Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Exercises Again and Game Day

I slept real well last night. The arm is still not hurting anymore.

Even though it was raining this morning Bob and I went to exercise class. While we were there it stopped raining.  We set up tables for game day and then he brought me home.

I opened a suspicious link by mistake and got a Trojan worm in my system. I shut the system down and Avast evidently took care of it when I rebooted. I ran the program and it did not find it anymore. I usually am a lot more cautious.

In about thirty minutes, I will begin lunch and then afterward I will go on to game day.  We will have the pork tenders with potatoes and perhaps gravy and a veggie and Bob will bring a salad of some kind.  I still have cupcakes for dessert.

That's the plan anyhow.

More later...

Lunch was good and as soon as I got the dishes cleaned up I got my treats together and left for the game day. Bob stayed and did his small load of laundry and locked up afterward. 

He will be back later to watch the news and whatever else might be on TV. Tonight is Nature and Nova on PBS and I always like to watch that.

I went to game day and and afterward stopped by the courthouse to say "hello" to the office staff where I used to work. I sure like all those gals in there and miss that filing and scanning work. 

More even later... I need to go out to Walmart and get some cranberry juice and Chai Latte for my coffee maker.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tuesday and Hair Day.

This will be another very busy day.

First I will pick up Bob about 8:20 and take him with me to Independence and drop him off at his sister Betty's home for his visit. I will go on to Cathy's shop and get my hair done and cut. After she finishes that, I will go over to Juanita's and balance her checkbook. Then I will pick up Bob at Betty's and we will go have lunch. After lunch I want to go to the Social Security office. I have some questions about my social security. I hope I can get in without an appointment.

By then I should be tired. We will come back to Coffeyville and I will take Bob home.

More later...

I tuned up my computer with free Glary Utilities. Years ago, PC World magazine recommended that free utility and it keeps my computer running smoothly most of the time.  It runs well when I use that utility on a fairly regular basis. I use the free Glary Utility too. You can buy a more comprehensive edition but the free one has worked for me for at least fifteen years.

Bob and I ate at Big Cheese again and we had the small pizza this time too. We usually have a mini each but discovered last time that the small one fills us up better.

More later... 

I read this afternoon and later Bob came over and we watched  the news and an old episode of the Big Bang Theory. He went home after awhile and I took my bath and watched PBS. At 9:30, I went home.

Next Sunday's Sermon

“Welcome the Outcast”
October 30, 2016
Margie Miller
Luke 19: 1-10
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

This passage is best understood by viewing its content in the overall context.  To understand the background information helps us interpret the meaning of the passage and is a description of the Jewish tax collectors, with whom Jesus was speaking and teaching when interrupted by the grumbling and complaining of the Pharisees concerning these men.

Tax collectors mentioned in the context were employed by the Roman government.   They were wealthy men, usually Jewish, who contracted with the Roman government to be responsible for the taxes of a particular district of the imperial Roman state.  These tax collectors would often be backed by military force.

By sharp contrast, the tax collectors to which the New Testament refers were employed by the Romans to do the actual collecting of monies in the restricted areas where they lived.  These men were Jews, very wealthy, who could be seen in the Temple.  And they were undoubtedly familiar to the people from whom they collected taxes.

These tax collectors gathered several different types of taxes.  Rome levied upon the Jews a land tax, a poll tax, even a tax for the operation of the Temple.  The distinctions between the kinds of rule, which a given province received, dictated what type of taxes its people had to pay.  Some provinces, like Galilee, were not under an imposing form of government and therefore the taxes collected stayed in the province, instead of being forwarded to the royal treasury at Rome. 

The tax collectors were despised by their fellow Jews, especially the Pharisees and scribes, whose pockets were frequently pinched because they owned land.  Tax collectors were castigated by them as “especially wicked sinners.. probably because they were allowed to gather more than the government required and then to pocket the excess amount.  John the Baptist dealt with this issue when he urged tax collectors to gather no more money than they should (Luke 3:12-13).  Also, tax collectors were hated because their fellow countrymen viewed them as a para-government, private militia, working for Rome, whom they considered to be foreign oppressor of the Jewish people.

Jesus, however, set a new precedent among the Jews by accepting and associating with the tax collectors.  He ate with them (Mark 2:16), showed them mercy and compassion (Luke 19:9), and he even chose a tax collector (Matthew) as one of His twelve disciples (Matthew 9:9).  Jesus fellowshipped impartially with the tax collectors, and he contrasted their willingness to repent of their sins to the arrogance and pompous attitudes of the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes.

