Tuesday, October 21, 2008



“But Grandma, you’ll have your cell phone in Heaven, right…?”

His eight-year-old bright, shining eyes looked into mine seriously. We were discussing the passing of one of Grandma’s close friends. Ah, a teaching opportunity for my newly baptized grandson, Jeffrey. He worried about losing contact with me when it was my turn to answer God’s call into His presence. We’ve been closely bonded during his early years.

“You know what? We’ll have something even better! Grandma won’t need the super-tech kind of cell phones you and Daddy have—anyway, mine is a couple years old and doesn’t do all the stuff yours does—but for sure we’ll be connected.”

“But when your body goes into the ground, you won’t have your five senses working anymore. How can we be connected?”

Good thinking. Jeffrey learned in his classroom at school about our five senses and the marvelous mechanism that is our body. We are reinforcing the spiritual aspect with conversations at home ever since he was a little tyke about how God created all things including every detail about our bodies.

“Remember how we talked about every person having two parts? A body, which you can see, at some point quits working because it gets very old or worn out or has some disease or an accident and that part of us dies and is put into the ground. But God gave everyone a spirit which you can’t see. That’s the real you and never dies! Jesus said so. It lives forever.”

“I guess you don’t have to be old to die. I remember a couple years ago when a boy about my age whom I met at the SportsPlex had an accident and died.”

“You’re right. Gage is alive right now in Heaven with Jesus—He is there in his own spirit without his body. Someday when Jesus comes to earth again, Gage’s spirit will connect with his body again, but it will be a new kind of body, one that will never die again. People will be able to recognize who he is just like when they knew him on earth the first time.”

“Tell me how I can connect with you when you leave us, Grandma.”

“This is deep stuff, but I know you can get it. Remember what we call those things that are true but hard to understand?”


“Yes, but not the detective and looking-for-clues kind. Just things that God wants us to believe but only He can really understand. Like those of us who were once alive will always be alive and will always be connected. Our Catholic Church calls it ‘THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS.’ We are all part of God’s big family. Actually, anyone who gets to heaven is called a saint. Those who were friends of God get to go to be with Him….”

“…to Heaven, yeah, and those who don’t want to be friends with God are separated from Him forever.”

“Right. God doesn’t make anyone go to Hell. Each person chooses for himself whether to be friends with Jesus or not. We can’t see inside people’s hearts and minds so we can’t judge. Only God can know where anyone is going after they die. Do you understand, Jeffrey?”

“I guess so. All but the part about ‘saints’. Tell me again, who are the saints?”

“The Bible calls all Christians saints, which simply means “holy ones.” Even on earth God wants us to live holy lives—that means clean and good lives and trying to love God with all our hearts and minds as much as we can. But “saints” also means every person who loves God and arrives in heaven. You’ll be a saint when you get there and so will I because we love Jesus and have Him in our hearts. We also use the word ‘saints’ for certain very holy people who lived extra special lives on earth. The Catholic Church asks us to give special honor to them.”

“So what does ‘Communion of saints’ mean then?” Jeffrey tried to get his mind around the concept.

“It means that all those who are friends of God and His Son Jesus, including those who are alive now, and those who have died, all stay connected together—forever. When someone dies who is a friend of Jesus, we don’t need to say ‘Goodbye forever’ and that’s that. That would be really sad. They are still family.”

“But Grandma, Jack who’s in my class at school and doesn’t go to our church, says we aren’t connected anymore to those who died. His grandmother died and he said his Dad told him they would see her in heaven someday, but she is having such a good time in heaven with Jesus now that she doesn’t have time to think about them anymore.”

“Many people have ideas about heaven that are not true; they just try to figure things out by themselves. That’s why we need the Church to teach us. For one thing, no human being who died has come back to tell us exactly what they do in heaven, right? We depend on what Jesus Himself said ‘cause He is God’s Son and He had been in Heaven with His Father God before He came to earth. He told us that those who believe in Him will never die so we can be sure that those in Heaven are alive.”

“I hope Jesus gave us more details about Heaven!”

