Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday...and One More Day

I missed posting yesterday. I know this will be my last JWHA meeting. It has really been exhausting. All in all, though, I have enjoyed it.  I will probably still join because I want to receive the Journal twice a year. Dues are $40. a year now. I like to read the papers. I have only seen about ten people here that I know. Most of the old timers are pushing 90 years old. I have made a few new friends from Minnesota.

Today I have enjoyed the meetings more. It's almost time to put this computer away for the afternoon though because I am taking the trolley tour of Independence. I just wanted to touch base with everyone. I have really enjoyed staying with my friends, Reg and Joanne. I have caught up on all their news too. Reg has had a stroke but is doing remarkably well with his recovery . I can only tell he has had a stroke if I visit with him for awhile. He had emergency surgery to remove a blood clot that was about to burst.

Today I bid on a beautiful picture but probably will not win it. Others are interested in it too. I will know this evening during the presidential address.

I will leave for home and church at 7:00 in the morning. I will drive directly to church from here because I have that sermon to give. I will post some photos after I get home tomorrow afternoon.

More later...I don't want to miss the trolley.

The trolley trip was wonderful and John Hamer led it. John is so knowledgeable.   He knows his church history and has studied the history of all the Restoration churches. This tour toured some of the churches of the restoration movement in Independence. We stopped by the Community of Christ Temple and they let us take a mini tour.  It was such fun!

This evening, at 6:30, is the Presidential address and lecture with supper. That should be interesting. I was tempted to go on home and skip it so I would be home early but I would need to go back to  Joanne and Reg's and pick up my bag.  It's only 4:13 so I could do that! But I'd better not. I paid for the banquet and there would be lots of traffic on Saturday night. Tomorrow morning should be better.

It will be good to get home tomorrow though, Even though I have to preach tomorrow....if I get back in time. I e-mailed my sermon to Sue so in case something unforeseen happens she can read it. I'll be back here tomorrow.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday...The Big Day

Marilyn came into the library shortly before I left last evening and checked to be sure I was going to have breakfast with her. I had forgotten it was to be breakfast on Thursday. I assured her I would be there. I'm not in a huge hurry to get to Independence Missouri. Stoners will be at their church's garage sale so the house would be empty.

I didn't sleep much last night. Finally at 3:40, I just got up and packed and made up my face and dressed. Missy knows something is up when she sees me packing. After I got packed,  I printed off directions from Stoners home to the Stoney Creek Hotel. It looks like it will be pretty simple to find it after all. My main concern is the trolley tour I am to take Saturday afternoon. It's supposed to get back to the hotel at 5:00 and I hope to leave from there to drive back home. I hope it's not late. As it is, it will be 9:00 or so before I get home and some of that will be after dark. I will be in familiar territory by then though.

Bob dropped by to tell me he was going to attend his Lion's Club breakfast. he had almost forgotten about it. I told him I was going to meet Marilyn at 9:00 for breakfast and would not be leaving after that breakfast. I will probably leave after noon or thereabouts.

I hope all this works out.

Back later...probably on Sunday unless I find an available router.

I took this laptop with me and found that the e-mail wouldn't work here  so I'm posting on the blog to let my kids (and Bob A.) know I did arrive safely.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday and Another Big Day

I am going in to work this morning for an hour and a half at 9:00. That will make up for the days I will be gone prior to this weekend.

I slept well last night. I was very tired. I woke up once or twice but got right back to sleep. I did get up early.... a little after 4:00.

We will have something easy to fix for lunch today...hamburgers and french fries. Bob will have an extra to take home for something this weekend. I have some hamburger pie that Karan sent me, he has some frozen chili and frozen ham and beans in his freezer. I have some taco meat in my freezer and now he will have an extra hamburger. That should get him through Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I am driving home late Saturday afternoon.  And a group of us always eat out after church.

I will try to remember to take some photos at the conference.  I will share them next week.  

More later....

Well, it was a huge day. I expected it to be that way. I went in to work at 9:00 and worked until 10:30 then came home and fixed lunch.  After lunch I went back to work and not only put away dozens of DVDs but also hunted up four pages of books that were not in the system. It's a huge mess. I got home after 5:00 and fixed myself a cup of Chia Latte and got off my feet. Then I had a cookie and my Yogurt. Later after the news Bob came over. He left shortly after 7:00 after having a hard time staying awake.

