Unworthy, But Thankful

lessons-from-parables-parable-of-worker-fair-wage-fair-employerFor my yearly Back-to-School post, I offer this sermon on one of my favorite teacher flicks, Mr. Pip. Good strength to all in your September return to learning. God bless your studies in this new school year!

September 2/15, 2019
13th Sunday After Pentecost
M. Mamas
1 Corinthians 16:13-24
Matthew 21:33-42

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Glory to Jesus Christ. Glory forever. Happy New Year! Yesterday was a special day in the liturgical calendar for it marked the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, the new year of grace in our Lord Jesus Christ. It also happens to coincide with the beginning of the school year. No doubt by now all the students gathered here have had their first day of school in an academic year that will last until sometime next year in the late spring or early summer. So it is a good time for us to gather our strength, take stock of our supplies, and above all be thankful for the opportunities afforded us with a fresh start.

This morning’s Gospel of the vineyard parable features an interesting array of characters to study. The vineyard owner is Christ who provides every supply necessary for a successful operation before he travels to a far off country. He even performs some of the tasks the workers should have done themselves: he plants a vineyard, sets a hedge around it, digs a winepress in it and builds a tower to protect it, but the vine-dressers rather than thank him for it squander both their time and resources. Not only do they not do what they’re supposed to do, but they actively plot to take over control from the owner and murder his son! In short, they wish to benefit from the fruit of the vineyard without the work of cultivating it. Yet the owner comes back and the Gospel asks, “What do you think he will do to those workers?” Continue reading

Prince Martin Wins a Sword

51vv5ixn54lby Brandon Hale

There was a prince that wanted a sword. Every time he would ask his father, the king he would say, “You will win your sword when you show that you are brave.”

The prince was walking in the woods. Suddenly, he saw a deer being cornered by wild hogs. The prince fought the hogs alongside of a dog named Sir Ray. With the help of Sir Ray, he saved the deer and won his sword.

Best of the Best 2018

survey-resultsDrum roll please… The results are in for the 2018: Best of the Best in all the respective media categories. Please see below and also the archives for previous years. Happy viewing and reading everyone, and as always, we would love to know what you think in the comment section below.  Separate reviews are linked on the underlined titles. Enjoy! Continue reading

A Good Family Book

penderwicks-gardam_fotor_collageThe Penderwicks is a series of books that is about a family. There are 5 books in the series that are about different parts of their life.

The first book in the series is about 4 girls named Rosalind, age 12, Sky, age 11, Jane, age 10, and Baty, age 4. They are on vacation with their dad and Hound, the Penderwicks’ dog. The girls’ mother died from cancer right after the youngest Baty was born. The family is on vacation to a place called Arundel, a breathtaking mansion in the Berkshire mountains. This book is about their adventures in the mountains Continue reading

The Case of the Disappearing Kasha (Cream of Wheat)

This is the first post of our oldest son, a translation of a book of stories from Russian author V. Dragunskiĭ entitled Денискины рассказы (Dennis’ Stories).

This story took place in Moscow. So, if you’ve been to Moscow, do you know the Kremlin? And, if you don’t know, it’s like a big  group of famous buildings and gardens. It will come later in the story.

So, the main person in the story, is a boy named Dennis. He woke up in the morning and brushed his teeth and got changed as usual. Then, he went and looked at what was on the table to eat for breakfast. His mom brought him a full bowl of kasha. He said “I hate this stuff; I can’t stand it!”  His mom promised him that if he ate his kasha, he would be able to go to the Kremlin. Dennis thought, “I love that place, but how can I eat this kasha? Maybe it doesn’t have enough salt.” So he put some salt and he tasted it again, but it tasted even worse than the first time.  Then, he thought that it wasn’t sweet enough. So he added some sugar and he tasted it, but the kasha was even worse than it was before. Finally, he thought that everything tasted good with horseradish; so he added horseradish and stuffed all the kasha into his mouth. It tasted so gross that he went to the window, opened it, and dumped out all the kasha into the street. Just then, his mother came in and said, “You are such a good boy; you ate all of your kasha. Okay, then get on your coat and let’s go to the Kremlin.” Continue reading

Best of the Best in 2017

survey-resultsDrum roll please… The results are in for the 2017 Best of the Best in all the respective media categories. Please see below and also the archives for previous years. Happy viewing and reading everyone, and as always, we would love to know what you think in the comment section below. And for those that follow the first release of this list in our printed Christmas Family newsletter, know that this list includes several titles forgotten on the initial run. Enjoy! Continue reading