August 17th National Thriftshop Day

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I don’t believe there is a truer statement ever made. One person throws something away that another person sees and just can’t live without and more often than not, those are the items found in thriftshops all over the world. There are all sorts of valuable treasures available there that someone really didn’t want anymore but realized someone else might find use of it, so they donate it, more often to charity than not, who in turn sell it at a thriftshop who re-sells it a consumer. It serves three purposes, the person who no longer wanted the item gets rid of it, the person who finds it fells they got a bargain and a charity somewhere has gained funding for their cause.

How to celebrate – Shop at a thriftshop. Donate to a thriftshop. Go treasure hunting at a thriftshop.

November 1st All Saint’s Day

Today we celebrate all those Saints in Christianity, most set by the Catholic Church. Many of the Saints were martyrs who died in the love for Christ and the people who follow him. There are many who pray to the Saints for their help and guidance. There is little doubt they were devoted people who were leaders just by living the lives they lived.

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All Saint’s Day was originally called Hallomas and celebrated in May. It was moved to November to help combat the pagan holiday of Halloween. The leaders of the church believed that Halloween had become too popular and could not simply be ignored or destroyed by the church.

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There are over 10,000 Saint’s, all appointed by the church. Most are designated to cover some human fault or some human need (which pretty much seems like the same thing). Most Christian religions believe there are Saints, though they do not expect them to intercede on their behalf.

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The honest truth is, no one knows for sure. So if you believe in Saints, Angels, or Guardians then I see no reason to stop the practice. If you do not, what harm is there in letting others believe they are being served in some way by these Saints. They generally ask things those on earth have no chance of answering.

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Believe in Saints or not, today is their day… not yours. If you are a believer I hope the Saints will help you with your request, if you do not believe, I hope they don’t hold it against you on judgement day.

How to celebrate – See how many Saints you can name. Find out which Saints assist with what needs. Study what it takes to become a Saint.

May 27th Trinity Sunday

Today is Trinity Sunday in Australia. So why should we care? Well it’s celebrated as well in Canada, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and here in the United States. It combines the Trinity, The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost (Or Holy Spirit) into one.

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This is a hard concept for many to believe but it’s sort of like the President, the Vice-President and the Secretary of State except in a union where all three work together, exist because of each other and blend themselves into one. Obviously the President, Vice-President and Secretary of State don’t do that!

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The day was created by Pope Gregory IX in 828 CE. (So why isn’t it celebrated in Italy?). It’s symbol is the Borromean rings, three rings connected to one another. It is one of the few church celebrate doctrines.

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If you are a Christian it is an important Sunday. The idea that three separate entities can become one is hard to understand. But God is the Father, Jesus is the Son and the Holy Spirit is the light that they bring to you. One does not exist without the other, combined they are the perfect union.

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Either you believe, or you don’t. Most religions have something similar to this. To those of us that follow Christ, it is hard for us to imagine something else. However, as we ask for tolerance of what we believe, we must also give tolerance to what others believe.

How to celebrate – Learn more about Trinity Sunday. Celebrate the day in Church. Be tolerant of others.

March 2nd World Day of Prayer

For me, I know prayer works. It may not for you and it does not always bring me what I hope for but it does bring me what is best for me (funny how what we want is not always what is best for us). Today is sponsored by “Church Women United”.

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The day was founded by Mary Ellen Fairchild James, a Methodist from Brooklyn, NY for home missions in 1887. Forty years later, in 1927, the day was established on the 1st Friday of March. After another 40 years the Second Vatican Council accepted the day allowing all Catholics to participate in the day, 1967.

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We are taught that saying prayers in a group works better – that when enough voices pray for the same thing they are more often acted upon, not because they mean more than your private prayers, but because they are brought to God by more voices that care. That makes sense, but I believe your individual prayers are heard just as clearly.

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When you think no one is listening to you, you are wrong. You are always heard but you have to believe. After-all, if you don’t believe in who you are praying to, then why should you believe your prayers will be answered.

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How to celebrate – Say a prayer today.

 

March 1st Ash Wednesday

Today is the 1st day of Lent, a special day in the Christian religion. It marks a time of prayer and fasting, primarily for Catholics but most other Christian based faith group also participate. It leads up to Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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The symbol of the cross (Commemorating the death of Christ) is placed on the forehead to indicate that we, as people, will one day return to ash. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” This marks the end of the physical body but not the soul. On Wednesday we are to go to a service, normally somber to remember the last supper, receive the ashes and proudly wear them to show our faith.

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As we mark this time we are also supposed to give up something we enjoy (but is probably a bad habit) for between 40 and 46 days. This should lead up to Easter when as with Jesus, we should be renewed in our faith. There is nothing said that after the 46 days we cannot go back to whatever it is we gave up, but it would probably be well to give up whatever it is we chose forever.

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The ashes are to be made up from the palms used for the prior season. They are to be burned, the ashes retained for use on Ash Wednesday. Palms were laid at Jesus’ feet as he entered the city of Jerusalem, the symbol here was that he was a kind and gentle King of men. He rode into the city on a donkey, not arriving in a chariot or making some grand entrance.

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These 40-46 days lead to the highs and lows of Jesus’ time here on earth. From the cheers to the jeers and back again to cheers. He came for mankind, died for mankind and returned for mankind to save us from ourselves. If you are a Christian this is a very important and sacred time.

How to celebrate – Go to church and get ashes as a symbol of your love for Christ. Be humble and thoughtful. Say special prayers for all those you know.

February 3rd Bubble Gum Day

Yes, yes I know… the picture says Bubble Gum Day is February 7th but it is actually the first Friday in February so this year, it’s February 3rd! It was originated by Ruth Spiro, a writer, in 2006.

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Her idea was to create a day where children could enjoy one of their favorite sports, chewing bubble gum, and serve the community at the same time. Children bring 50 cents to school to buy the right to chew gum in school for the day. In theory, the idea is that the money goes to charity, or to the school for any of a hundred different things needed. Nothing is being sold so there is no expense.

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The idea caught on and is now a fund raiser for not only schools but also libraries, churches, and community events where gum is not normally allowed. It can cause issues because many children are careless with their gum or purposely use it to leave a mess behind, but it can also teach children to be respectful and responsible.

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Believe it or not, it can also be used to make children more attentive. Chewing gum takes away a lot of their nervous energy and helps them to focus on the task at hand.

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It would be great to get animals involved in this as well, the only problem is… they don’t have pockets to carry their 50 cents in (except for maybe kangaroos).

How to celebrate – See if you school participates in this fundraiser. If not, start one at your school. Check with your local library about the fundraiser. Find an organization that can benefit from today and get them to participate.