“His disciples who traveled around with Him for three years heard Jesus teach a lot more. But it isn’t all written down in the Bible. John, one of his disciples, said that he couldn’t write down everything Jesus told them. John picked out certain important things. He said that Jesus told them so much more and did so many other wonderful things that if someone could write them all down, all the books on earth couldn’t contain them all.”

“Wow! I wish someone would have written down more of what Jesus said about Heaven.”

“Me too. Maybe Jesus wanted us to be really surprised when we get there! But Jesus’ disciples (who were called apostles because He sent them out to teach what He taught after He went to Heaven) went everywhere teaching even more of what Jesus said than what the Church collected into the one book we call the Bible. Guess what? We do have valuable writings about what the early churches believed from the apostles’ teaching! I’ll tell you more about that later. But that’s how we know we are all connected in “The Communion of Saints”—the apostles taught it!

“OK, so back to my question: Will I be able to talk to you when you leave for Heaven? How will I hear you if we don’t use a cell phone?”

“In a nutshell, you can ask Grandma to pray for you to Jesus just like you ask Grandma to pray for you to Jesus now. JESUS will be the one to answer your prayer though—I won’t be able to answer your prayer myself because when we are in Heaven, we are still just human people.

“I get it. Jesus is the only One who has power to answer my prayers. Can I ask any of those other “alive-saints-people” in Heaven to pray to Jesus for me too?”

“Sure, Jeffrey. It’s OK to have a lot of people praying for us and with us. Like when the listeners to our radio station join to pray for people during PRAYER TIME.”

“And can I still have a direct connection to Jesus?”

“Of course! And you can also ask Jesus’ Mother Mary to pray for you. She is close to Jesus now like she was on earth. Jesus honored her and His foster-Dad Joseph. Remember, Jesus’ mother, too, is still and always will be a human in Heaven. She is extra special but we don’t worship her like we worship God. She isn’t a part of the Trinity like ‘God, the Father, Jesus His Son, and The Holy Spirit.’

The Trinity—that’s a ‘mystery’ too!”

“That’s for sure!”

“This is so cool. I’ll never really need to say a ‘Forever Goodbye’ to you, Grandma—if you get to Heaven before I do. Connecting with you by praying is way better than a cell phone anyway. You won’t need to worry where you can plug in a charger in Heaven!”

“Right on, Jeffrey!”



Part 1 of a Series “Conversations with Jeffrey” on Leona's BLOG


Autumn is a nostalgic time for me. I have more than eighty autumns committed to memory--they cover a lifetime from childhood’s innocent freshness to ripe maturity’s reflections.

This season reflects my emotions—bright and high-spirited with flashing color, yet somber with falling leaves tossed in the wind and the frost and chill of the pending approach of winter.

Autumn was the happy season of my marriage over sixty years ago.

Autumn was the poignant season sixteen years ago when my husband left so quietly and unexpectedly for his heavenly reward. God’s call to him came in the “season of the falling leaf.”

I dedicate the second poem to Ted, my husband for forty-six years, father of our four wonderful sons of whom he was so proud, grandfather of ten precious grandchildren, many of whom he never met, great-grandfather of six, all of whom he did not meet.


Leona Choy

Late October:

temperamental days

bluffing me, mocking me

with teasing, wistful

coquettish ways.

Lingering memories:

of high July

blazing sun

and summer fun

are tossed on the run

but mixed with

frosty ecstasies.

Reminiscing time:

casting a chill

as winter steals

with cold appeals

slipping finally

into November's prime.



Leona Choy

In the season of the falling leaf

my falling tears splash hot

upon my lonely pillow

in the dark night of my quiet grief

as I reminisce for what might have been

but can no longer be:

I bow to God’s decree.

Nevertheless—I can’t suppress

the tears from the depths of me

that flow silently

from a heart severed from my love

like the autumn leaf turned brown

detached from tree-life

floats to the ground without a sound.



Monday, October 20, 2008


(I wrote and published several books to comfort and encourage those whose husbands finished their earthly journey first. Through the years, new widows write, phone, e-mail, and otherwise contact me to pray for and help them. I insert the letter below into each book I wrote for widows. It reflects my fuller Catholic understanding of God's plan for life-after-life as the Church teaches. The names are fictitious.)