This scripture, the story of Zacchaeus, and is one of the many stories that speak to the mission Jesus proclaimed….welcoming what were considered “outsiders”. In Luke 4: 18 – 19, the central theme is that Jesus is the one who is sent to express God’s salvation for all people. And the storyteller of Luke was not speaking of an “otherworld” salvation. He was talking about salvaging and saving people on the earth at the time of Jesus and in his culture. Jesus’ mission was directed to the poor, women, sick people and all other “outsiders” who needed to hear about God’s love and acceptance of them.  

In this experience, we see that Jesus is focusing on one who is an outcast among his own people….a hated tax collector. It is a story that focuses on and reflects one of our church’s enduring principles: “Worth of All Persons”, In this story, redemption and salvation transform the life of Zacchaeus and release in him a radical generosity for the welfare of others. 

As the chief tax collector Zacchaeus was likely one of the most despised people in the village. He was despised because he profited by collecting taxes from the Jews for the Roman government. Jews who worked for the invaders, the occupying Romans, were viewed as traitors. Tax collectors often took advantage of the citizenry in ways that had a crushing impact on their lives and continued the cycle of poverty because they added taxes to the basic Roman tax to line their own pockets. 

In his enthusiasm to meet Jesus, Zacchaeus put his self-image at risk as he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a tree. In that culture, grown men did not run or climb trees. So why was he willing to make a spectacle of himself? 

Zacchaeus was obviously yearning for something more in his life than what he had. He had to be lonely and isolated. The story reached a critical point of tension when both Zacchaeus and Jesus made themselves vulnerable to one other when Jesus made a public statement that he would go to Zacchaeus’ home. Everyone there must have gasped! That was a powerful moment when once again Jesus himself lived his mission as he engaged in a relationship with one who was considered a sinner and an outsider.

In this expression of love and acceptance, Zacchaeus encountered the divine redemption and grace that Jesus reflected. The wealthy but empty life Zacchaeus lived was transformed and a new expression of radical generosity was born. The one who contributed to oppressing the Jews was now living generously and engaging in acts of social justice for the poor. His life-changing discovery of a relationship with Jesus broke open Zacchaeus’ heart and genuine generosity flowed. 

The custom of providing voluntary compensation in that culture was to return the original amount plus 20%. Compulsory compensation called for doubling the original amount. But Zacchaeus would do more. He would return four times the original amount. Instead of giving ten percent, Zacchaeus offers 50% of his wealth. 

This story is a good example of how Jesus’ mission made it possible for what were considered “outsiders”  to experience healing, wholeness, and a new way of belonging. The story challenges the social mindset that having money is what makes one happy, or is a sign of success. What makes one happy is all about feeling God’s grace and acceptance, through the actions of loving people… which, in turn… makes it possible for all “outsiders” to discover their fullest potential in the mission of Jesus. 

When we live from this place of growing awareness of God in our lives, our generosity is released and we can join in the mission Jesus illustrated for us.  And when all people discover who they really are and their true potential, then salvation in all of its dimensions ---in the present life and in their social and spiritual lives… have the potential to become real.

Justice for those who are poor and disadvantaged was the mission Zacchaeus committed his life to… as Jesus lived his mission into the heart of Zacchaeus. 

So, how has our personal encounter with God released in us a radical generosity that we can extend to others? We can do much in little ways. Visiting a nursing home to bring some sense of community into the lives of those who live there is one way some do it.  Sharing our friendship with those who are lonely may be another. Mowing the yard of someone who is unable to do it for themselves would be another. Sharing food or dessert with a lonely person could be another. There are hundreds of ways to welcome what we may think of as an “outcast” of our society. 

Our congregation has evidently decided that the mission of Jesus is the mission we want to adopt. We often look for new ways to be servants for others. Our upcoming shoebox project is just one, our ongoing food basket is another. Adopting a single mother and her children at Christmas time can be another. Buying school supplies for low income children in August is another of our projects. And those we choose to share with are not always outcasts. Sometimes the smallest generosity and acceptance is greatly appreciated. 