At 9:00 Missy and I went to bed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tuesday and Another Busy Day

This will be a extremely busy day. For one thing, I didn't sleep well last night. I awoke at 1:30 and at 3:00 I was still awake so I got up and took a Benadryl capsule. I finally got to sleep and didn't wake up again until 6:45. That is way too late for me. I had a light breakfast and some coffee and loaded the cakes into the trunk of my car. Then I took Missy out on the carport and let her walk around and eat grass.

Marilyn R, called last night to see if it was too late to bring a cake over for the trip to Independence this morning. She baked a strawberry cake. I had her bring it over right away. She is such a nice person and wanted to share in our mission. I am so impressed!  Now I have six cakes to take counting Bob's. I will load his when I go to pick him up in about ten minutes.  I feel so rushed this morning. While Missy was out, I swept off the carport and watered the plants.

More later....

First we stopped by the church and picked up Sue's cake from the freezer.  Then we delivered the cakes and I took Bob over to Betty's for his visit.  The I went on to my appointment and afterward went over to Juanita's to balance her checkbook. Then back to Betty's to pick up Bob and go to Great China for lunch. That was good. Afterward I took him back to his apartment, I went on to work.

Tomorrow I will go in at 9:00 and work until 10:30. Then come home to do lunch and afterward will go back to work at 1:00 until 5:00.  That will make up my 6 hours of loss when I go Thursday and Friday to Independence, Missouri.

I had a big day today. I got home shortly after 5:00 and ate a bar and had some Chi Latte. In a little while I will eat my yogurt.  Bob will be here shortly to watch the news with me.

I noticed last evening when I wanted to watch PBS that the sound was off on that particular channel.  This evening, it was still off. I contacted Cox by phone and got the run around by one agent who apparently did not know what she was doing.  Finally, I was cut off and so I called them back and this time I got a knowledgeable service person. She told me that channel had no sound coming from PBS and they had had a number of complaints about that.  They were contacting PBS to find out what the problem with their sound was.

Cox gives the worst possible service now that we no longer have a local office. They closed our office last year and now we reach Wichita, Kansas whenever call and say we have a problem. We have no local Kansas news at all. All we get is Tulsa, Oklahoma news and Tulsa is 75 miles south of here.  For this we pay almost $80. a month (with the internet too) .

I am extremely unhappy about the service...or lack of it.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday and a Long Day

Today I will go in to work from 9:00 until 10:30 and then come home to fix lunch before going back in at 1:00 to work until 5:00. I hope I can manage that alright. I am trying to make up for the six hours I will miss by taking off Thursday, Friday (and Saturday) for John Whitmer Historical Association meeting in Independence, Missouri.

That's a historical society I have belonged to for forty years. They study the history of our church and the movement. Scholars, serious scholars, present papers with their findings. They are always very interesting to those of us who enjoy history. There is a banquet and lots of time to visit with old friends I have known all these years. I keep thinking I will stop attending. It has become more expensive over the years. I think the dues are now $40. a year. They began at $25.00 a year and that includes two journals a year they publish and send out to us. The meetings for the weekend have risen to $180. I bite the bullet and give myself that for a gift. I only attend every other year when they hold the meetings in Independence, Missouri. On alternate years they hold the meetings away in the various areas where our movement moved as they were persecuted. I really enjoy these meetings.

Tomorrow I can't work any extra unless I add it on at the end of the day.  I have to take the Coffeyville cakes to the Christian Church in Independence, Kansas, for their free dinner for the lonely and the poor on Tuesday evenings. After that, I will have my hair done while Bob goes to visit his sister, Betty. I will go to Juanita's after that and balance her checkbook.  Then I will pick him up at Betty's and we will have lunch at Great China. After that I will come back to Coffeyville to go to work. It will be a busy week.

Wednesday I will do the same as today's schedule. I'll go in at 9:00 and work until 10:30, come home and fix lunch and got back at 1:00 for the afternoon four hours.  That will make up all six hours since I worked three hours last Saturday and an extra thirty minutes Friday afternoon. 

Bob will come over and take care of Missy. She likes of the few people she likes.

Right now she is wanting to go outside on the carport but it's still dark and we don't go out until it gets light. A couple of times we have been surprised by a tomcat that tends to hide under my car so I always go out first and kneel down and check under the car. And we never go out until it gets light.

More later...I think I'll bake my cake this morning. I can ice it this evening.

Well, we went out when it got dark but Fred, from across the street also came out and he does a lot of shouting so she didn't want to stay out.  We came back in.