Dear Marcia,

Thank you for phoning me about the loss of your dear husband only a year ago after so many years together as a married couple. I can imagine how close you were and how lonely you feel since you and your husband didn’t have children—you and Larry were a family. Although you live across the country on the opposite coast, I feel a closeness with you in our sisterhood of new singleness—something we never asked for or imagined, but which God has chosen for us in His love and plan.

Do I have any good news to give you about our separation from our beloved spouses who have finished their earthly course first and been called Home by the Lord? I believe I do, and I’m eager to share it!

After my husband died and I walked several years into the experience of singleness myself, I wrote several books to help others who have lost a spouse: Singled Out for God’s Assignment, The Widow’s Might, and Walk the Green Valley. These reflected a lifetime as an evangelical Protestant, minister’s wife, missionary, mother and grandmother, author and speaker.

Since then, I have become a Catholic Christian after much study and by strong conviction. I now believe there is more of God’s truth that I was not aware of when I wrote the above books.

Through my books I ventured to offer some biblical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and practical help to assist my readers through the grief process toward healing with trust in Jesus Christ and optimism for the future.

I want to be clear: the Christian insights, encouragement, and counsel I presented when I published those books continue to be valid. They are biblically based and still help and bless people from varied religious backgrounds because I offer a non-sectarian Christian perspective on the topics. What I wrote as an evangelical was good, but I now believe it was incomplete. I want to offer a balanced view in line with my Catholic faith and present readers with biblical truths they may not have considered before.

So what’s the difference?

I previously understood that when a person dies, if he or she at some time had a “born again” experience as an evangelical would interpret it, he goes straight to heaven. He has a guaranteed reservation for heaven regardless of how he may live after his once-for-all conversion or whether he may die in unforgiveness or with unconfessed sin on his soul. His salvation was still considered eternally secure. However, the raising of one’s hand in an evangelistic meeting and/or “coming forward” publicly and repeating the sinner’s prayer or “making a decision” are, in historical fact, recent evangelical traditions adopted and started to be practiced during the revivalist awakenings in North America. I no longer see that as the balanced teaching of the Holy Scriptures. “Not every one who says to Me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” Jesus said. (Matt. 7:21)

From the days of early Christianity, the Catholic Church, which was the only church for most of 1500 years, taught that what determines one’s eternal destiny is the state of the soul at death. Statements such as “he who endures…perseveres…abides…stands firm…does My will…obeys My voice…keeps my commandments…” are more balanced Scriptural exhortations and promises. God’s question to me is: What is the state of your soul now and what have you done since you raised your hand and prayed the sinner’s prayer? Moreover, how we finish our lives is all important.

As an evangelical I didn’t think nor did I hear taught that any communication or communion was possible between the believing departed and those left behind. We always imagined that the departed one was now so totally occupied with the glories of heaven that he was oblivious to anything or anyone on earth. Pure conjecture! Therefore, we stopped praying for our departed loved one because since he went directly to heaven, our prayers were no longer needed. It never entered our minds to ask for his prayers on our behalf.

Catholic teaching from the earliest days of Christianity differs in important ways. Whether or not the Christian’s soul goes directly to heaven, which is possible for some, depends on whether he died in a state of grace with no unconfessed mortal sins. The degree of holiness one has attained is another factor that determines whether or not one’s soul will have a swift or even an instant entrance into the presence of God after death.

Another factor is whether good deeds were a fruit of his life in proof of his faith, (not as a basis for his salvation). (James 2:14-26) Good works are the “proof of the pudding.” Many Scriptures indicate that Christians will be judged on the basis of their deeds; among them is 2 Cor. 5:10. The Catholic Church is absolutely clear, however, that we cannot earn salvation by our works or by keeping the works of the Law. Salvation is given as a free gift by God’s grace alone through the merits of Jesus Christ.

This perspective was new to me, of course, and I spent much time and prayer to see if it agreed with Scripture. We are to test all things and hold fast to God’s revealed truth and the balanced teachings of God’s Word.

