Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday and A New Day

I woke up at 6:45 this morning feeling a little wrung out but well at last. Bob texted me to see if I was alright and I texted him back and suggested we go on to breakfast. I was buying. He argued a bit over that but I insisted. We went to Sirloin Stockade and ate a nice breakfast. Then I took him home.

When I got home I texted Keith. He had tried to call me last night but I had fallen asleep in my recliner and did not hear the phone.   I awoke about 9:00 and went on to bed. Sometime in the night I saw my phone flashing and checked it out and saw that Keith had tried to call. I wasn't going to call him then so I waited until I thought he'd be up this morning. He texted me back that he had received my CPU and was going to put a new hard drive in it and get it going again. What a guy!

I am going to take it easy this morning. Leslie called this morning to check on me and I told her about that episode I had had and we agreed that I had a 24 hour bug besides the bladder infection. It was a doozy too.

Bob and I planned to have just grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for a late lunch but I was still very queezy so he just went to Arby's and bought a sandwich. .  Neither of us were too hungry after a large breakfast.

I am really zapped today. So I will just take it easy.

Perhaps more later...

I went to Wal Mart and did my grocery shopping this afternoon but sure didn't feel very good.  I ate a banana so I could take my antibiotic. 

Karan called me this evening to say Bobby had been sleeping since10:00 AM on Friday. The Hospice nurse thinks this may be near the end. If you recall, Bobby has been suffering from a fatal brain tumor.  He was given 90 days to live at his diagnosis. That has been nearly 4 months ago. If he lives until tomorrow, he will be 80.  I notified Leslie and Melissa, our pastors. What a tragedy! Bobby is such a great guy and he and Karan have been married only 7 years.

 I had a lot of trouble all day with a queezy stomach and took several Tums.  It's the antibiotic. They always kill all the bacteria in the gut...even the good ones. I ate some yogurt to try to get through it but finally just had to have some more Tums.  I got to sleep about 9:00 and although I awoke several times, I managed to get through the night and get back to sleep. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday and a Continued Illness

I awoke about 1:30 with the vomiting and the dry heaves again. After that the explosive diarrhea began and lasted until about an hour ago. So good. Everything I wore had to be laundered.  I've never had such diarrhea. Bob came over and helped me by going to get my scripts and do laundry. We must have washed about twenty loads of laundry.

What a mess. It's ten after two and it's been an hour since I had my last episode. Now I am afraid to eat anything.

More later....

I managed to get through the worst of it by early afternoon but it left me weak as a jellyfish. I fell asleep at 6:00 in my recliner and didn't wake up until 9:00 when I went on to bed. 

It was a nightmare of a 24 hours.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thursday and Recovery

Last evening after I went to bed, I had a violent case of diarrhea.  It continued for an hour.  I finally got to sleep and this morning I feel rather wrung out.  I hope I get some energy before lunch time. I am just going to take it easy this morning and hope to regain some energy.

Missy and I have a conflict going today. It is chilly and I don't feel very well. She wants to go out and it's too chilly for me. She reached up and scratched my arm in her anger. I swatted at her and she knew I was angry. She drew blood. So she ran. That cat really wants her own way. And I am determined that I am in charge. She has quieted down now.

I have pork cutlets thawed for lunch. We will have potatoes and veggies with those. Bob will bring salad.  I still have fruit for dessert and also that angel food cake my daughter gave me on Monday evening.

More later...

The roof shingles are all on on my son and daughter-in-law's new home.

This is the plan for their front porch.

Pretty isn't it? They have a June 1st "move in" date.

More later...

I spoke too soon. I went to the ER  last evening with vomiting and dry heaves. They did a blood workup and a urinalysis and a CT scan. They found a little bladder infection  but that didn't explain the terrible vomiting and diarrhea. That stopped while I was in the ER so they let me come home.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wednesday and Bunco at Asbury

I will probably go to exercises this morning. I left early on Monday to take my CPU in to be shipped to Keith after V & S Variety opened.

