Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Europeans

This summit in Washington is bringing up some interesting proposals. The Europeans, especially the French, are suggesting that our capitalist system needs more regulation to avoid huge corporate salaries, bonuses and other abuses. America has always scorned the highly regulated European system but, let's face it, the reason they were so severely affected by our financial crisis,is that we have intertwined our system with the entire world's. Because of this the American system and it's abuses has affected the entire world.

I have always said that capitalism is greed driven and when you consider all the abuses that have been apparent in it for decades, you can see the need for regulation. If corporate America were not so greedy, a free market would work. But it's greed has driven the rich to be even richer and the poor to be even poorer and the middle class to rapidly disappear.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Letter to the Editor and Congressmen

My husband has recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This is a man with no history of diabetes in his family and who weighs 153 pounds at 5 foot 10 1/2 inches tall so his disease is not associated with obesity.

I have read several scientific articles implicating high fructose corn syrup in this epidemic. It seems it is made from cornstarch that's been processed with enzymes and studies have linked it with higher levels of compounds that trigger tissue damage. The pancreas cannot process it to produce insulin and so the sugar pours into the bloodstream and then into the organs of the body putting a terrific strain on all of them.

Why is it so difficult to get our FDA and our congress to see this problem? Are they being financed by the huge farm lobby? Neither Canada or Mexico uses high fructose corn syrup in their foods or soft drinks.

Have you ever tried to buy anything that doesn't contain it? Almost everything lists it as one of the first ingredients and therefore a main ingredient .

I would like to see hearings held on this subject and something done about getting this dangerous ingredient out of the food chain. In case you haven't noticed, diabetes is epidemic in the US and anywhere in the world where high fructose corn syrup is used in the place of sugar.

Sincerely alarmed,

(my full name and address and telephone number)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

House Cleaning Day

Generally I clean on Monday but Monday was a busy day so I was going to clean on Tuesday. Well, Scott came back Sunday afternoon so we were very busy. I believe that was the day we went to Bartlesville. Then yesterday was a rat race. So that meant we would clean today. The house looks good. While I was cleaning I put a pot of beans on and we had cornbread and beans for lunch. I don't know how Bob's sugar will hold up after that.

This afternoon I have an appointment with Tina at the radio station at 3:00 and then my job interview is at 4:00 at the library. I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be...that's for sure. They probably have a lot of interviews.

I spent an hour on this computer e-mailing church headquarters to get newly baptized Jon registered as a member of the church. Hopefully, that won't take forever. But think how much more work that would have been if we didn't have computers. Aren't they grand? When they work properly, that is. I wrestle with mine from time to time.

Here's a photo of Jon at his confirmation service.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Busy Wednesday

Well, we did everything we meant to do today. We went to Independence early though because fog was forecast. The fog didn't materialize however. Anyhow, Carol got me in early so we went to breakfast early too. Then we went to pick up the water for the church and Bob's pants at the cleaners and then went to Wal Mart to do some shopping for food that diabetics can eat. That's a bummer!

Later we looked around at HDTV's. I'm not ready to invest in one though. I think the prices need to come down further before we get one.

At last we went to Ministerial Association at Mercy Hospital. There was a good turnout...about 13, I think.

Later we came on home and I worked on the bulletin for November 23rd.

Tomorrow morning, I will clean house and later in the afternoon at 3:00 I have an appointment with the radio station and then at 4:00 I will have my job interview.

Next week, one day, I will need to go to the radio station in Independence and cut some new spots for Windsor Place. This will be the first time I have done their announcements there. I usually only do the ones for the Coffeyville Windsor Place.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Great Baptism!

We had a baptism this Sunday and the boy was also confirmed a member of the church. It went off well. The two elders who had seen to his pre-baptismal classes and were in charge of seeing to his spiritual well being at Hutchinson came down to do the baptism and confirmation. They did a nice job. Our Celebration/Worship Committee planned the service and they really out did themselves.

We had a basket dinner afterward. There were about 45 people there. The celebration committee decorated the church with kites and boy things like footballs, basketballs, boy toys, wagons, you name it. It was neat. Emma Stoner and her brother Ryan sang. They do a lovely job. Emma will be baptized in January.

Jon, the boy who was baptized is such a nice little boy. He is one of four and they are all nice kids.

Busy Wednesday Tomorrow

Tomorrow I go to get my hair done in Independence. Afterward Bob and I will go eat breakfast at Eggbert's. After that, we will go pick up Bob's jeans. I had them shortened.

We also need to pick up water for the church. We use bottled water there to drink. I need to stop and get my mascara in Independence too.

Then at 11:30, we will go to Independence Ministerial Association. When we get home we will stay at home. It will probably rain.

Scott, our son, left this morning. He has to report in on Thursday. We had a good time while he was here. This afternoon I worked all afternoon on my daughter's scrapbook and got it caught up. I hope to get my own caught up tomorrow afternoon.

Job Interview

The library called last evening and set up a job interview for me for Thursday at 4:00. I am really interested in this job as a library aide but with the economy the way it is, I probably have little chance of getting it. But I am going to give it my best shot anyhow.

Sunday afternoon our son from Ft. Leonard Wood came back to spend the rest of his leave with us. It rained yesterday so we drove down to Bartlesville where they have a small mall and looked around. Bob bought a new shirt and we all had lunch at Garfield's.

When we got home we rented a movie and watched it all afternoon. It was a good one called "Invincible". It was a true story about a football player who won a place on the Philadelphia team with an open draft from the public. It happened back in the 70's.

Then last night we watched The American Experience on PBS about the great depression. We all went to bed about 10:00 and had a good night's sleep.