As I understand and now believe the Catholic teaching to be the true interpretation of Scripture, the soul of a person whose faith is genuine and personal but whose life may have been somewhat deficient in holiness or in good deeds of mercy and love is indeed on his way to heaven because Jesus paid for and forgave his sins. (1 Cor. 3:10-15) He may, however, upon departure from this life, experience a temporary pause en route to his heavenly destination during which time the consequences of his forgiven sins are dealt with. At that point he may suffer loss or receive reward.

Shouldn’t we welcome the opportunity for God to finish the work of making us pure and holy, since “nothing unholy can enter God’s presence?” (Rev. 21:27) Who of us can claim to be without sin and living in perfect holiness and not in need of this cleansing process to make us fit for heaven? (1 John 1:8-10)

God’s provision for holiness

Directly related to how we view the loss of our Christian loved one in death, and how we view our own soul’s journey to heaven when our life is over, is the teaching about Purgatory—the temporary stopover. The word comes from the Latin purgatio simply meaning cleansing or purifying. The word Purgatory is archaic and at first sounds not only strange but ominous to modern evangelical ears. Without accurate information, I initially wrote it off as unbiblical, a peculiar invention of the Catholic Church, and a hangover from the Dark Ages. On the contrary, it is an authentic, biblical, generous, and loving provision by God to enable our souls to become fit for heaven. It is like a happy and necessary “pit stop,” so to speak, on our sure way to our heavenly home. Or perhaps like a speed bump—not meant to stop us but to slow us down a bit. It is definitely not Hell from which there is no way out or onward. Nor are we being punished for sins which God already forgave.

Is this purification process the same as the declaration “It is given to man once to die, and after that the judgment.”? (Heb. 9:27) Is this the time when we all go through what the apostle Paul describes in 1 Cor. 3:11-15 as God “testing by fire the quality of each man’s work”? These are end times questions—eventually we will find out God’s time line. Meanwhile, let’s trust God with the details. To know it will happen is enough for us now.

The Church does not attempt to say definitively whether Purgatory is an actual place, or a state, a process, or a condition. We can be sure that only the soul or spirit is involved, not the body. Any pain that we may feel is not physical, of the senses. Although we think and speak in terms of duration, the time element doesn’t really apply either. When we die, we step outside of time into eternity where God is. Catholic teaching is clear and biblical—this is not a second chance to be saved. One’s eternal state is permanently fixed at the moment of death. At death the books are closed. The Church also declares that it is unable to judge what the eternal destiny of any soul will be—heaven or hell, only two alternatives. Nor should we be so presumptive to say we know a person’s eternal state with certainty. Where any soul will spend eternity is known only to God and decided with perfect justice, mercy, and love by Him.

Hope for the grieving

How is this doctrine relevant for someone who has lost a Christian spouse, loved one or friend through death? These broader implications taught by the Catholic Church are full of hope and joy! The Church, by the authority Jesus delegated to it until Christ returns, teaches that souls can be aided in their purification by prayers, sacrifices, and loving deeds of Christians on earth on their behalf. Our departed loved one may still need our prayers until they arrive safely in heaven. The spiritual logistics of how this all comes about are a mystery. We don’t fully understand, but we take on faith the teachings of the Church that Christ established. The Church teaches that the souls being purified cannot pray for themselves, but they can pray for other souls undergoing purification and pray for us on earth.

When our Christian loved one’s soul ultimately reaches heaven, he can continue to intercede for us. More good news—we can request his prayers! He is not able to answer those prayers by his own power because those who were human on earth will continue to be human in heaven. They do not become angels nor will they ever be divine. The departed one prays for us to God the Father through Jesus Christ, the One Mediator.

What a comfort to realize that the living and the departed remain united forever in the “Communion of saints!” We do not suffer stark separation from our departed loved one. We really don’t need to seek “closure.” The good news is that we don’t need to shut the door on them. Saints (holy ones righteous in Christ) on earth and saints (holy ones righteous in Christ) in heaven continue to be one family together, and the departed ones are still fully alive! Let’s not think of them as dead! We may be surprised when we get to Heaven how thin the veil between us has been.

Never fear—we do not “communicate with the dead” in the sense that the Bible forbids, nor do we seek to know the future from them, which is forbidden by God. We may, however, freely ask for their intercession in the same way that we seek the prayer help of our family and friends on earth.

As a Catholic Christian, I am now satisfied and joyful to firmly accept these biblical teachings.

