Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cold, Cold Saturday!

It's 35 degrees out there. I moved my flowers under the carport last evening. The ones in the flowerbed on the east side of my apartment will just have to struggle. Then when they are dead, I will pull them up and bag them for the trash.

I finally turned on my furnace. Bob said he turned his on a week ago. My apartment stays pretty constant. Mr. Bishop said he insulated these apartments well. I believe it.

Today we talked about going over to Cherryvale and eating at "Just Us". We both have a free meal coming. However, I have pork cutlets in the frig and it's freezing out there as well as foggy. I may suggest we just stay here and eat. I'll see what Bob says after he comes over this morning.

Ted Cruz, the 31 year old upstart from Texas has presidential aspirations...that's obvious. God protect us from such a president! Anyone 31, controlled by the tea party, would be a disaster as a president.

I know what the power brokers want. They want to completely eliminate programs to help the poor. Most of them (billionaires all) think the poor brought their poverty on themselves. Some of that may be true. Young folks who drop out of high school can hardly expect to have a good life. Especially if they're not brilliant to begin with. Any more folks need a college education or at least a trade school education to have a decent life. But the poor will always be with us. I just think we need better oversight on who is really poor and who is "using the system". I have met perfectly able bodied folks who get disability because they're obese. They need a diet first..then a job. Clinton had a good idea...from welfare to work...but the problem is...who will hire these dropouts? Most have no idea how to apply for a job. Some come in for a job application wearing jeans and a t-shirt. That won't cut it.

If the government could come up with a program to help folks find a job and then supplement the low income they would make with more income to make a living wage, that might work. As long as employers only pay the minimum wage folks can't live on that. At least the supplement program would insist that they work to qualify for it.

So how would we pay for such a program? By taxing the rich their fair share. Many rich pay no income tax at all, thanks to their tax shelters. And they have more money then they could spend in four lifetimes. They need to share.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday and Exercises Again

I am going up to Independence at 6:30 to get my hair done for the weekend. Then I will come back and go to the market before exercise class. I need a few things. This morning I will just have a banana for breakfast. I am out of biscuits. I usually have a biscuit then bag the other four and put them in the frig for the next four days breakfast. I may buy some shredded wheat for cereal. My bran flakes have given me problems in the past. This morning I am drinking a cup of warmed up coffee from yesterday and then I will fix a cup of Chi for my second cup. Oh, the joys of being old!

As I have said, my children want me to fly over to Hawaii for Thanksgiving. Scott lives there and he has asked me to come several times since he's been there. They have offered to pay the fare. I just dread a twelve hour flight. However I am seriously considering it.

I only got part of my housework done yesterday. I just couldn't get motivated. I got the dining room and the kitchen done before I played out. Maybe I can get it done this afternoon. It's not that big a deal. It's just hard to get motivated.

My arms have been a lot better this week. I have slept better too generally. It is getting colder at night and that helps, I know.

Last night Bob came over to watch a DVD that Scott sent to me. It's called "I Am". It was very interesting and I wondered why I hadn't heard more about it. It was produced in 2011. It talked about the fact that we are all connected...even the animals and nature. It's kind of an oriental concept but it rang true. He sent it from Amazon.

Bob bought another bottle of that wine we both really like. It's called Rascoto and it's an Italian red wine. We had a small glass of it with the DVD. He left at 8:20 and I took my bath and went to bed at 9:00 after watching a couple of reruns of "Big Bang Theory".

I did get the rest of the apartment vacuumed this morning before noon. Then Bob and I went out to Dearing to have beans and cornbread and fried potatoes for lunch. For $5.15, we couldn't go wrong.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday House Cleaning Day

I need to do some cleaning today...especially wash the bathroom and kitchen floors again. First though, I am going to ride over to Caney with my brother-in-law, Bob. He is going to pick up his new glasses.

I had an e-mail from my daughter this morning. She has talked to the boys and they want to send me over to Hawaii to spend the holiday with Scott. I am supposed to think about it until Monday and then give them my answer. I dread the 12 hour flight...alone. That's my only concern. The last time I went in 1992, my Bob went with me and we had a great two week visit with Scott and his then wife, Taresa, and the kids. That's been 21 years ago and I was a lot younger. I will mull it over over the weekend and let Leslie know on Monday. She has gone now to the Peace Colloquy for our church in Independence, Missouri.

I slept well last night. I went to bed about 9:00 PM. I got up shortly before 5:00 AM.

I am glad congress avoided the fiscal cliff. They only kicked the can down the road though. They will have to deal with it again in January/February. They put the country's economy in danger over an ego trip. That's what it doubt. Selfish curs! And we will have to go through it all over again after the holidays.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday Again

It's Wednesday again and we will have exercise class at 9:00. Afterward I will come home and warm up the roast from Monday. I also have some potatoes that I will put in the skillet with a little oil. Bob will bring over coleslaw. I still have the last of the apple brown betty for dessert. Of course we will have some veggies.