After exercises, I will come home and vacuum the apartment. I never got that done on Monday. Then at 11:30, Bob and I will attend the last Lenten Luncheon at the First Baptist Church.  After that, I will go out to Asbury Village and play Bunco again. That starts at 2:00 and goes until 4:00.  It is something to do with some different fellowship.

This evening at 5:30 is the PINCH meeting. I hope there is a good turnout. We are having the hospital's lawyer, Doug Bell, come to talk to us about extending the 1/2 cent sales tax to help fund our hospital.  We certainly don't want to lose our hospital here in Coffeyville. Independence, 12 miles north of us, had Mercy Hospital pull out of their community last year. That left them without doctors since the hospital was their primary funding.

Now there are dozens of houses there in Independence for sale. No one wants to lose their community hospital. Ours is one of eight city owned hospitals in the state. With our idiot governor refusing to expand Medicaid in Kansas and Medicare cutting down on payments to doctors and hospitals, it is harder to retain our doctors in a community of 9,000. And our hospital is now serving a lot of Independence residents.  We are the nearest hospital to Independence and also in Montgomery County.  Jane Phillips Hospital in Bartlesville, is now owned by St. John's out of Tulsa. Bartlesville is 40 miles from here and in Oklahoma. The other Kansas hospital would be 30 miles away at Parsons in Labette County. There are projected to be18 other small Kansas hospitals in danger of being closed.

So, as we can see, retaining that 1/2 cent sales tax is very important to the community.  The hospital is funding a special election to decide that question on April 5th.

More later....

This is the latest on my younger son and daughter-in-law's new home. They are putting the stucco on now.


More later....

I picked up Bob for the Lenten Luncheon and it was very good. Then I came back home and raked and  bagged more leaves. I worked about an hour and a half then I cleaned up and went to Bunco. I had a good time and won a drawing for a cookie can.

When I got back home I read the papers and then got ready to go to the PINCH meeting. I hope there is a good turnout to hear Doug Bell explain the need to continue the 1/2 cent sales tax for our hospital.

More later...Right now I need to get Missy' treats for her.

We only had about ten at the meeting. Neither Marilyn or Sharon came and I was disappointed. Both the hospital administrator and Doug were there. They didn't seem disappointed but I was.  Marilyn did call to tell me she wasn't going to be able to attend. I imagine her daughter-in-law showed up unexpectedly. She has done that repeatedly.

But Sharon is our treasurer. I was really disappointed that she didn't come.

Later, about 8:30, I texted her that we missed her and she texted me back that she thought the meeting was on Thursday. PINCH has always been held on Wednesday evenings at 5:30.  So that didn't make much sense. She did say she had accidentally reported Thursday evening to be the meeting day to the newspaper.  I think she's been working too hard. She didn't get away from her store until 8:00.

Oh well, the meeting went well.

I got to bed about 8:45. I was exhausted. I had worked and hour and a half raking and bagging leaves again.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday and Hair Day

I never did get around to posting yesterday. It was such a busy day. First, I went on to exercise class and then left when I heard back from V & S Variety, the UPS station here. I took my CPU there all wrapped and well padded. But the woman clerk was afraid it would not stand the drop from the conveyor belt on the other end so she found an even larger box and packed around that even more and then I insured it for $100.

When I got home I started warming up our spaghetti for lunch.

After lunch I began working up the bulletin for Palm Sunday services.

Then I left to go to John and Leslie's for Maia's birthday celebration.  She turned 6 yesterday.

While I was there, I looked over John and Leslie's new travel trailer.  Boy, is that fancy! I forgot to take photos of it but it had everything! It had two pop outs, a TV, stereo CD, DVD and came completely furnished. It had a stand up shower, a king sized bed, a stove, microwave, oven, nice cabinets and lots and lots of storage. One of the sofas made into a double bed for the girls when they get to go too. It had blinds and a roll out lighted canopy for the outside. It even had an electric fireplace....two of in the living room and one in the bedroom.

