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Take Root Publishing
Jacksonville, FL
Owner Take Root Publishing LLC
Recent Activity
Staring out a tenth story window I was surprised to see a beautiful garden circling about the flag pole in front of the building. I was shocked at its simple beautiful design. The grass spread out in four triangles like petals separated in symmetry with brown stone pavers. The flag pole shot up from the center like a pistil of a flower. I am not saying it could be an award winner. I was simply moved by its beauty and form. From down below, near the valets, the revolving door, circle drive and sidewalk I have passed it more than ten times on my way to see my neurologist concerning treatment for my Parkinson’s. Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
Due to ongoing health issues I am pausing posting on this site for a while, maybe longer. I continue to post at There I am listed as The Catholic Journeyman Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
Sometimes I feel the faith I hear presented is little more than hopeful dreamy infatuation with the Holy Spirit. In the face of pain, confusions, loss of balance, bad family news, international news, and frightening confrontation with aging, how do you reach for the famous words of Psalm 23: Only goodness and kindness will follow me all the days of my life. Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
The Ping Pong Ball Exercise Today I learned an exercise designed to help me combat certain emotional stressors such as disappointment, sorrow, self-pity, bitter doubt against my God who is supposed to be my healer and, of course, the hegemony of despair. Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
see in it the guiding hand of a loving God. We are, I believe he is saying, Spirit-controlled when we are grateful. Or joyful. Or hopeful. Or gracious, or generous, or kind. We live in a world that sees such as that as weak. Taking on the fruit of the Spirit requires time in the tube where we surrender control and pray much. Not to change things but to change ourselves. Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
better. I am beginning to give God thanks for leading me on one more difficult road. There is no building of character or deepening of one’s prayer life without suffering in one way or another. And, also, as I found in an article Dorothy Day, it could count as reparation for some of my many sins and thereby shorten my time in purgatory. I greatly admire her and if that is her belief then I will embrace it also. Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
we cannot prevent birds from flying overhead but we can prevent them from roosting in our hair. Anything out of the ordinary will attract attention. I can thank God that this condition is not common. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I am also thankful that this condition makes me more aware of how disabilities feel. Perhaps, I can pray more and better and even become more empathetic. Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
issues were certainly part of the back drop of an unfolding love story. Joy’s Christian faith has been proven over and over again through the miseries, griefs and drama of life. So, really, I have no fear that she will get sick of me and bolt. I would gladly accept that Joy, Jesus and I would share the journey through life’s valleys. The thing is I really hate the idea that I may become her valley. Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
Consider the birds of the field, Jesus instructs us. Even the common sparrow, he says, is seen by his Father. It just occurs to me that my joy of watching birds can speak to God’s joy of watching the whole of his creation. That of course includes me. I am having a lot of struggles lately. It is comforting to know the great Caregiver is in touch with me. It is a good message I receive from my little friends. Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
Lately, my brother regularly disabuses me of the lies he told me when we were younger. Such as: “Anne Parnell really liked you. She always wanted you to call her.” That thought nestled over me like a cast net of gauze – spider web sticky. He meant that as a compliment but I found myself irritated. I just got on Medicare. I no longer think of high school girls. However, back when I did I now realize she must have teleported that idea – real subtle and feminine like – because I was toying with the very scary idea of asking her for a date. I ran this venture passed my teenage brother who laughed at me and jeered, “You ain’t good enough for Anne. She’d just feel sorry for you.” Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
merge – one warmth, one flame from two wicks – one light. The rest of God in completed when we fall exhausted into his arms. His rest is completed by our trust. The challenge for us who strive to be his beloved is to continue in trust when life gets rough. I have learned from writers, believers and from the disappointments of living that trouble and pain are often the signal that grace is rising up to engulf us if we stay grateful and humble even when the diagnosis or other news is bad. That is my challenge now. I do not find anything easy but I do find God present. Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
eventually began to feel more control. I got through the day without life feeling worse. The dread remained, but as I engaged the day, which included both a lunch and dinner date with friends, I began to approach feeling normal. Sometimes normal is formidable goal. Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
My lame cat – long haired, beautiful and probably retarded and always looking for a fight – is sitting on the table on my porch and staring at me. He is healthy and, maybe, happy now which is a big improvement over the way he was when we met. When he found me he was in the backyard of my previous address – gaunt, feral and recently injured. He has no more that 50% usage of his left paw. While feeding my two black cats, Flo and Jet, Bob speared my heart with his haunting, fearful eyes. Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
"More than ever, I understand that the smallest events of our life are conducted by God; He is the One who makes us desire and who grants our desires." St. Therese of Lisieux. Make me desire as you desire, may my feet walk by the light of your fire. Until every little thing, every little thing I do . . . is attended by you. Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
