine.

Andre's Hearth

Quote for the day:

God is a riverbed of mercy!

Intention for the day:

For the well-being of the ancient Christian communities of Iraq, Syria, Egypt and all of the troubled areas of the mid East.  These communities have been discriminated against for centuries; have endured repeated massacres and forced conversions and now find themselves confronted with devastation in their ancestral lands and  the real possibility of exile and even extinction.

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It Is Enough – from Sabbath Moments by Terry Hershey

 This post is from a weekly email from Terry Hershey.  It’s called Sabbath Moments and this weeks post really resonated with me.  I think you will find it so for you as well.

May you be blessed!!!

Sandy Ozanich

It is Enough
June 9, 2014
Having a good time, wish I was here. Postcards from the edge

Most people spend their entire life indefinitely preparing to live.  Paul Tournier

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. Erica Jong


In the movie, Verna USO Girl, Verna (Sissy Spacek) plays a clumsy tone-deaf song and dance girl because no one else is available.  Verna neither sings on key nor dances to a beat, but she’s utterly convinced that her destiny is stardom.  She is sure that when she dies thousands will attend her funeral.  Their memory of her will make her immortal.

Verna does not become a star, but she does make a hit with Walter, a young GI (William Hurt) who falls in love with her.  Although she returns his affection, she decides that she cannot disrupt her “career” to marry him, pushing herself to perform in battle zones where everyone else is too scared to move.

Finally a land mine halts her.  She is killed.

Because she is the first USO girl to “die in action,” the military decides that her story will boost morale.

So guess what happens?

Thousands attend her funeral.

Dignitaries attend and walk behind the casket.

Bands march and play.

Oh, by the way, we are uncertain if anyone knows her name.

Is this a story about romance and / or missed opportunities?  In part.

Is this a story about being consumed and blinded by misguided ambition?  In part.

Is this a story about love held close to the chest, and love lost?  In part.

It’s also a story about courage and heart and chutzpah.


And yet… does there need to be one moral to every story?

Here’s why Verna’s story resonates with me.  Because I do know what it is like to push myself “to perform.”  Lord knows why, exce pt that in the end I become a persona–someone I am not–and consequently, uncomfortable in my own skin.

And when that happens, I know what it means to not be present. Uncomfortable in my own skin, as in, unable to give or receive or welcome or savor or contribute. It’s as if there is a disconnect.  This from Philip Roth’s The Anatomy Lesson, “He didn’t feel like a son who’d just witnessed his mother’s burial, but like an actor’s understudy, the one they use in rehearsals to see how the costumes look under the lights.”

Anavah is the Hebrew word translated Humility. I was raised in a religious tradition that taught me humility is synonymous with self-effacement. We went overboard making sure we were never guilty of the sin of pride, ensuring that the mirror to our self was always cloudy. In his book Everyday Holiness, Alan Morinis, sheds light and the insight is helpful. Anavah (Humility) means to occupy or take up our proper space, neither too much, nor too little.

Humility–another way of saying, “Being at home in our own skin.”

With no need to jump through hoops to impress.

With no fear of the winds of public opinion (or the less than pleasant voices in our own head).

It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to. WC Fields

Remember the 1991 movie, Regarding Henry? Harrison Ford plays a genuine-SOB-lawyer, who is shot in a random accident. After, he is not the same, mentally, physically, or spiritually. During his rehabilitation, he has a friendship with Bradley, his physical therapist. “I thought I could go back to my life, but I don’t like who I was Bradley… I don’t fit in.”

Bradley says to Henry, “I got bad knees. Football, wrecked ’em both playing college football. Man, that was my life. What else was there. NO jack shit… safety hit me… game over, my life was over… ask me if I mind having bad knees. No way. I had to find a life. Don’t listen to nobody trying to tell you who you are.”

Okay. Here’s the catch-22: if we’re not to “listen to nobody tell us who we are,” then how do we occupy our proper space and live well in our own skin?

Where do we summon that unclouded mirror?

Where do we find that place of positive inflation?

When do we know that we are enough?

