Crossing

Crossing the Jordan River, for Christians, means going to heaven. When the children of Israel fled Egypt in search of the land God had promised them, they first had to cross the Jordan River. In the New Testament, Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River. Eventually, Christians began to use the Jordan as a metaphor for the crossing that would lead to the final “promised land,” or heaven.

In the old days, down here in Mississippi, folks would say of someone who had died that he or she had “crossed over,”meaning they had crossed the proverbial Jordan River to be with God. So, for many who were born in these parts, the word “crossing” had a spiritual connotation.

Since we’re talking of “olden times,” I am reminded of many songs that were sung during the folk-song era that had to do with this subject matter, one of which was “We are Crossing the Jordan River.” Joan Baez and Bob Gibson did a duet of it at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival. I found a copy of the song on http://www.ibiblio.org/jimmy/folkden-wp/?p=7555, and copied it thinking some might like to hear it again, or for the first time.

We Are Crossing The Jordan River – Click To Play

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My parents tell me that in the past, many individuals went to churches that baptized members of their congregations in nearby rivers or ponds. I’m betting there are still some small churches that continue this practice today.

No matter your spiritual beliefs, it seems to me that believing that death is simply a transition, a crossing, if you will, to another place, universe (parallel or not), or form is as good a way to think about our endings as any other.

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Acts of Altruism

A new feature on The Muses’ Emporium will take place every Friday. Starting today, Friday blogs will center around things we can do for others. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the simple definition of the word “altruism” is: feelings and behavior that show a desire to help other people and a lack of selfishness.

I love my life and enjoy living on my little six-acre farm with my dear husband and our four dogs. I love our children and grandchildren and love finding ways to surprise and delight them whenever I can. But the one thing I feel my life is lacking is reaching out beyond my family and friends and making a difference in the community and world around me.

So, each Friday I am going to feature ideas, programs, and activities that will hopefully act as a reminder to myself, and perhaps some of you, to share skills, talents, and time with those in need.

My first idea comes by way of a friend of mine who recently lost her precious and cherished dog. They joined together to share love and comfort to patients, the elderly, children, and people in crisis or anxiety-filled situations. Her pet was a service dog who touched so many lives during her time here.

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Therapy dogs can be any breed, any age, any size, shape or color, and training can be administered by the owner, a professional trainer, or a training organization. Getting your dog ready to serve or assist can take from six months to a year, and 30 hours of the training must take place in a “controlled public setting”so that the dog can become adjusted to people and can learn to be obedient and unobtrusive.

Service dogs are trained to help those who are:

  • disabled
  • visually impaired
  • hearing impaired
  • mentally ill
  • suffer from a seizure disorder
  • mobility impaired
  • diabetic

 

To learn more, visit Assistance Dogs International. If you have a therapy dog or join with your dog to provide service to those in nursing homes or schools, please share your knowledge and activities with us. Here’s to more service animals in this world!

Throw Nothing Away!

I happened to come upon The Global Indian Blog on a day when its author, Vishruti, had turned her post over to a guest blogger, Camila from Chile. But from what I can gather, Vishruti is a nature-lover, a designer, and a businesswoman who hosts an awesome blog.

On the day that I visited her site, the guest poster was sharing remarkable recycling DIYs using cereal boxes, used shopping bags, cookie boxes, CD paper sleeves, old boxes, washi tapes, and a bit of glue. Her results were beautiful and set my heart atwitter.

So I took Vishruti’s blog to my husband, held it in front of his face, and said:

“See why I never throw anything away?”

I was only slightly kidding because I’m a grown woman and I know that if a person keeps everything, that person will soon have people visiting him or her from the television show “Hoarding: Buried Alive.” But still, there are so many ways to make cards, crafts, and decor from the humblest materials, and these objects make a real difference to the lucky recipients.

Call me crazy, but I get the same feeling when I see recycled gifts as I do when I see a brand new puppy. I’m not kidding, and I completely fall apart when I see a new puppy.

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I know some of my Pinterest friends out there know exactly what I’m talking about, right? All you have to do is enter “pallets” in the search box on Pinterest, and you will discover hundreds of things you can make from these cast aside crafters’ treasures.

I’m pretty sure if you cut magazine pages in strips and tape them together in circles to make a paper chain garland, you will understand, too.

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Getting to Know You

Bloggers seldom know and would be hard-pressed to guess who is reading their words. I imagine that people who like making old things come back to life are among my audience members. I think those who think making things is more fun than buying something brand new might enjoy what I have to say. And I would bet Do-It-Yourself-ers might be drawn to take a peek at some of my posts.

It would be a wonderful compliment to me if my blog was interesting to many different kinds of folks, since I am pretty much drawn to a broad array of subjects, activities, ideas, and styles. The bottom line is my hope that I can write something that will interest my readers and spark their own creativity.

Here’s another bottle project which has been around awhile, but I switched it up a bit by adding knobs instead of handles.

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I also like the smaller bottle. It looks cute with fresh flowers in each container and makes a great holder for rooting cuttings.