I worked for an hour and a half this morning and now I'm home to fix our lunch.

More later...

Lunch was good and I cleaned up and went back to work early. I will not work extra tomorrow because my morning is already huge. But Wednesday, I will go in and work extra to make up for the six hours I will miss this weekend. I worked three hours Saturday morning  and an hour and a half extra this morning. I also worked an extra half hour on Friday. So Wednesday I will need only an extra hour this Wednesday.

I am very tired this evening but no more tired then usual. I will watch the new Big Bang Theory and see if it has improved. Otherwise I will just give the program up. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Next Sunday's Sermon

“Honestly Examine Our Lives”
September 27th 2015 Sermon

Mark 9:38–50
John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward. 

“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched. 

“For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” 

Exploring the Scripture
The Gospel of Mark was likely written before the other Gospels—four collections of sayings grouped together because they share common words and ideas. The author is unknown but the Gospel of Mark was written around 64 CE. The Gospels contain a series of teachings about discipleship and the importance of humility and harmony. At first glance the sayings seem to be unrelated, even disjointed, but with careful study we discover they have a common theme: Harmonious, peaceful relationships are central to authentic discipleship. This section of Mark’s Gospel stresses the importance of relationship (covenant) and denounces vying for power, status, or importance.

This passage is arranged in three sections. The first four verses (vv. 38–41) directly follow the discussion among the disciples about who is the greatest. Previously, the disciples had been arguing among themselves and were reprimanded by Jesus.

In verses 38–41, the concern is not who among them is the most important but rather are the disciples more important or more “authorized” than others? They complain that someone who is not one of them has been performing exorcisms in the name of Jesus. Jesus replied that just as they are not to vie for status or place among themselves, they also should not draw boundaries around who can use Jesus’ name and who cannot; who is considered in and who is out. All who act for good in the name of Jesus are worthy.

In the next section, verses 42–48, Jesus cautioned against causing others to stumble in faith. The “little ones” referred to are not children but new or not yet mature disciples. The disciples must take care to set examples of peaceful relationships. The original recipients of the gospel would have understood severing-limbs and plucking-out-eyes language as metaphorical. These references reinforce a cultural understanding that self-sacrifice is preferable over injuring another.

Early Christians would have also known that “hell” or “Gehenna” was a valley just outside the southwest wall of Jerusalem. Centuries before it had been a place pagans used for rituals including child-sacrifice. At different times in the history of Israel, Jewish kings had both outlawed and tolerated these rituals. In Jewish writings the valley was a place of punishment and death for the unrighteous. 

During the time Mark’s Gospel was written, the valley was the city dump. It was a place of maggots (worms) and unending fires and smoke and had a horrid reputation with both Jewish and Gentile Christians. This graphic passage is not meant to be taken literally but it does cause the reader to understand the importance of the message. It is better to live harmoniously with others than risk broken relationships that injure the body of believers.

This passage concludes with two verses about salt (vv. 49–50). Salt was a precious commodity used to season and preserve food. Israelites were commanded to include salt with all their religious offerings. The offering of salt represented the essence of the covenant relationship between God and Israel. Salt had additional cultural meanings as well. There are several Greek writings that compare salt to the taste of hospitality and friendship. Christians are to keep their saltiness, to practice relationships of hospitality, friendship, harmony, and peace.

There are questions we each should ask ourselves. 

Have you ever argued with another Christian over who was right and who was wrong? I know I have..I love to discuss theology. However, I think it is very important to know that where religion is concerned there are no firm answers…only questions. Therefore, I think we should discuss religion in a non-threatening way…realizing there are very few firm answers…but we should all keep searching for our own personal answers and relationship with God.  

For this reason, I love our “Living the Questions” group. There are only three of us who are members of this church out of the twelve but the group discussions following the viewing of the video which features Old and New Testament historians and theologians always give us all food for thought. We have learned to love one another and try to always attend the meetings. 

Has there been a time when your actions may have weakened someone else’s faith? Again, yes, when Jeromy and Steve were in my Senior High Church School class and I taught them. I have a lot of different ideas about religion and I may have damaged their Jesus taught.  And the question now is, “How did you bring that relationship back to wholeness?” I admit that I evidently never did. They neither one came back to church after they grew up and went away to school and got married. I regret that and have no idea whether my class made that difference. 

