Saturday, November 30, 2013

Busy Saturday Again

It's Saturday here in Hawaii and it's 6:00am. Scott is still asleep. As usual, I woke up three or four times during the night but always seemed to get back to sleep. When I get home, I'm going to go out to Wal Mart and buy one of those miracle foam pads for my bed. It makes all the difference in the world how I sleep. My arms have seldom ached.

Scott wants to take me out to the Arizona today. I guess I really don't care if we go or not. I've seen it once. I would just as soon walk around the mall and browse. If I could find a place to get my hair washed, I would do that. It needs it and I can do nothing with it myself. I didn't bring shampoo anyhow because I never could have been able to get a bottle past security. I was lucky to get my contact cleaner past security. It was larger then the 5.3 ounces they allow....or is it 3.5 ounces? I've forgotten.

I am having a really good time but, of course, I'm homesick. I miss my apartment and even my cat, Missy. I miss my own routine. And I dread the trip back. It's 11 hours altogether and the seats don't tilt back enough for sleeping. I will leave about 7:00 pm and not get into Tulsa until the next morning....around 7:00am, I think. I also have that horrendous layover at Houston which is a good thing since I nearly missed my plane there on the way over when I didn't have enough layover time. That Houston terminal is huge. I had always flown into Houston Hobby Field in the past. But I still have this Saturday, Sunday and Monday before I start back and I am enjoying immensely getting to see my son. He has pulled all the stops out to show me a good time.

More later.......

We had a huge day. First we went to breakfast and this time I had oatmeal. I couldn't finish it so Scott finished it for me. We went to Wal Mart and I bought him a small microwave for his birthday and Christmas. Then after that we went to the mall and I got my hair done. Next we went by Pier One and Scott bought some wine glasses and replaced one water tumbler that someone had broken and didn't tell him. After that we went up to North Shore where they were having the Van World Cup Surfing Championships. It was a mad house. So we didn't stop and park. But we did stop at a great Mexican restaurant where we ate outdoors. I couldn't finish mine so we got a box and brought it back to his apartment where he will eat it later on tonight. Scott also bought some Hawaiian coffee while we were at the restaurant...fresh ground. Before our lunch/dinner, Ashley called and visited with us on the phone.

Then we came back home and prepared to watch TV. Scott is talking to a friend on the phone while I type this.

It's 4:00 in the afternoon now.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Yesterday's Big Thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving dinner last night. We waited an hour to eat but we got acquainted with a couple of really nice people from Virginia, Jim and Kathleen, and they asked us to sit with them.... so we did. The Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful. I was only able to eat two thirds of it....way too much food. Then we had pumpkin pie for dessert. We got home and watched the rest of the movie we had been watching and then we went to bed. We were both exhausted. It had been a huge day. Our new friends wanted to stay in touch when they leave Tuesday to go back to Virginia so they took our e-mail addresses and names. They both work for the government.

Today we are going to have breakfast with a friend of Scott's. Afterward we are having our pictures taken. Paul is a professional photographer. I really am not interested in having my picture taken at nearly 78 years old. I simply look like an old woman nowadays. No old woman is really interested in having her picture taken. It is only a reminder of former days when she looked a lot better.(and younger) :)

The rest of the week is up for grabs. We may go back out to the Arizona. My Bob and IU were out there in 1999 when we were over here earlier but I wouldn't mind. Then he also suggested we might go back to the Polynesian Culture Center. We went there too in 1999 but he says they have really updated it since then.

Scott is trying to get his TV back to cable so he can watch cable TV this morning. He has way too many remotes to work with. He has called support and they walked him though getting it. Now he is trying to get his Sony receiver to run everything: his cable and his Sony home receiver. Now he is talking to Sony support trying to get both to work on just the Sony remote. All this at 4:15 in the morning. :) Hey! he got it done. We are now watching cable news.

More later in the day......

We took in a great movie this afternoon. We saw Delivery Man and it was a great movie. Then we went to the market and bought some groceries.

This evening we watched The Life of Pi. It too was very good!

Paul took a passel of photos this morning and he will give us both a CD of them on Monday.

So tomorrow we go to Pearl Harbor to see the Arizona again. My Bob and I went there in 1999 when we were here before.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

First Full Day in Hawaii

This is my first full day in Hawaii. Yesterday was really stressful. I left Tulsa at around 7:00 got into Houston and found terminal C but could not find E-4 where I was to depart. I found an employee and she to helped me and she took me all around the terminal until we arrived at the proper gate just in time for boarding. What a scare. Then when I finally got to Honolulu 11 hours later, I could not find my luggage. Someone else had picked it up. I was going to report it to United and I saw it setting off the track on the floor. The person who had mistakenly picked it up had not even bothered to put it back on the track. How aggravating! A security guard stayed with me out front until Scott arrived to pick me up.