One type of outcast we sometimes encounter as a church is the gay member. Many people consider them to be sinners instead of simply of a different orientation.  The LDS church has considered them worthy only of hell and their families as well. Ad Diane explained last Sunday, our World Church has set up a group for “seekers” to welcome them into our congregations. We are attempting to be a church to welcome the outcasts of our day. 
Our World Church is struggling to make their budget as the membership ages and shrinks. But after hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, they chose to send thousands of dollars to help the people of Haiti to recover. During the 2007 flood here in Coffeyville, right in the midst of one of the worst recessions in our history, the church sent us several thousand dollars to help those who had been flooded out to deal with their recovery. And sometimes the outcast is only an outcast in their own eyes.  Perhaps, at times, we have been the “outcast” ourselves. 

We are a welcoming congregation. Let us look for ways to follow Jesus’ example and welcome everyone….even the outcast.  

There are big ways we can extend ourselves to others and there are small ways to illustrate our desire to be even more welcoming. We only need to look around us for opportunities.  

Monday and Exercises Again

I slept really well last night. I only woke up once so I am well rested.  I have fed Missy and myself our breakfasts and even been out briefly.  It's a little too chilly yet. I will take her out again after it warms up a bit....perhaps after exercise class. 

 Right now I had better get to the market. ...More later... I bought some pork tenders for lunch.

I took Bob to exercise class and while I was there Leslie called and wanted to know if I wanted to go to Bartlesville with her.  Bob arranged a ride home with another person and I went home and drove over and met Leslie at Tyro to go with her to Bartlesville.

If I can work up the energy, I will rake the east side of my apartment and bag up those leaves. The center looks so nice after Steve mowed yesterday. I had raked up and bagged the leaves there before he mowed and trimmed.

 We will have the pork tenders on Wednesday.

When we got to Bartlesville we walked the mall and she asked me if I would like to have a pedicure. I had never had a pedicure so I  let her schedule me one too. I intended to pay for it. I had even stopped by the bank on my way home to get some money. But she paid for the pedicure.  Then she asked me where I wanted to eat lunch and I suggested McAlister's. So we ate there and she also bought my lunch. Wow! What a day! The pedicure was fantastic. It was a lot more then just "painting my toenails". You got a thorough foot massage, leg massage,  trimming and cleaning of the cuticle, a chair that gave you a thorough back rub while the pedicure was going on. It was terrific! I may have to blow myself to another pedicure sometime.

Then we went to Lowe's and she bought some Weed and Feed for the lawn. And she bought a carpet remnant for the puppies that Mini is about to have...any day now....when they move out to the garden shed.  They are Corgis.  Last time she had 5 and this time she may have more because the kids both say she is huge. She's not due until Halloween but they don't think she can possible make it that long.

I got home about 2:00.

I spent the next couple of hours raking leaves and trimming the lavender.  I didn't make much of a dent in it but at least I did some of it. There are still many leaves to rake in the future when the rest of these trees lose their leaves. I will try to stay ahead of it if possible.

About 4:00, I went over to Wayne's and sat out on his porch and visited awhile. H and Tiny, his dog, were enjoying the lovely day. Wayne says he is 97.  He's quite a guy!

Bob came over to watch the news at 5:00 and so I came on back home. He left at 6:00 and soon after I took my bath and put my PJs on. I sat with Missy for awhile but I just couldn't keep my eyes open.  I played some solitaire..actually free-cell... until 9:00 when I went to bed. Missy was ready too.  What a big day!

Tomorrow will be big too.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Very Busy Sunday

I didn't sleep as well last night. I worried about having enough food for our basket dinner this noon at church. We have six good cooks out today. There are two in Wichita and one in Oklahoma. Both of them on the same day. We are scrambling to have enough food. We have guests coming from Chanute and a guest speaker.  I have goulash, a veggie and my cherry pie cake dessert.

I finally got up at 5:00 and got ready for the day. I dressed and baked my dessert. Then I packed the things I will need to take to the dinner in sacks.  I'm as ready as I can be.  After the dinner and cleanup, I will do my weekly newsletters and later this evening we will have the Living the Questions group at Karan's home. I will need to pick up Gary at 6:40.

Our guest minister is going to talk to us during Church School class about the Seekers group the World Church has begun to make the LDS who are leaving their church welcome with us. We come from the same beginning background in 1830 but our church separated from them when the polygamy and their esoteric teachings were disclosed after just 13 years.  Then we changed our name in 2000 to Community of Christ to separate even further from their movement. Unfortunately their teachings are an embarrassment to our people. We are a mission minded people.The LDS are excommunicating their Gay members and also not offering a baby blessing for their children...those who have children. That is just terrible! People cannot choose their orientation. 