However, I learned five minutes before the procedure it would be closer to forty-five. Friends who have experienced this have warned me of the claustrophobia. They were not exaggerating. No one told me of the cacophony of bangs and electrical noises. Maddening, startling and sometimes scary. I decided from the start I needed to escape inside my head. By using my fingers I managed to recite the rosary. From time to time I dozed off. It took the whole forty-five minutes Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
I suppose the great benefit to loss of short term memory is that you get to enjoy the favorite memories over and over without tiring yourself. Second benefit is it shields you from the exhaustion you put your company through. “Have you seen this?” asked my older brother whose face was brightened into a wax mask of adolescent excitement. He didn’t recall loaning it to me or showing it to me at least three times previously. He was so enthusiastic I succumbed. Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
The Bible as Elephant The Bible was the elephant in the room. Four of us, friends for 30-40 years, were at a table enjoying our bi-weekly supper at Sweet Tomatoes. We were debating a religious point, and pushing some hot button topics, the chief one being that of Hell. Is it real? Is it perpetual? Is it empty now, or will it ever be. I reluctantly decided to confirm my rather wobbly, belief in the classic Christian idea of Hell. I was sharing my delight in the at-large conversation in Christian publications and YouTube sermons that the classic concept of Hell and eternal judgment should be reconsidered and softened. You’d a thought I had allowed my dog to relieve himself on their potted plants considering their reaction. They really put up their dukes and defended the faith against my heretical dalliances. Hell must be adhered to. Eternal punishment, pain and misery. The whole of it. Our most articulate friend suggested that I should study Scripture more and that I allow Scripture to speak for itself; somehow suggesting I had pushed the mute button on the Bible. That the four of us represented decades of Biblical study did not dull his insistence that my differing view or my willingness to explore softer ideas of the doctrine of Judgment was out of whack. I offered the old, old metaphor of five blind men describing an elephant. One described a snake-like tail. One a wall(of ribs). One a tree trunk. One found a hose and another a hard tusk or a “pole”. Each was a bit right and each a lot wrong. My articulate buddy did not like the metaphor because the men in the picture are blind. He found it incredulous that I’d infer he was blind. I insisted we all are blind. Spending time alone in the Scripture as glorious and necessary as it is for the Christian life is as likely to inspire argument as it is to provide light. A good handle on the truth requires a bit of humility. I offered the story of the beaten man who was overlooked by men of proper religious faith. And then saved and served by a man (the Good Samaritan of Luke 15) who probably was syncretistic Pagan/Jew, a position despised by the Pharisees in Jesus’ day. There was a lot of really bad doctrine coming from heretical mishandling of Scripture by those pious Samaritans. Yet this story from the imagination of Jesus insists this man was a true believer. His love of neighbor was an exterior sign that his interior light was true. The Apostle Paul said “Now we see through a glass darkly.” No matter how dark our mirror may be we can all practice mercy and love. I cannot imagine this Samaritan as an isolated figure. I am sure such acts of mercy and kindness come from countless true hearts who have brains full of poor doctrine and even heresy. Good doctrine is not necessarily the key to the heart of Christ. Good work is. Matthew 25 tells us Jesus will compliment and bless those who feed the hungry and visit the sick. This blessing of Christ does not confirm a person’s belief system, but it does seem to imply they get a pass on Hell. It is a debate worth having. Louis Templeman Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
The saints whom the faithful commonly adore are those who handle suffering well. Even the “born-again” gal who was easily offended seemed to demonstrate that. The idea I got from her is she would have responded in kind to the offender had she not at least an inkling of holiness. (Jesus) had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way that he might be merciful . . . . Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.” Hebrews 2: Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
I have an extra problem now. I cannot hold the phone to my ear without my left hand doing the Watusi. So, my wiggling phone bounces off my ear and taps the screen. And so, all the pinging noises when I talk on the phone. I need my right hand free to make notes. The medicine I am beginning now, Ropinirole, may be working a bit. I won’t be up to full strength for two more weeks. Hopefully, by then the tremors will have reduced significantly. It is becoming an obstacle in my conversations. Even phone conversations are affected. Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
Today I learned an exercise designed to help me combat certain emotional stressors such as disappointment, sorrow, self-pity, bitter doubt against my God who is supposed to be my healer and, of course, the hegemony of despair. Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry; Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
I went to my monthly Parkinson's support group today. Every one there, far as I could tell were in more advanced stages of the disease than I. It was sobering to sit among fifteen men and one woman who had various symptoms: slow deliberate gait, poor hand control, tremors in left hand and some in entire torso with arms and head also, difficulty talking and drooling. Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
I was directed to take a short walk down the hallway so the neurologist could point out to the intern the indicators in my halting gait. I didn’t know I had a halting gate. Evidently, I do. Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
I entered my 65th birthday with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. For several years I have had symptoms which I easily and readily dismissed as something more benign and less threatening. By the time I saw the neurologist I was no longer denying the possibility. The resting tremor in my left arm was too pronounced, too regular and too irritating to pretend I had something else. Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2015 at Take Root Devotions
Note: I have been sick for a couple of months. I've also been reeling from a diagnosis of Parkinson's. I have decided to journal my experiences as I tread through this unknown geography. L. T. Diagnosis Confirmed Yesterday, I went with my wife to see my neurologist, first time since... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2015 at Take Root Devotions