I got home about 7:00 and took my bath and sat with Missy in the recliner a bit but at 8:30, I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.  I went on to bed and woke up at 2:30 unable to get back to sleep. I got up and took a melatonin tablet.  The next time I woke up it was 6:30. Those things work!

In about thirty minutes I need to pick up Bob for our trip to Independence for my hair appointment. Afterward we will go out to Juanita's with the newspaper that has the obit for her stepdaughter, who died last week.  I will read it to her. Juanita is mostly blind.  Then we will go to Big Cheese for our pizza.

So..more later...

I got all that done and then some. We had about an hour to kill before lunch so we went out to John and Leslie's and took a look at the new trailer. Again, I forgot to take photos. Leslie is supposed to send me her photos so if and when she does, I will post them here.

I took Bob home and came home myself.  I will probably take Missy out in the sunshine in a little bit. She loves to be outside in the sunshine.

Later, this evening, Bob will come over to watch TV.

More later....

Bob came over shortly after 5:00 and stayed until 6:30. He was very tired and sleepy so he went home. I stayed up until 10:00 for a change and watched the election returns. Then Missy and I went to bed.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

My Sunday Sermon

Practice Extravagant Generosity
March 13th, 2016
John 12:1-8          New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 12
The Anointing at Bethany. 1 [a]Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus[b] and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one [of] his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages[c] and given to the poor?” He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial.[d] You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

Exploring the Scripture
This week in this scripture from the author of John, the pilgrimage continues. Holy Week approached and Jesus’ execution lay immediately ahead in our story. 

The author of John tells this story completely different from Matthew, Mark, and Luke, with a story not shared anywhere else and placing it at the home of his dear friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, who are brother and sisters. 

Today’s story shows Jesus catching a break. He has had time to visit, rest, and eat in a peace-filled place. Jesus, the one who had “nowhere to lay his head” as he said in Matthew 8:20, stayed in Bethany—as much a home for him as anywhere.

And at this time,  after hearing of the raising of Lazarus, the leaders of the Jews learn of the miracle from those who have gathered to see Lazarus and are terrified that the entire nation will now follow Jesus into an insurrection and they will lose their power in an uprising that will bring Rome down on the entire nation. They immediately began to plot to capture him and have the Romans condemn him as a danger to their power.  This last action puts Jesus at even greater risk of capture. 

At the heart of this text though is a surprising act of generosity: an over-the-top gift. Mary, a disciple with deep gratitude for Jesus because he raised her brother from the dead and returned him to her and her family, anoints Jesus with costly perfume. She responds to Jesus’ extravagant generosity with extravagant generosity of her own. Generosity begets generosity.

Observe how people who are driven by self, react, but servant leaders—those who put others first, respond. Judas reacted to Mary’s generous gift with harsh criticism. He pointed out the wastefulness of the gift. Judas suggested it could have been sold for 300 denarii, roughly a year’s pay, and given to the poor. As Mary anoints, it is Judas who is exposed.

Jesus, however, is gracious and responds with gratitude. His sharp, clear defense of Mary, as told here by the author of John,  can also be understood as a defense of all whose voices were stifled by the early church, all whose gifts were not being received and all who were not giving what they could. 

Comparing Judas’ reaction and Jesus’ servant-leader response, one notes that criticizing generosity is a wonderful way to dodge its power.  A true gift cannot be controlled, only received. For this and for many reasons, some cultures have a much easier time giving than receiving.

Sometimes, people look for ways to avoid giving. Scripture contains a clear mandate to take care of the poor. Many have tried to justify their inaction by using the line in this passage that says “you always have the poor with you” (v. 8). However, this quote refers to Deuteronomy 15:11, whose message is certain: “Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, ‘Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.’” Jesus knew this and his disciples knew it.

So in our story, Mary wiped Jesus’ feet. Jesus received from her what he will soon offer his disciples when he washes their feet. (The Greek verb is the same in both cases.) Mary’s extravagant act is a faithful witness to the even more extravagant act about to occur.