I got up at 6:00 this morning and let the cat back in and let the dog out to do his thing. In cold damp weather like this week, we keep him in the garage at night near the hot water tank. He's such a sweetheart. I fixed his cinnamon toast after I got my coffee and went out on the patio to feed it to him a bite at a time.

It's raining again this morning so his walk will have to wait until it stops.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sermon for November 23

Recognize Jesus Among Us
November 23, 2008
Matthew 25:31–46

This teaching ministry found in Matthew Chapters 24 and 25 are end-time teachings of Jesus. They include three parables of judgment. The scripture is titled “The Judgment of the Nations” concludes the discourse.

Matthew portrays and anticipates the “second coming” in sharp contrast to the first coming. This time, he writes, Christ comes in glory, with all the nations assembled before him. He conveys God’s blessing to those who have done deeds of loving kindness.

Jesus spent at least one year among his disciples walking his way around Galilee, teaching anyone who would listen the concepts of God’s kingdom. The word “Kingdom” was common in that day of kingdoms. Today, speaking of such a situation, we might refer to it as God’s sacred community. The precepts Jesus taught were simple but important. If the world had implemented them instead of those of “kingdoms and empires” the world would be at peace today.

They include, “share your food”, “clothe the naked”, “befriend the lonely”, “heal the sick”, and “visit the imprisoned”, “do not be angry with your brother”, “be reconciled with one another” “turn the other cheek”, “go the extra mile”. ” love your enemies”, “pray for those who persecute you”, “do not store up treasures for yourself on earth” “do not judge” ”do not be a hypocrite” . Simple concepts these…able to change the world.

When we show one person such generosity, even the least among persons, we are showing the mercy of God; we are participating in the kingdom of love and grace that God envisions for creation. We think our commonplace actions are insignificant, but they are eternal opportunities. As often as we have truly loved, we have loved God.
This scriptural passage is commonly known as “the parable of the sheep and the goats.” Early rabbinical writings regarded goats as “armed robbers” because they jumped people’s fences, destroyed their plants, and cropped grass too close to the ground when grazing. So, the shepherd (Jesus) sends the sheep (the people of God) to the “right” side, indicating favor. While the goats are sent to the “left,” a less favorable spot.

This parable is an indictment of humanity’s violent resistance to God’s revelation that we are all created in God’s own image. At the 2004 International Leaders Meeting in 2007, this declaration was shared:

“We live in a world where the face of Jesus is torn. Humans hurt each other, rending the body of Christ. Systems and institutions crush the spirit and imprison the mind. God mourns where bullets, barricades of burning tires, barbed-wire fences, cultural prohibitions, violence, and minefields separate humanity. God shares the burdens of poverty, AIDS, orphans, imperialism, wealth, and conflict. God is persecuted with those who suffer in his name, and forsaken when his servants forget indigenous communities.

The church also tears the face of God. We show the world the lamb, the lion, and the child but fail to resolve conflicts in our own families and congregations.”—

To such a bleak history, the “Lord of history” speaks: “As you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (v. 40).

This parable is not just a revelation of the crisis of history. It is a call to active love. The six mercies (food, drink, welcome, clothing, nursing care, and visitation) are ministries that can be provided without requirement of wealth, refined skills, or great sacrifice, yet they are lifesaving.

We encounter God in all of our relations. Every wife who comforts her husband, every father who gives joy to his child, every friend who consoles a companion, and every mother who feeds her infant encounter the Lord.

The parable is an invitation to personal recognition and acceptance. Each one of us counts as “the least.” We all bear the image of God, no matter how diminished or devalued we or anyone else may think we are. We are bodies of Christ.

A friend of mine sent me a video this week about a project started by his cousin Carol in Portland OR. She grew up with his sister Ruth and him in England. During the war her father was in the British Navy and when his ship was damaged it put into Portland for extensive repairs. There he met with the church members and made many friends and after the war he and his family emigrated to Portland. After high school Carol started working as a secretary for a bank in Portland and eventually retired as executive secretary for the bank president. She had the idea of starting a theater group for special needs children and persuaded the bank president to sponsor a small group. This eventually grew into full blown theater performances and this video was produced as she is now retiring from directing the performances.

The scripture passage we heard read is an indictment of those who devalue persons created in God’s image. At the same time, it is a celebration of the worth of each and every person—especially those considered by society to be “the least.” To love them is to love God.

The scripture is a call to active love. It is a call to acts of mercy where all of us can participate. We can give lifesaving, life-giving food, drink, welcome, clothing, nursing care, and visitation.

Let us ask ourselves these questions:

How can our congregation convey God’s kingdom in glory and God’s judgment in ways that minister to today’s disciples and friends of the church?

How in our world and our faith community are we neglecting or violating the Christ in our midst?

In what ways are the actions of our congregation and its members leading God to recognize them as serving the “least of these”? When, personally, did we most recently see Jesus in such circumstances? Can we share a time when we were hungry or thirsty or without shelter (literally or figuratively) and someone acknowledged our worth by serving us?

How do we recognize Jesus among us? We see Jesus in every act of charity…in every basket of food, in every shoebox for children, in every act of kindness, in every polite act of assistance.

I recently read an account of a gentleman in a line at the market. When it came time for him to pay his bill he reached into his pocket to find that his wallet was gone. Over his objections the man behind him quickly paid his bill. He decided that from then on he would watch for opportunities to do the same. A few weeks later, he was in line behind a woman who had quite a pile of groceries. As she was checked out, she noticed she had more then she could pay for and began choosing items she could take out. He reached around and paid her bill….then quickly left before she could object.

We all have such opportunities to display the face of Jesus. Sometimes, all we have to do is allow someone else to go first in the line. Sometimes it’s to allow another car the right of way. These are simple things we are able to do to reflect the teachings of Jesus. But these are simple acts we can all do. They are simple ways we can recognize Jesus among us.