Making it personal

I am not under the illusion that I will be able to reach a goal of holiness by the end of my life. I hope and I strive and pray to endure and persevere, and when I finish my course to die faithful in Christ. After that, I would be happy, if necessary, to allow my soul to get cleaned up a bit—or a lot—in the “mud room,” as it were, before an angel escorts me into the spotless wardrobe room. There I will be given a white wedding garment of holiness tagged with my name, so I can be appropriately dressed for the “Welcome Home Reunion” and “Wedding Supper of the Lamb” in God’s magnificent presence with all the angels and saints and the rest of His children who knew Him on earth.

We won’t have physical bodies at that point yet because our resurrection comes later! I wonder how it’s going to work to have my soul clothed with a white garment. I’m willing to leave all those logistics to God. I’m relieved to learn about this Purification process in advance so I won’t experience it as a surprise! Now I can joyfully anticipate that opportunity on my way to heaven, whether it will all take place in only an instant after death or whether time somehow still applies to it.

The automated car wash

It helps me to visualize my soul’s purification process like going through an automated car wash!

My Chrysler is mud-splashed and grimy. I plan to drive to an important event to meet a special person, and I want it to be clean. Someone gave me a paid-in-full coupon, and I present it to the attendant at the car wash. Several men jump around my car and hand-rub soap suds all over the car body. One beckons me to drive slowly forward and center the tires onto ramps that lead into a dark, cavernous space.

“Put your car in neutral, roll up your windows, lower your antenna, and take your hands off the steering wheel” are instructions posted on a sign. I do as I am told, sit back, relax, and let it be done unto me with my glad consent. I have nothing to do with the cleansing process. I know I need it. Of course, I know I won’t have to go through this process forever—I see light at the other end of the building.

An outside power propels my car through the dark tunnel. Lights blink at intervals. Soon the noise is deafening as high pressure warm water squirts at my car from every direction. Monster-like, black, spongy tentacles begin to slap and seemingly punish my poor car. I keep reminding myself, “This is a happy thing!” This continues for a short, frightening time, and then the noise abates. All is quiet until clean, warm water sprays over my car followed by bursts of hot air.

My clean car slowly rolls out of the enclosure and down the exit ramps into the bright, welcoming sunlight. I blink my eyes from the brilliance. My car is spotless, dirt free, and sparkling. I’m happy to be ready for the wonderful event to which I have looked forward so long.

Do you see the similarity to Purgatory? To Purification? Who wouldn’t welcome that? Thank God for providing it for all of us who long to fully gaze upon His face in the beauty of His holiness!

I hope this will be an encouragement, comfort, and good news to you, Marcia. You have not really “lost” your husband Larry! If he is in the presence of God, he is alive and well and may be praying for you.

Your friend and prayer helper,




Leona Choy welcomes correspondence with anyone who wishes to comment on or discuss the topics she addressed in this BLOG.

Friday, October 17, 2008


The Bible has lots to say about EARS—those two strange looking appendages on the side of your head that never see each other. Aren’t you glad that in creation God didn’t decrease by one and place only one ear in the middle of your forehead, single, like one nose and one mouth. What if he had placed them on the top of our heads and made them tall and furry and pointed and able to rotate directionally? Or made the outside flap as big as an elephant’s?

Have we ever solved the problem of whether a tree falling in a forest makes a sound or not, if there are no ears to hear it?

Consider how intricately God designed the physical ear. Do you think He had to draw a blueprint first and try out a prototype to see if it would pick up the right sound waves—and at the same time create the sound waves with their various frequencies? Or did He just speak the word: “LET THERE BE EAR” –and there was an ear—perfect and entirely functioning? And the first voice Adam heard was God’s voice!

Although Jesus’ reference to ears had primarily a spiritual connotation pertaining to attentive listening, God’s design of our physical ear is absolutely a stroke of genius—of course, one would expect that of the Original Creator. Could it have simply evolved by accident? What a fable! The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 103, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me—bless His holy name!” All that is within me—oh, the marvels of the inner ear that we take so much for granted! The following is a medically and picturesquely accurate description of our marvelous hearing mechanism.