Tonight at 5:30, I have the PINCH organization meeting. I have the agenda ready.

Congress is still arguing over paying for the budget and the country is just hanging in there hoping they get it settled. the tea party members, financed by a billionaire in Wichita are determined to put some kind of dent in the Affordable Care Law or just run the country over the cliff. They simply don;t care that we may have out credit rating adjusted down over all this nonsense. They simply are determined to have their way..or else. It will be interesting to see who has to give. I have said it before and I'll say it again, the rich are running the country.

The funny thing is, the money they are arguing over is to pay the bills they ran up themselves with their legislation. I guess that's not so funny, is it?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rainy Tuesday

It rained all day yesterday and all night too. It's supposed to rain all day today too. Later on this morning at 11:30 I will meet Bill for lunch. I get my hair done at 10:00. Bob will go to Independence to visit with his sister, Betty this morning and will be on his own for lunch. His sister, Lois, is still in ICU at the hospital and is not expected to live. The family has been called in. We have cancelled our trip to Branson this weekend just in case she doesn't make it.

I went to bed too early last night. It was just a little after 8:00 but I was exhausted for some reason. I woke up at 3:00 and just dozed off and on until 4:00 or so then just got up. It's 5:25 now. I will be tired this evening.

I have nothing else on the calendar for today. Tomorrow I am supposed to meet Gay at Sirloin Stockade for her class reunion meeting. Then tomorrow evening at 5:30 is PINCH meeting. That's all for the week. I speak at church on Sunday.

I got my driver's license renewed today for four more years. It cost me $20.00. The last time I had it renewed.. four years ago, it was $7.50.

It will be interesting to see what happened last night at Congress' meeting. Hopefully the house has compromised enough to pass the spending bill and to avoid the fiscal cliff. What a bunch of stooges! They would throw the entire world in chaos just for the sake of their own egos.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Exercise Monday

Today is exercise day again. They are Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I need them to stay flexible but Friday I hurt my right arm and have been babying it ever since.

I have my roast in already. I put it in the slow cooker and will cook it for three or four hours on level 5. Then add the potatoes and turn it down to level 4. We will have some frozen veggies Bob brought last week. And he will also bring a salad. I have that apple brown betty that we will have for dessert. We may invite Marilyn to join us for dinner.

I will meet Bill for lunch tomorrow after my hair appointment and Bob will go visit his sister, Betty, in Independence. His sister, Lois, is in the hospital in ICU. She is not expected to live. We have cancelled our trip to Branson just in case she doesn't make it and they have a funeral. We don't need to go to Branson again at this time anyhow. We were just there three weeks ago. I shouldn't spend the money anyhow now that I have a car payment.

I had some sad news this morning. My younger son, who had planned to come for Thanksgiving, has decided against it after all. Both his sister and I are very disappointed. But there is nothing either of us can do about it. It's his decision.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Next Week's Sermonette

Justice for All

Parable of the Woman and the Judge

Luke 18: 1 -8

1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will 3avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”

6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”


In today’s text, Jesus is again teaching his disciples about prayer. In this parable he uses the illustration of a widow who comes before an unjust judge. Widows could not inherit their husband’s property because it passed instead to his grown sons or brothers. Thus disputes involving widows and orphans were common. The widow in this parable represented all those who were oppressed and powerless in society. Her best quality was her stubborn, unrelenting persistence in demanding justice.

Judges were expected to be impartial and to declare God’s righteous judgment on behalf of the people. The judge in this parable is uncaring and in his arrogance is not concerned about God or the needs of the people he is supposed to champion. He represents the direct opposite of God’s justice. In this parable the judge chooses to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. His motivation to grant justice came from his selfish desire to end his annoyance over the nagging widow.


Justice for All is a wonderful and worthwhile goal. Unfortunately it is not yet a reality even in our country. Our scripture illustrates that fact for the day of Jesus but there is also much evidence that justice it is not always available in our day. Minorities and the poor often find it difficult to receive justice.

When I worked in the district court office, I often saw larger fines for minorities, more police violence against them and less justice.

70% of those whose convictions are overturned are minorities. As of 2012, over 350 incarcerated people in America, mostly men, have been freed after serving years of imprisonment, thanks to the efforts of the Innocence Project, an organization of law students who seek to find Justice For All.

The Innocence Project was started in 1992 by lawyers Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld. Hundreds of men and one woman have been found innocent and freed, including 18 on death row, because of DNA evidence, and sometimes false eye witness testimony. And sometimes because of prosecutors who withhold evidence to get a conviction. The Innocence Project was established in the wake of a landmark study by the United States Department of Justice and the United States Senate, in conjunction with the Benjamin N. Cardoza School of Law, which found that incorrect identification by eye witnesses, was a factor in over 70% of wrongful convictions. Later in the past twenty years, DNA evidence has become the primary factor in overturning wrongful convictions.