By the time he came, I had not eaten in over twelve hours and was shaky. He took me to the Macaroni Grill in the mall across the street from his apartment. We split chicken parmesan. I was positively trembly and shaky. We had a glass of red wine with our dinner. We came back to his apartment and watched "Two Guns" with Denzel Washington. It was quite good. He had it on Apple TV. We went to bed after that and I slept like a baby until 2:00 am when we both got up and visited for an hour. Then went back to bed to sleep until 6:00AM. I felt fine then. This morning we went all around the west and half the north part of the island and took a lot of photos. I will post some of them when I get home. I haven't figured out how to get them from e-mail on Scott's laptop to the blog. If I figure it out, I will do that.

This evening we will have Thanksgiving dinner at Hale Koa Restaurant It's a huge government hotel/recreation center. We will have to be there at 4:00. It's 1:20 Honolulu time now. So we have awhile.

Koni Ola Lookout

Me at Koni Ola Lookout

Again me at Koni Ola Lookout. Look at the scenery behind me! Wonderful!

My son Scott

More of my son, Scott

Another of Scott

More later on in the week.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday Packing Day

I have done my laundry again and got my hair done now I will just need to finish packing after I make up my face in the morning. I have nearly everything packed now except my make up kit and underwear. I will finish that in the morning. There has been a lot of really bad weather around us to the south. That has caused a lot of plane delays. I don't know whether it will affect my trip to Hawaii for Thanksgiving and our birthdays or not but only time will tell. I will need to get up at 4:00am in the morning to get to Tulsa by 6:00am. Leslie will pick me up at 5:00am. I have warned Scott about possible delays.

Bob took me to lunch today. He did not want me to have to cook this last day. That was good of him.

This afternoon the police in the area are looking for a fugitive who killed his entire family 40 miles away and was seen 15 miles away from here. That was his wife and three children. The police and sheriff's department and every law enforcement person within 50 miles are over at Independence where he was last seen trying to capture him. So far, I have had no more news on him. I get alerts on nixle from law enforcement. I will keep my door locked until I hear they have captured him.

I will watch TV tonight but go to bed fairly early. I hope I will be able to sleep. I usually don't sleep very well anyhow anymore. My arms hurt after half the night on them.

More later...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday's Sermon

God’s Chosen One

November 24, 2013

Scripture: Luke 23:33 – 43

And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified him and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood, seeing.

But the rulers were deriding, saying, "He saved others. Let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen." And the soldiers also mocked him, coming (and) offering to him common wine, and saying, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself." There was also an inscription over him, "This one (is) the king of the Jews." And one of the hanging criminals was reviling him: "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us."

But the other answered, rebuking him, saying, "Do you not fear God that you are in the same condemnation, and we indeed justly, for what we receive (is) appropriate to what we did, but this one has done nothing out of place." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise."

Thinking it through:

So, it is appropriate for us at the end of the Christian year to ponder and remember. If this scripture seems to be an unusual choice for a gospel reading on this particular Sunday, then think about the irony: Jesus is declared “king” by a criminal, Roman soldiers, and a cynical governor. Three times Jesus is mocked: “Save yourself,” they said. The soldiers and others (maybe even us) assume that if one has God’s favor, a proof of it would be to use that favor to end suffering and avoid death.

Sadly, many of us still think, act, and pray this way, expecting God to help us avoid painful and unpleasant occurrences in life. We desperately want the path of discipleship to be smooth and without risk. It is especially tempting in the upcoming Advent and Christmas seasons to forget the difficulty of the journey. Perhaps that is why we are talking about Luke 23 today—as a reminder not to settle for a candied or watered-down version of the story.

The deeper understanding of the scripture is that even under those terrible circumstances, Jesus could not avoid death. Nigel Spivey, in his book, Enduring Creation: Art, Pain, and Fortitude notes that the idea of a crucified messiah was such a shattering notion that the early church avoided it in art and theology from the time the Gospels were written; clear through to the tenth century. And even then, the depictions were carefully tamed.

On this last Sunday before Advent, this scripture is reminding us that to avoid the difficult parts of Jesus’ story is not acceptable. We must recognize the cost—for Jesus, for us and for God’s kingdom. And we must constantly remind ourselves that each of us is also “chosen”.

Authors Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker in their book, “Saving Paradise” were surprised when they visited the Mediterranean world where early Christianity began to find that the very earliest Christian art did not depict the crucified Jesus. They began their journey in Rome in the catacombs where underground tunnels and tombs are carved into soft tufa rock. The earliest surviving Christian art is painted onto the plaster walls of tombs or carved onto marble sarcophagi as memorials to the interred. There were crosses everywhere in the artwork, but on none of these very early pieces was Jesus depicted as crucified. He was usually sitting on the ground under the cross. They found it took a thousand years for Jesus to die in this artwork. Images of his corpse did not appear in churches until the tenth century.

And why is this important? It’s because we have to realize that the common people did not read or write. They learned their stories about Jesus through artwork depiction in icons and stained glass windows.