“The inner ear is a flower bed inside a blacksmith’s shop. Way inside and down below the outer auditory canal, past the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup, sprout the hair cells of the cochlea. They are planted in tidy rows along the basilar membrane like geraniums in a window box. (Jesus said that the hairs of our head are numbered—doubtless these ear hair cells are exactly numbered too so that we can hear!) As the hammer and anvil pound sound waves into shape, the stirrup taps out the beat on the basilar membrane. That in turn sets the hair cells swaying like a breeze through a cornfield. Each of the hair cells’ undulations fires electrical signals to the brain, where we discern the cause of the commotion. Is it a cymbal crash? Or the soft exhalation of a child’s breath? Other senses may rest, but the ear never sleeps. It is insomniac, always alert to the slightest pulses, awake to the faintest tremors. It is the last of our senses to fade when we are called from this life.”

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE EAR! And let’s heed Jesus’ admonition, “He who has ears, let him hear.” (Mark 8:18) Most of us do have ears that hear. However, are they tuned to God’s frequency or channel so that He can say of us, “My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me.” (John 10:3) God promised that His ears are open to our prayer. (1 Peter 3:12) and if we hear His voice and open the door of our hearts, He will come in and intimately share a meal with us. (Rev. 3:20)


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe Loppy and G.M.

Joe Loppy chugged and sputtered down Interstate. He could no longer keep up in Fast Lane. Not that he was an antique car--older vehicles zipped along smoothly at 55 per. His muffler rasping and dragging, he inched his way off Panic exit. Pumping his failing brakes around the cloverleaf, he pulled in at Gas Station/Garage and coasted to a halt.

With a shudder and a shake, steam pouring from beneath his hood, Joe Loppy switched off his ignition. Fumes belched from somewhere within him for two full minutes before his engine-heart gave its final throb with a heave and groan. A hubcap fell off with a clatter and rolled back toward the highway.

Amused Attendant sauntered toward him wiping greasy hands on a rag that he stuck into the pocket of his overalls. Unable even to peer through the smudged windshield, Attendant attacked it with a sloppy sponge and squeegee. "We still give full service," he chuckled.

"I'm afraid," Joe Loppy confessed, "that I need some major attention."

"So when was your last tune-up?"

"I. . .I don't think I ever had one."

"What?" cried wide-eyed Attendant.

"Well, I was a new model ten years ago," Joe timidly ventured, "so I didn't expect to need attention so soon. All my parts were spankin’ new right off the assembly line."

"I can't believe this!" Attendant shook his head and slapped his knees. "I'll have to turn you over to G.M."


"Yes, Great Mechanic. Pull into the garage--take the first bay. G.M. will put you through Major Inspection and then you'll know the verdict."

Joe Loppy felt as if he were entering a court room to stand trial for murder. He dreaded Major Inspection because he never experienced one. Unable to start himself up again, he was humiliated when Attendant, groaning and mumbling, had to push him.

Up, up toward the ceiling went Joe Loppy on the hydraulic lift. Thus elevated, he could not see Great Mechanic. He could only hear His voice and submit to His scrutiny.

Joe Loppy felt clamps and lines and wires being attached to his parts and Celestial Computer switched on. After the beeps and lights and whirs ceased, he was unhooked. Ominous silence. He awaited G.M.'s verdict.

"Where's your Title?" inquired Great Mechanic. His voice was strong and deep, but He didn't yell as Joe expected He might. He felt a little less fearful. Joe fumbled in his glove compartment and handed over his Vehicle Birth Certificate.

"Well, well, you are one of Our originals--a genuine G.M. classic model," declared Great Mechanic. "Why, you belong to My Son! Didn't you know that we not only build new models, but we also maintain them? You have a Lifetime Warranty, Joe! Why didn't you come to Us sooner?"

"I didn't know I was supposed to," apologized Joe sheepishly.

"Don't you have Our Owner's Manual?" questioned G.M.

Another shuffle in the glove compartment. "I recall seeing it somewhere when I was still new," he murmured. Joe finally produced The Book still sealed in its original plastic wrapper.

"My Son and I intended that the Owner's Manual be a regular guide to your good maintenance. You wouldn't be in such bad shape if you had followed Our instructions from the beginning."

