Saturday, December 6, 2008

Craft Fair

There is a craft fair in Independence today and after it warms up a bit Bob and I will go up there. Our son-in-law is putting a booth in there. He sells fishing and lodge related knick knacks. He has a little store called "Fisherman John's Outpost" out next to their home and he has a pond stocked with fish where people can fish and pay for the fish by the inch. He's quite a fisherman.

While we're in Independence where there's a superstore, we'll buy some groceries. I am getting quite a list.

I will find a picture of my son-in-law's store and post it here later. That's our daughter standing there using the cell phone.

My daughter, who has been out of work for two months, had an interview yesterday and they are going to hire on the 15th. She said the woman who interviewed her was very positive. I hope she gets the job,. She says it doesn't pay much but it will at least get some money coming in.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Testify or Impeach

In the coming weeks, we are going to find out whether members of Congress have any respect for the institution they represent. We will see whether they have the courage to stand up to the Bush administration and defend the Constitution they took an oath to protect. Specifically, we will discover whether they are willing to take the measures necessary to ensure that Bush administration officials testify before Congress.

On July 10, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to investigate the firings of nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006 and the questionable prosecution and imprisonment of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman. Karl Rove, a potentially key figure in both incidents, was issued a subpoena to testify before the committee. Rove failed to appear.

Congress now has a few options here. First, they could pass criminal contempt charges against Rove, as the House did against White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers. This is good, but will not result in immediate testimony.

The second option is to have Karl Rove arrested, under the theory of inherent contempt, and brought to Congress to testify. This is better, but may still be eventually unsatisfying if Rove ends up testifying yet asserts executive privilege repeatedly in order to avoid disclosing important information.

Another option -- which probably has the most potential for effectively compelling testimony -- is to tell the president immediately that he will be impeached if members of his administration do not provide full testimony before Congress by a certain date. This has historical precedent as one of the three articles of impeachment ultimately brought against President Richard Nixon was based on his refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas.

The final option is to do nothing and set a precedent for the future by which any administration can claim that Congress does not have the ability to force executive branch officials to testify before Congress. This would be an affront to our Constitution and Congress is dancing perilously close to this line already.

We cannot allow Congress to become subservient to the executive branch. They absolutely must exert their oversight authority and force administration officials to testify. For the sake of our nation and the principles upon which our government was established, I urge them to take whatever steps are necessary to compel testimony from Karl Rove and others.

I will be watching to see how our legislators handle this situation.

Slinky Baby

Well, I've done something I never thought I'd do. I've let Scott's dog, Slinky, into my kitchen. I put a box in the doorway into the dining room because I definitely do not want him in on the carpets. But it's 20 degrees out there and I didn't even have to beg him to come back in after I let him out of the garage to potty this morning. He actually scratched on the back door to get back in.

He simply cannot stay in that hall off the garage. He's too large for such a small space. He seems pretty happy as long as I am sitting here with my laptop and am company for him.

It's supposed to get up to 50 degrees today and when it does I will put him out...that's where he really wants to be. He just can't handle the 20 degree weather. And the worst is yet to come.

Bob and I would like to go somewhere later. We are housebound because of the weather. We went to Ministerial Alliance yesterday but were ready to get back in out of the cold weather afterward.

We Finally went to clean the church and then to the hospital to visit my sister. She is not doing too well. She doesn't seem to understand that she will have to bear some pain in order to get back on her feet and walk again. They say they tell her to step out on the toes of her good foot and slowly put some weight on the healing one but she doesn't seem to get it. It seems in the afternoons when she gets tired, her Alzheimer disease kicks in. So it looks like she will be going to the Windsor Place Nursing Center for a month or so. We will know more about it this coming week.

Slinky Baby spent the afternoon in the kitchen sleeping on the decorative rug before he went to the garage for the night.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday CMA and a Dilemma

This is the first Thursday of the month and the day we meet at noon with Coffeyville's Ministerial Alliance. Windsor Place feeds us a nice lunch and provides us with a meeting room. They have done this for years. I am the secretary/treasurer so I stay very busy at these meetings taking my notes and then when Bob and I come home, I get the minutes done and send them out by e-mail to the alliance members.

This morning I need to clean house and do some laundry...a task I usually do on Monday but just didn't want to do this past Monday so now it really needs my attention.

I am in a quandary about what to do with Slinky, Scott's Shar Pei dog. It is under twenty degrees out there. I have been putting him in the garage at night where it is some warmer because of the hot water tank there. But now the garage is 40 degress. This dog was born in Hawaii. Lived the last eight years in Georgia. He has never seen snow and this is Kansas and so he will see snow this winter. It's a dilemma.

He smells like a hound. It must be his family. I don't want the doggy smell in my house. But he's such a sweetheart I don't know what to do about him.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another Busy Day

This morning I went up to Independence to get my color and haircut done. Afterward, I met my friend, Juanita, for breakfast. Then I went by the courthouse to pay half our taxes. After that I stopped in at Nannie La Rose and used up the gift certificate Juanita gave me for my birthday. I needed new socks so I got four pair and a pair of earrings. My younger son, Scott, called today. He remembered my birthday at the gym last night but waited until this morning to call and wish me a belated happy birthday.

After that, I came on back home. My friend, Bill, was coming down to bring me a birthday gift...books, as usual. That is always a good gift for me. He had been to the hospital to visit my sister. That was good of him.