According to the writings of Paul, the early gentile church could not tolerate a dead messiah whose mission would be seen as a failure.

We have learned in church and some even in graduate schools that Christians believed the crucifixion of Jesus saved the world and that this idea was the core of the Christian faith. Today that idea is challenged by many because it is seen as contributing to the sanctioning of violence and war and it does not originate from the message of Jesus. It absolves perpetrators of violence of their responsibility for their unethical behavior. The focus of the earliest Christians was instead to create a paradise on earth. To them, even heaven was considered a dimension of this life.

In fact, the "Father, forgive them" passage of this scripture is not present in the earliest documents, It is included because it fits so well with one of Luke's over-all themes, that is “forgiveness”, and that is why it was left in later scripture.

So what have we learned from this story of Jesus’ crucifixion?

In this upcoming Christmas season, it is important to be honest about the real cost of discipleship. Since we too are chosen, it is time to move into the Advent season, affirming our discipleship and being realistic about what following the chosen one really means in our lives.

Being disciples of God’s chosen one comes at a cost. Even though many of us are not comfortable taking risks, we sometimes have to go outside our own comfort zones and step over the boundaries we have constructed to actually be a disciple. And that may not always be comfortable. Many of us prefer to be pew sitters. Yet, Jesus charged his disciples to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit those in prison. Yet today even our politicians seem to resent doing just that.

Mockery and derision is a frequent tactic of the powerful to besmirch someone's character. The irritant is brought down through derision and character assassination. As Mahatma Gandhi put it, "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you,…… then you win."

The apparent vulnerability of Jesus on the cross calls into question how this one who felt sent by God can possibly save the people. It seemed to disciples of that day that the powers of the world had overtaken the powers of God. And yet, this episode offers hope. In it, left there for us, Jesus asks for forgiveness for those who have crucified him and shows that he still has power in the last, painful moments of his earthly life by offering the promise of a paradise to the evildoer.

Jesus did not lose hope but trusted in God even when it appeared that he was in a hopeless situation. All hearers, therefore, should not lose hope but trust in God. Jesus made good on his promises, brought good news to the poor and offered healing to those who were in need. He also offered forgiveness to those whom his society deemed evil. In the moment of his greatest vulnerability, when those with earthly power showed that they had the power to condemn Jesus to death, he managed to heal one on the cross beside him and promised the other suffering one a paradise.

Instead of dying an anonymous death, Jesus’ words and mission live on…inspiring millions to have a part in building God’s kingdom here on earth.

. So what are we willing to suffer for the sake of the kingdom?

Not much is asked of us. We are challenged to do what we can in feeding the poor and offering healing friendship to those who are in distress. We should feel called to visit those in prison and in hospital and nursing homes. We should be available to help anyone who needs our help..regardless of the inconvenience it may seem to us. Because of our conscious, each of us is aware of what we can do. Sometimes we do move out and other times we defer to help… out of selfish reasons known only to ourselves. But we are chosen because we are able.

In this holiday season, we are aware of much need in our communities. As a congregation, we will soon be asking for assistance in providing gifts and food for the children of needy families. Let us respond as we are able. Jesus spent his short life helping all those to whom he came in contact, even in his last moments. As disciples, we can do no less because we too are able and are some of God’s chosen ones.

Monday and Sleet

I stepped outside a while ago to sweep the leaves up in the carport and discovered it is sleeting. Great! That's just what we need. We will be getting out to go to exercise class in a little while. I hope it has stopped by then.

I slept pretty well. It was cozy in the bed and especially with a warm cat on my feet. Missy sleeps on the foot of my bed on the afghans I cover over the coverlet.

I will be packing for my trip tomorrow. I need to get a few things from Wal Mart first. I get my hair done in the morning in Independence and I will go to their Wal Mart there.

I think I will make either a chicken pot pie or a chicken noodle casserole for lunch/dinner today. I will need some chicken broth for the pot pie but I can get that at Country Mart. I think I have the rest of the ingredients. That kind of casserole has most of the ingredients for a balanced dinner. I will make some pudding and we will have cookies with it for dessert. I am out of milk so I will need to stop at Brahms too. Those two stores are only a block or two away not six miles east of town like Wal Mart. I seldom go there.

More later...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Very Cold Sunday

It's even colder here today. I think it said 19 degrees. I preach at church today so I am up and at it this morning.

My newspaper is late. I called about it and there is a substitute running the route and they evidently missed me. They are supposed to bring one out to me but I haven't seen it yet. If it isn't here when I finish writing on this blog, I will go buy one. That is very aggravating.

I need to study my notes for this morning anyway but I am used to reading my paper while I eat my biscuit. This morning I will have some special bread with my coffee. Bob baked yesterday afternoon and brought me a small loaf of it.

More later....

We ate at Pizza Hut after church. The sermon went well. After dinner I came home and did my letters. I will be gone next Sunday afternoon so there will not be any letters to send out. Bob came over and we watched TV together. He went home about 8:30.