Joe felt increasingly ill at ease, having run out of excuses.

"Had regular tune-ups?" Asked G.M.

"Never had one," answered Joe faintly.

"Inspections? We have qualified workers, you know, who can help you maintain standards of safety on The Road so you won't damage yourself or others."

"None of those either. Sorry," Joe Loppy confessed.

G.M. proceeded to tap and feel Joe's body. Bumps and dents covered most of his surface. "What a lot of unfortunate contacts! If you allow dents like these to go unattended, your body can rust. You can't keep an impact from occurring, but if you come to Me as dents happen, I can attend to them."

Joe winced, remembering the painful fender benders--and worse--that he suffered from not-so-friendly contacts in traffic.

"You must change all filters frequently. They pay for themselves in pure, clean intake," G.M. advised. "Keep filled with clean oil so everything will run smoothly." Joe couldn't remember the last time he even checked his oil, let alone changed it.

"Noise of any kind means trouble. Always find out the reason. Quiet means you are performing well. The condition of your muffler is incredible, Joe! Do you know how important your exhaust pipe is? You must have an efficient emission system to get rid of waste fumes or everything will back up. Suddenly you will have pollution inside if you don't vent properly. And outside too, that will harm others.

"And you need new shock absorbers. Road conditions are unpredictable. You can sustain much damage from potholes, especially downtown on Life Road."

Joe felt dizzy trying to remember all the things he never did to keep himself in good condition. "Woe is me, have I come to You too late? Will I ever recover?" he mumbled.

Great Mechanic heard him and encouraged, "Sure you will, Joe! My Son and I have been in the manufacture and body works business for thousands of years, you know. We are universally known."

"Sir, I do not doubt your ability, but I do have high mileage on my odometer. Actually—it’s on its second time around. Maybe I'm beyond help and not worth restoring? Wouldn't I be better off in Junk Yard?" Joe shuddered.

"You should see the wrecks that come to Us! We restore them like new and put them right back on The Road again. It is never too late. We'll have you shipshape in no time since you finally came to Us. That's a promise.
"What's more, your trade-in value at End of the Road is so high you can't even calculate it. You are worth everything We invest in your restoration because My Son paid a lot for you. When trade-in time does come, you wouldn't believe what a wonderful new model you will become!" assured G.M.

Joe Loppy's fear and apprehension at G.M.'s Major Inspection gave way to anticipation. He shouted enthusiastically, "This is the best thing that ever happened to me! I'm really sorry I put off coming to You for so long. Please, Sir, take me in for the whole job—Complete Overhaul and Restoration. And . . .thanks!"



Appointment for a check up and the right place to go: Psalm 140:23, 24; 107:13.

Confessing the need for service, exams, tests: Psalm 26:2; 1 John 1:8-10;

1 Cor. 11:28; 2 Cor. 13:5.

New models produced: 2 Cor. 5:17

Title ownership and purchase price: 1 Cor. 12:27; 1 Cor. 6:20

Periodic safety inspections: Heb. 13:17

Knowledge of our poor condition: Psalm 103:14

Need for body work: 2 Cor. 4:16

Oil change and clean filters: Psalm 23:5; 92:10b; 2 Cor. 7:1

Good shock absorbers essential: Psalm 112:6a; 7b

Despair about poor condition: Psalm 43:5

Quiet performance: 1 Thess. 4:11

Intrinsic value: Matt. 10:31; 12:12

Maintenance needed: Jude 21

Driving carefully and defensively: Rom. 12:17,18

Restoration needed and promised: Psalm 23:3; 51:12; Eph. 4:23, 24

Trade-in time is coming: 2 Cor. 5:1-3

Complete overhaul and tune up guaranteed: Psalm 34:6; 145:14; 34:10b

Decision for entire overhaul: Rom. 12:1

G.M. keeps His word: 1 Thess. 5:24

Thankfulness for blessings: 1 Thess. 5:18


The above is one selection from Leona Choys unpublished book manuscript, GOTHIC ARCHIE AND OTHER IMAGINEERINGS: Parables of the Kingdom of God. I use the format of allegories, fables, parables, dialogues with God and personifications in prose and verse. I coined the term "imagineerings" since I develop them from metaphors and similes, essentially symbolic narrative. They are life-contemplations that carry subtle spiritual applications which are hopefully obvious to the reader. These pieces reflect my personal responses to life and to God.