After he left, Bob and I went to eat at the hospital cafeteria and then we went to visit Phyllis too. She is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. I saw her physical therapist and told her Phyllis needed more walking if she was ever going to get to go home. She walked this morning and I guess they came back to get her for another workout this afternoon after her nap.

I learned from a friend that Medicare will pay for 100 days of nursing home care. That may be the only way she will ever get the ability to go home again.

This afternoon, I finished the book I have been reading. It is called "The Shack". have any of you read it?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Birthday!

Today is my birthday and we invited Leslie, our daughter, to go with us to Bartlesville to browse the stores and go to lunch with us. John, our son-in-law had gone to take a physical for a part time job he is planning to take on. So, that's what we did. We had a good time too.

After we got back home Bob and I went to visit my sister, Phyllis, who is still in the hospital here following surgery for a broken hip. She had a birthday card for me and I told her I would drop by to see her and pick it up.

There we learned that if she doesn't do better with her physical therapy they will have to release her to a short term nursing home or she will have to have 24 hour nursing help for awhile. The problem is they have not been pushing the physical therapy. They have had her on a walker twice. Once was last Friday and then again today. That's not going to do it. They have her lifting weights with her arms but it's her hip she broke.

Well, they don't have that kind of money. I don't know what they will do. Like most of us, they saved what they could after getting their kids raised but inflation has eaten up much of it. My brother-in-law hasn't heard the news yet. He has been working four days a week while he has their daughter, Denise, to sit with her in the daytime.

So, it will be interesting to see what they will have to do.

Another problem as I see it is that her doctor has only been in three times to see her in two weeks. Undoubtedly, he will be billing Medicare for at least one visit a day. If it were me, I would visit with the doctor about it or as a last resort turn him in to Medicare.

The birthday went well. Our eldest son, Keith, called last night and Leslie remembered too. Scott, the youngest, is all about himself at this point. I didn't expect anything from him.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Process Theology

Last night we briefly discussed process theism at our Living the Questions group. Not to dominate the discussion, I said little about it. But let me tell you how I believe the concept works for me.

I believe process theology works for me because it has good ethics. For me it is a better way to think about what the idea of "God" means. Frankly, I find the ethics of the traditional God appallingly erratic and often even demonic. God has been described in the Bible and in other culture's scriptures as directly willing and causing great evils like war, slavery, plague, famine and even the hardness of people's hearts. At best, God has been described as standing by and allowing needless suffering that the traditional idea of God could have easily prevented. To defend these ideas about God, we are forced to turn our ideas of good and evil inside out to explain why it is really all right for God to allow such great suffering.

That's why process theology has taught me that there is simply no reason to let our old ideas about divine power force us into a corner where we must persuade ourselves that gross evil is really good. It gives me a concept of a God who is genuinely loving in a straightforward and intelligible sense. The God of process theology does everything within divine power to work for the good.

Because of our freedom, each individual creates itself out of all that has gone before. Our past decisions both provide and limit future possibilities. Within these limits, the future is open.

Our universe, thank goodness, really does not center around human beings. Dominion has proven to be a tragic theological model for understanding our ethical relationship to the world. Instead we should come to understand our place is as just one of God's creatures in a complex and fragile world.

God's power, is necessarily persuasive, not coercive. Because God loves the world, God suffers with the world, calling to us in each moment to share a vision of the good and beautiful....God's community on earth where humans can live together in peace with all other of God's creatures. But God awaits our free response and does not use force.

I believe God is omniscient and knows everything there is to know. But because the future is open, and has a range of possibilities, it is not fixed or settled. I believe we always have the right to choose. And I believe God struggles to reach us but it is up to us to be receptive to God's persuasive spirit.

In process theology, God is constantly, in every moment and in every place, doing everything within God's power to bring about the good. But God's power lies in patience and love...not force.

Ethically, God is worthy of our love because God is perfectly loving. God is with us in our moments of greatest guilt and despair, yet God's love for us never waivers. God calls us to redeem ourselves from these experiences by gleaning whatever good can come from them for the future and sometimes even to help others.

And most important to me, God works with all people who will respond to God's spirit...not just us Christians, to bring about the greatest good for all.

Just wanted you to understand my thinking a little better.

Full Day

Yesterday was a full day. Both Scott and Ashley left for home. We went to church for the Hanging of the Greens service but not too many were there. The church looked lovely though. The service was very good even though there weren't too many there.

After church six of us went to the hospital, had lunch in their cafeteria and then visited my sister who is in the hospital following her fall and hip surgery. She is doing better but didn't get too much therapy last week when some of the staff was off for the Thanksgiving holiday. She will probably be there at least another week.

Then later in the afternoon I finished doing my Christmas cards. Then I did my notes for those who were not there at church. I also got the article ready for Friday's newspaper for the church page and changed the information on the church's web site.

Bob and I watched some of the Chief's game against the Raiders before the group from Living the Questions came at 6:00.

Then I had a surprise! They had ice cream and cake to celebrate my birthday tomorrow. I will be 73. That was a nice gesture. We have such a good group. Two were missing last night...Richard and Gretchen. Gretchen was out of town. Richard lives in Independence and doesn't come unless Gretchen comes.

I am not going to clean today. I did some sprucing up yesterday afternoon for the meeting and the place still looks fine.