John’s Gospel bears witness to the gift God gives the world in Jesus. In today’s passage as elsewhere, celebrating God’s gift of Jesus comes with awareness of the cost of that gift as the story moves toward Jesus’ impending hour of execution. 

Can you remember a time when you received an extravagant gift? How did you react? What was your response?

I can. Two years ago, when Scott was in Hawaii…all alone with an impending birthday,  Leslie and John gave me an extravagant gift.  They bought me an airline ticket to go to be with him for both our birthdays.  To me, that was an extravagant gift. 

Then when Scott retired from the army, he came first to my house and bought me a new TV and a Bose sound system to go with it. My old TV had finally died. That was his extravagant gift to me. 

Then Keith and Esther decided to tithe to me instead of their mega church. So they send me a large cash gift every month.  That is an extravagant gift. 

When Bob died, this congregation took up an offering and gave me a large cash gift to help me get through that first month. I was astounded and delighted. 

After Bob died, the government took back both my social security and Bob’s social security almost immediately. I didn’t know what I was going to do the first of the month when my house payment came due. My friends, Ron and Joyce Dawbarn also realized this and sent me $500 to tide me over until my social security could be changed and re-deposited.   

Yes, I have had some extravagant gifts. Perhaps the most extravagant gift was the spirit of God that stayed with me during those last days. I was able to cope with the strain of all that.

The next question is: And let us each ask ourselves….Is it easier for you to give or to receive? And why?

How do we respond to God’s generous grace in our life? How much of  our capacity for generous giving are we actually using right now? 

When I first read in the church's Herald magazine that the church was recommending that we tithe 10% of our income, I thought there was no way I could do that on my income but the more I thought about it and the more I read about the layoffs the church is having to make and the changes they are having to make like making the Peace Prize a part of our World Conference,  because of lack of funding, the more I realized I had to make an effort to do that.  I am going to try.

My kids have been generous to me . The church has been generous to me.  God has certainly been generous to me. There are luxuries I can eliminate from my spending habits.  Can I continue? I can only try. Let us each ask ourselves if we can make the effort.  Mary, in our scripture made a generous gift.  If we try, we may be able to make a more generous gift as well.
We can all only try.

A Very Busy Sunday

I slept well last night after such a busy day.

This is to be a very busy Sunday and it's just started. I forgot to change the clocks but luckily both the laptop and my cell phone automatically change themselves. I changed the clock in the microwave, the Bose music system and the clock over the range. I still have the one in the bedroom to do.

I got myself ready for church first and then baked my coffeecake. I went over my sermon notes and read the Sunday newspaper.  Now, before I go to pick Bob up, I will make a start on my blog.

Yesterday afternoon I checked with Gary to see if he had received my Thursday e-mail about Marilyn wanting to have us for supper and the Living the Questions DVD session on Sunday evening.  Sure enough, he did not have it. I told him about it and after some changes in his plans, he managed to clear his evening.  He really needs the fellowship and likes to come.  Then I called Mona and she and Richard and Ramie plan to be there too. That will be seven of us with Marilyn and Bob and me. Of course Bobby and Karan can't be with us. Bobby is now in too bad a shape. Joyce has other plans too. She will babysit her grandchildren in Bartlesville during Spring Break there. She goes down there on Sunday evening. We never know if Richard A will show up or not. Most of the time when Marilyn has the group, he comes.

After church we will eat out some place and then after I take Bob home, I will do my newsletters and get my cheese and cracker tray ready to take to Marilyn's at 6:00.

It will be a busy day. The fog is very thick out there too and it's nine miles out to church.

More later....

The service went well and we ate at El Pueblo afterward and later I came home and did my newsletters and got them ready for tomorrow's mail.

After that, I prepared my offering of food for tonight's Living the Questions group meeting.

I will pick up Gary at 5:45 for that meeting. Bob will come over earlier to read the paper and will go with me to pick up Gary. There should be seven there this evening.

More even later....