As for style, I take my own path to creatively express principles and truths from the Scriptures by making use of humor and contemporary analogies. For some of the several dozen stories in this collection, I interweave narrative and modern verse in sense lines. Each of these stories may stand alone but they have something in common: I offer a single life-topic in each one and tie it to relevant biblical references as sources for my ideation and foundational truths.



Monday, October 13, 2008


The God factor

“The ‘God question’ is part of our public life, and we simply can’t avoid it. Does God exist or not? Each citizen answers that in his or her own way. But the issue is not theoretical. It goes to first premises. It has very practical implications, just as it did at our country’s founding. If we really believe God exists, that belief will inevitably color our personal and public behavior: our actions, our choices, and our decisions. It will also subtly frame our civic language and institutions. If we really believe God exists, excluding God from our public life—whether we do it explicitly through Supreme Court action or implicitly by our silence as citizens—cannot serve the common good because it amounts to enshrining the unreal in the place of the real.

“People who take God seriously will not remain silent about their faith. They will often disagree about doctrine or policy, but they won’t be quiet. They can’t be. They’ll act on what they believe, sometimes at the cost of their reputations and careers. Obviously the common good demands a respect for other people with different beliefs and a willingness to compromise whenever possible. But for Catholics [and other Christians] the common good can never mean muting themselves in public debate on foundational issues of faith or human dignity. Christian faith is always personal but never private. This is why any notion of tolerance that tries to reduce faith to a private idiosyncrasy, or a set of opinions that we can indulge at home but need to be quiet about in public, will always fail….

“Christian morals profoundly frame the way you think and live. The Christian system of values is ‘written all the way through all our actions, all the time.’ Christianity has so deeply shaped our environment that we take it for granted. Even people who have no faith at all live in a world largely created by the Christian faith.”


Excerpt from the book by Charles J. Chaput, RENDER UNTO CEASAR, Chapter One, Starting at the Source, pp 9, 10. Doubleday 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Private Eye in my Home

How quickly and easily I am drawn into spending an inordinate amount of my precious day watching the Tube! I really don't intend to fritter away so many hours.
I do quite well to curtail my viewing until a hurricane is pending, some natural disaster has befallen the world, the political campaigns heat up with debates and endless rhetoric, some breaking news is offered me, or the movie channel beckons persuading me that I need to relax a little.
The hours flee by and I have falsely invested in the trivial and the temporary.

May the Lord have mercy and "teach me to number my days [and time spent viewing TV] and apply my heart unto wisdom...."

The Twenty-third Channel

The TV is my shepherd
it tells me what I should want.
It makes me to lie down on the sofa.
It leads me away from the Scriptures.
It slowly deadens my soul.
It leads me in the paths of sex and violence
for the sponsor's sake.

Yea, though I walk in the neglect
of my Christian responsibilities
I will allow no interruption;
For the TV is always with me.
Its cable and remote control they comfort me.

It prepares endless commercials before me
In the presence of my coveting nature.
It anoints my head with humanism.
My uncontrolled desires runneth over.

Surely laziness and deceit shall follow me
all the wasted days of my life
If I dwell in the house watching TV forever.

[Author unknown—slightly "souped up" by Leona]


Imagine yourself in the picture on the heading


Leona Choy

Crisp, frosty mornings cycle again

in a season of reflection, pensive nostalgia

granting me permission

to stroll the back roads of my mind

while wading ankle-deep in the pain-splashed carpet

kicking up waves of oak and hickory leaves

inhaling the musty mulch beneath my feet

while munching the wet crunch

and tart taste of a freshly-picked Jonathan.

Here I can smell peace, forget schedules

concentrate on important things

like scampering squirrels

scurrying to stash acorns for winter larder.

I filter out all but the traffic noise

of wing-flapping, honking geese

heading South in the fast lane

while I take the exit ramp

to a blue line country lane

deliberately dragging my feet

trying to slow down my speeding life

that always seems to be

running a marathon ahead of me.