How can our congregation share its “saltiness” (hospitality, friendship, building community relationships) in ways that bring about justice-making and peace? Though we are small, we try to do that in every way possible. Wherever possible, I think someone from our congregation should attend the Ministerial Alliance meetings. In Coffeyville they meet on the first Thursday of each month for lunch. It is very important to realize that all Christian churches can work together to help build good community relationships. Organizations like Pinch can build up relationships with the diverse community as well. Our participation in the weekly dinner with providing the cakes for their dessert is very important to the First Christian Church in Independence.
Leslie and I have worked together to modify our information brochure and we have copies of that brochure in the foyer on the table. We welcome all and that brochure emphasizes that. We have had our church listed in the County Chronicle along with the listings in the Independence Reporter and the Coffeyville Journal. The Chronicle has a large circulation both in hard copy and in the e-edition..

Although we are a ‘peace” church, I personally consider it very important that we stand up for the right in our various communities. If we see injustice, we should speak up in the most public way possible…perhaps in the city’s newspaper “letters to the editor”. If we don’t do that..or something, we are contributing to the injustice.  Our opinions, as long as they are not inflammatory, are important to be heard. And I also believe we should always vote in every election…both local and national.  Those who choose not to do so should not complain if those elections turn out badly.  

So, yes, we should honestly examine our lives and acknowledge where we fall short….and then attempt to make necessary changes. 

When Keith, my elder son, was about to go into third grade, his teacher called Bob and me in for a conference. She told us that he constantly fought with his classmates and she felt he needed to go to a child psychologist in Tulsa each week all summer. We were appalled but we decided we should do it. Also these sessions were to be for him and we were not to attend them. At the end of the summer, we would have a consultation and the psychologist would share his opinion. Each week, we took Keith to Tulsa to see this psychologist. At summer’s end we had our consultation.  What he told us devastated me. He said there was nothing wrong with Keith. The fault was mine. He said Keith never felt he could “win” and he took it out on his classmates. I was crushed. I knew I was not a great mother but I thought he needed structure in his life. 

What he really needed was to be able to feel he could win some of our conflicts. I sat down on his bed and asked him to sit next to me. I told him I was going to make some changes. But I asked him to be patient with me because It was not going to be easy for me….but I would change. He was a very understanding child for a nine year old. He put his arms around me and told me it would be alright. It took time, but eventually I felt I began to be a better parent, 

So as you can see, I am a work in process. I am telling myself “To Honestly Examine Our Lives” as well as you folks in the congregation.

Sunday and Church

I slept well last night although I went to bed at 8:30.  I guess working yesterday morning from 9:00 until noon and then reading all afternoon was tiring. I also made cookies.

Today I will go to church.  Bob has made the coffeecake himself this morning and will bring it over after it cools to have it iced. I keep powered sugar and he doesn't so I will mix up the icing and ice it for him.

It's finally getting light outside and Missy is chomping at the bit to get out there. She is getting impatient about it.  I will take her out before Bob comes.

I took Missy out but our noisy neighbor across the street shouted across the street and she got frightened and we had to come back in the house.

Bob came with his coffeecake and I iced it.  He is now reading the paper while we wait for time to leave for church. Missy is lying here just to the left of my chair.

We will leave for church about 9:00. After church, I will do my newsletters and then try to get out to Wal Mart to buy a few groceries.  I will have a few simple meals before I leave on Thursday.  Monday we will have tuna cakes with boiled potatoes and a veggie and salad. I will have pudding and cookies for dessert.

Tuesday I get my hair done so we will eat at Great China and while I'm getting my hair done, Bob will visit with his sister, Betty.

Wednesday we will have hamburgers and french fries.  I will send an extra hamburger home with Bob.

I will leave fairly early on Thursday morning, probably about 9:00, to get to Independence, Missouri with plenty of time to spare.  My hosts will be gone during the day (working at their church's garage sale) so I will have time to find the conference center where the conference will be held. I will try to remember to take some photos while I'm there.

More later...

I just learned today that Leslie and John, my daughter and son-in-law, have decided to wait to go to Scott and Ginger's until their new home is finished next May.  I will go down sometime after that myself...possibly after I retire in September.  Leslie and John have another new Gorgy dog...a three year old. Mini is only one year old and they want to breed her to this three year old male.  His name is Hoover.  After I get her to send me a photo of him, I will post it here. He is very pretty.

Here's another photo of them together. Aren't they cute? Mini is the lighter colored one and Hoover is the darker colored one.