I was neurotic for years. I was anxious and depressed and selfish. Everyone kept telling me to change. I resented them, and I agreed with them, and I wanted to change, but simply couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried. Then one day someone said to me, “Don’t change. I love you just as you are.” Those words were music to my ears: “Don’t change, Don’t change. Don’t change… I love you as you are.” I relaxed. I came alive. And suddenly I changed!  Anthony de Mello


For this moment, it is enough.


A friend sent this article from The Charlotte Observer. “Doris Gibson of Huntersville can’t see well enough to drive a car, but she can plant tomatoes. She can’t see well enough to read the newspaper without a magnifier. But she can tend angel’s trumpets. Though half her sight is gone to macular degeneration, Gibson is still an enthusiastic gardener of flowers and vegetables. It’s hobby and therapy. Hobby because it keeps her busy, focused on what’s happening, even if that means looking at the beauty of a scarlet hibiscus or a lily through a lighted magnifier. Therapy because it shows she can do something really well, like growing good tomatoes and angels’ trumpets. Her gardening keeps her looking forward to the next day. She is 85.”  

For this moment, it is enough.

At one of my conferences this past month, I spoke with a 90-year-old woman. “I love my life, my ministry,” she told me. “What is it you do that gives you such joy?” I asked her (thinking, “isn’t it enough at 90 to operate the TV remote?”) “Oh,” she told me, “I go visit people in the old folks home.”  

For this moment, it is enough.

Tonight I’m reluctant to get up from my chair on the back deck. The hummingbirds are doing battle near the feeder, miniature fighter planes in a dogfight. An English rose hangs near where I’m sitting. It smells of citrus. Tomorrow I’m on a plane to California, and I don’t want to miss one moment in my garden. We still have an hour before dusk, but the lighting gives the garden an intensity, each color vivid and passionate and alive.  

For the past eighty years I have started each day in the same manner. It is not a mechanical routine but something essential to my daily life. I go to the piano, and I play two preludes and fugues of Bach. I cannot think of doing otherwise. It is a sort of benediction on the house. But that is not its only meaning for me. I t is a rediscovery of the world of which I have the joy of being a part. It fills me with awareness of the wonder of life, with the feeling of the incredible marvel of being a human being.

Pablo Casals (at age 93)

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D-Day June 6, 1944

D Day Omaha Beach June 6 1944US Army troops wade ashore on Omaha Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944

(courtesy of Wikipedia)

Let us never forget what our US Military did for the USA and the world when so many of them lost their lives on the shores of Omaha Beach.  They gave themselves and fought to keep the world free.  There are not too many men left from that fateful day ~ to them we owe a huge debt!

Let us pause for a moment of prayer and gratitude to God and all those who were involved in the D-Day battles.


Sandy Ozanich (c) June 6, 2014

Day of Prayer for Peace

On Sunday, June 8, 2014, Pope Francis will have Israel’s Shimon Peres and Palestine’s Mahmoud Abbas as guests at the Vatican.  The purpose of this gathering is to pray for peace in the Middle East, the Peace of Jerusalem and the world.

Please join me and others around the world in prayer for the Peace of the world.  No matter where you are you can bow your head in prayer.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem!!!


Sandy Ozanich (c) June 5, 2014


Running With Roselle ~ A Review

Running with Roselle 2Disclosure ~ I received this book free from PR By the Book to review.

Running with Roselle is a delightful story and a very courageous story about Mike Hingson and his guide dog Roselle.

You will read how Mike met Roselle and the work it takes to train a “work” dog, an interesting read.  Mike has been blind since birth and has had several guide dogs, but Roselle was his best friend and guide on that fateful day.

September 11, 2001 was a day that would impact Mike’s life as well as everyone else in this country, the families of the ones who died and the rest us who watched this horror unfolding.

Mike knew Roselle was a great guide dog, but today Mike would have to depend on her to get him and his friend Dave out of the building.

I think you will love this story of Mike Hingson, Roselle and Mike’s wife Karen.  Good read, heartwarming book.

Sandy Ozanich (c) June 3, 2014