In 1980, I was called to jury duty and sat on two juries. The first was a drug case and the second was a murder trial. I was the jury foreman. Two teenaged boys were being tried for the attempted robbery and murder of James Ware, owner and operator of a local motel. Police had arrested these boys because they were known users of the motel and were out late that night. They were also black. Police took the boys to Tulsa to the hospital where Mr. Ware lay dying and confronted him with the boys. He obviously recognized them. They were then charged with murder.

We were in the middle of the trial and were about to convict when the boys’ mother, who was simply sure her boys had not killed Mr.Ware, did a little detective work on her own. In her investigation, she learned that there were two boys in the community who were bragging that they had got away with the murder. She confronted the police with her evidence and during the trial they arrested two of the boys. A third boy was 8 years old. He confessed to his mother that he had gone along with the two and in fact, had been the shooter. The older boys had given him the gun to hold knowing his age and also knowing he would not be incarcerated if they were caught. At the time of the shooting the eight year old had thought Mr. Ware was reaching for a gun when he was actually reaching for the cash to give to them. He shot him point blank. That eight year old was sent to juvenile jail until he was 18, at which time his record was expunged and he was released. The other two were sent to prison.

That’s how close we were to a miscarriage of justice. So…justice for all??? Not yet.

When God’s Kingdom becomes a reality, there will be justice for all. But mankind will have to work for it. Until then, institutions like the Innocence Project will do their best to find justice for all. Hopefully it will be a different kind of justice. ..perhaps even restorative justice.

So what is restorative justice?

Restorative justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused or revealed by criminal behavior. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that include all stakeholders.

Practices and programs reflecting restorative purposes will respond to crime by:

1. identifying and taking steps to repair harm,

2. involving all stakeholders,

3. Transforming the traditional relationship between communities and their governments in responding to crime.

The church’s Peace Colloquy featured restorative justice in 2007 and honored Howard Zehr for his efforts to promote it.

Restorative justice encompasses a variety of approaches and programs based on a core set of principles. Victims’ needs and offenders’ responsibility for repairing harm are the central focus. Zehr illustrated how this is in direct contrast to the Western criminal justice system, which has been established to view crime as a violation of law that requires the state to assign blame and punishment so offenders “get what they deserve.”

Restorative justice cannot be imposed. It has to be “collaborative and inclusive,” with outcomes that are as consensual as possible. The aim is to “put things right” by addressing harms and addressing causes.

To approach situations with a restorative philosophy requires respect for all involved. It must be rooted in deeper values, such as the equal worth of all people, a belief in the interconnectedness of communities. Ultimately, Zehr wrote that if he had to choose one supreme required value for pursuing restorative justice, it would be “respect for all, even those who are different from us, even those who seem to be our enemies.”

Canada, on the other hand, and different from America, has a different type of way of seeking justice. Canada’s is a unique solution. Every prisoner must learn a trade or skill of some sort he/she can use when he/she is released. They also have cells more like dorm rooms and prisoners are treated more like human beings. This training is to encourage them to re-enter society as a job trained individual. Much of our crime in America is tied to the fact that so many low income kids drop out of high school and then find it impossible to find a decent job. Poor decisions make for poor lives. Then they often turn to crime as an alternative.

So what do the scriptures say about justice?

Isaiah 1:17

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause. Zechariah 7:9-10

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” Jeremiah 22:3

Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.

Proverbs 31:9

Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

In today’s world, we would do well to follow this ancient advice. There has to be a better way to seek justice then the way we presently are doing it. We are God's hands in the world and it is our responsibility to find better ways to find justice for all.

Sunday Again

I never did get around to posting yesterday. First Bob and I went to breakfast and then home for him to shave and get ready for the day. Then we drove to Independence to look over the choices he will have in carpet and flooring. We wrote those numbers down and will share them with Mr. Bishop, our landlord. Before Bob moves across the street, Mr. Bishop is going to put down new carpet and vinyl.

After that, we decided to go to Owasso for a chance to get out of town on a beautiful day. We walked around several stores. We both bought some flavored coffee at Target. Then we ate lunch at Olive Garden. Since we had had a big breakfast, we just had soup and salad with bread sticks. As usual, it was good. Then we came back to Coffeyville and he went home to take a nap. I read.

After I finished my Consumers Report Health Newsletter and the Reader's Digest, I took them over for him. He came over for awhile last evening but since we could find nothing worth watching on TV, he went home. I took my bath and watched a couple of "Big Bang Theory" shows. Then I went to bed at 9:00. Scott called at 9:30 to tell me about a show he was watching and encouraging me to find it and watch it. It's called "I Am". This morning I had an e-mail from him. He is sending me the DVD on it. That will be interesting.

Today I will go to church and then eat out afterward. Sometime today, after I get the newsletters done, I will need to do some laundry and ironing.

Then tonight we have Living the Questions group meeting at Keith and Joyce's home.