More later...

The services went fine. She did a good job.  Vic did show up and since he was my guest, I sat with him. I don't know that he will come back but we all invited him. He had a dinner engagement  already so he did not stay for the dinner.

When I got home, I unloaded my leftovers and did the congregational newsletters. Then later I read my new Time magazine. Bob came over shortly after 5:00 and we watched the rest of the game he had been watching.  I left at 6:35 to pick up Gary. Bob decided his back hurt too badly to go so he went home to watch 60 minutes on his own TV. There he could put on his PJs and be comfortable.  I suggested he take some ibuprofen for his back.

We had a rather small attendance at Living the Questions. I learned that Marilyn was in the hospital in Denver with a staph infection and Joyce did not attend. Richard and Mona were there, Gary and I were there. Howard and Judy were there too. With Karan as hostess, that was all of us.

I took Gary back to his home after the meeting was over at 8:40. We stopped at Dollar General for a couple of things he needed on the way.  The group will meet again on November 13th.

I took my bath when I got home and got ready for bed. I may go straight to bed. It's been a huge day.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Brisk Saturday and Breakfast Out.

I slept well again last night. I got up as usual at 5:00 and made my bed and got ready for the day. I texted Bob about 6:30 to be sure he was up and around and he answered me that he was about ready to go to breakfast.  It was 45 degrees out when I looked at the weather. I have not had my furnace on much yet. I put it on one cool morning just to take the chill off but that's been a couple of weeks ago. 

I picked Bob up at 6:45 and we went to Eggbert's for breakfast. We have their Silver Dollar Special which is $4.95 plus .99 coffee and tax.  It's the most filling and cheapest thing on the breakfast menu. I took him home when we finished and went to Braum's to buy garlic bread. We may have a late light lunch of the rest of yesterday's goulash and that garlic bread.  I'm sure not hungry right now. That Silver Dollar Special is three small pancakes, one scrambled egg and two pieces of bacon. That and coffee are about all I can handle.

When I got home I warmed up the cup of Chai Latte I was about to drink when he told me he was ready to go to breakfast.

Missy has crawled up on the daybed behind me and is napping. 

More later...

About 1:00 Bob asked me to go with him to Big Cheese in Independence  for lunch. We did that and since he bought lunch yesterday, I bought it today. He had to donate a dollar because I was a little short.

Later we drove around Independence awhile and then he drove back to Coffeyville and let me out at the apartment.  Then he went home.

I read for awhile but then went out and raked leaves for a couple of hours...not that it'll do any good. The trees are still full of leaves yet to fall.

It's after 4:00 now and I think I'll get my frozen drink out for my dinner. I'm very tired after all that raking and bending to scoop the leaves up and dump them in the trash container Bob gave me when he moved over to Sycamore Landing. Maybe I will really sleep well tonight. I do need to wash my hair. We are having a dinner at church tomorrow and in the morning, I will fix my dessert and get my veggies ready to go too.

More even later...

Bob came over after 5:00 and stayed until nearly 7:00. When he left, I washed my hair and got ready for bed. I didn't go to bed until 9:30 though. What a big day! Tomorrow will be even bigger. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday and Cinnamon Roll Day

I slept well last night.

I am dressed and ready for exercise class later this morning. Right now I need to go feed myself and also Missy. She is lying here beside me as I type this...patiently waiting for her breakfast.

I will go to exercise class this morning and afterward we will go to Utopia for a Utopiachina and a cinnamon roll. A Utopiachina is a drink made with coffee and crushed ice. It is thick and very good. They put whipped cream and caramel on the top. There is one large drink and then a smaller one I take home and put in the freezer to have later. Very good! (Pretty expensive too but it's one of my few luxuries)

Bob has suggested we go to Bartlesville this afternoon and walk around the mall and then later in the afternoon eat lunch at Dink's Bar B Q. We may do that.

More later...

We did go to Bartlesville on this beautiful day and we walked the mall and then went to Dink's Bar B Q about 2:00 and had lunch. Then we came back home. Bob dropped me off at the apartment and went on home himself. I gave him the other half of my sandwich. I simply could not eat it all.

Later he came over at 5:20 and watched TV with me. We always watch PBS and Brooks and Shields' commentary on the election.  We watched one old "Big Bang Theory" and then he went home at 7:00. I took my bath and sat with Missy in the recliner and watched TV until 9:00. Then we went to bed.