Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another Busy Saturday

This will be another busy Saturday. Bob went after mulch and we are going to finish mulching our flower beds today. They do so much better when mulched and that really cutting down on the weeding.

I got up early this morning and fed and dog and cat, watered the flowers and had a cup of coffee before Bob even got out of bed.

I attended five garage sales looking for the old Tupperware. I don't really like the new stuff. I didn't find any. Evidently others like the old stuff best too.

Bob is back with the mulch and wouldn't you know, he carried the bags up from his truck all by himself. This is a man with a bad back. Oh well! They never learn.

We saw Jeff at Wal Mart. Cyndi has to stay down with her foot elevated another week. He will live through this but he will be exhausted doing it. He will be coming over soon to use my computer. He has a job interview on Tuesday evening at the college.

I'd better get out there and spread the mulch before it gets too hot.


Whew! That was work but it looks great.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lunch With Leslie

Today we will have lunch with Leslie. This morning I will putter. I have already fed the dog and the cat and watered all the hanging plants. I fixed a pot of coffee and Bob and I sat out on the patio awhile after he got up. Then we had breakfast. Now he is watching TV and I am catching up on my blog and reading everyone else's blogs.

I need to drop by later this morning and see how Cyndi is doing. She has that new little kitten to feed and care for and that should get her mind off her own problem. I don't know if I mentioned it here or not by Cyndi was attacked last Thursday by a pit bull dog and he caught her on her heel as she was attempting to turn away and get back in her car. When she yanked free, it tore her heel and she had to have surgery. She goes back to the doctor tomorrow and I am hoping he will tell her she can walk on the ball of her foot now. I looked in on three times on Tuesday when Jeff had to go back to work but Wednesday was a very busy day and I never got over there. Yesterday I called her and woke her and she asked me to come in the afternoon. I had intended to go over in the afternoon but after his eye appointment at 1:00, Bob wanted to go to Bartlesville. He can't wear any of his jeans now that he's lost 25 pounds and so he needed to buy a couple of pair. He is back into 33 X 30's now. By the time we got home, it was too late to go look in on her.

She seemed to have it all under control anyhow.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Concept of God With Which I Can Agree

I think that the questions that are often asked are based on a specific concept of God. It is a concept developed over four thousand years ago among people who if we were transported to their civilization would consider very primitive. Their concepts were come by quite honestly and with the best science of their times so we cannot fault them. However, we live in a very different world with a much different understanding of the universe and to accept and defend their concepts of God is problematic for me.

To summarize with a broad brush, they saw their world as finished and complete. They recognized the patterns of day and night and lived through the seasons. Thus for them God was the creator and the methods he used were beyond their comprehension thus they stated that the world was created by God's word or fiat. With this basic assumption and some 'common sense' observations they developed stories of creation that led to both an explanation of why things were the way they were, and also a description of the nature of the God they understood.

From this background the stories of creation make sense. Human beings are obviously the dominant species and thus they were the primary object of God's creation and the world was provided for their benefit. Obviously all creatures produced their own kind and thus must have been created in their presently observable form. This included human beings and they were created in the very image of God. This was an important concept since the reverse was therefore true. God was envisioned as the ultimate human male with magical powers to control the creation as he willed. Thus as we list all the attributes of God we find each of them the superlative of human attributes.

Early in the Israelite tribes, they developed the concept of a God who had chosen them as his special people and with this selection there came a list of requirements to maintain this favored status. One important one was that God could brook no rivals. This explained many of the worship rituals and social laws and the relationship to other tribes.

One of the easily observed characteristics of humans in general is that they were not perfect. Since one cannot accept an ultimate God who created imperfect humans, then the creation story has a 'fall from perfection' to explain the human condition. The next obvious step is that if there was a fall then there must be some plan for a restoration to perfection. This easily developed into God having a plan and that plan including some method of redemption.

Since it had been observed that blood was the essence of life then it became an object of veneration. Animal sacrifice of perfect animals, to present the life blood to God was honed to an art and even human sacrifice was included in early development of worship among their neighbors. Eventually the concept of the mechanism for redemption of mankind from the 'fall' included the idea of a human sacrifice of a perfect human to atone for mankind's sins. While the original Israelites never got to this stage of their religion, the early Christian followers did. In an attempt to explain the crucifixion of Jesus they developed an elaborate scheme where Jesus was the pre ordained perfect man who was to be sacrificed to atone for the original sin of Adam and to act as a propitiation for the current sins of present generations.

We sit today, after two thousand years with this chain of Jesus redemptive reasoning has led to the orthodox Christian theology. For me, the mystery is that few Christians look at this historical perspective and pause to consider the possibility that with our current understand of the universe that these ancient concept do not fit our reality.

First, we are aware of the events which led to Jesus being crucified. It was the Roman response to someone who proclaimed an alternate social order from Roman rule. Thus we no longer need to explain it in terms of a blood sacrifice.

Second we are aware that the earth is but a speck of dust when compared to the universe and the billions of galaxies, many far larger than our own. This gives us pause when considering our importance in the scheme of things.

Third, we are aware of the creative process, not only of the earth itself, but even of the element of which it along with we are made.

Fourth , we are aware that humankind was not the first or primary life form and we are the result of many millions of years of evolution which in itself was not necessarily destined to produce us in our present form.

Fifth, there is no heavenly throne just outside of the sky where God resides. With what is known of the universe it is impossible to propose an external location for God. The anthropomorphic model of God is increasingly harder to sustain.

Sixth, it is evident that the whole universe is in a state of creation and evolution. Thus there is no evidence of some one time perfect state. Thus the evidence is that perfection is a goal yet to be realized and not a previously lost state. One basic criterion from observations is that change is the nature of the universe and thus is most likely the nature of God.

Seventh, we have two choices in the way that we look at our human predicament. One is that we live in a Godless universe where chance and chaos rules. The other is that there is indeed a God, but we must search for a definition just as those people who lived four thousand years did.

Eighth, I choose to believe that there is a God and start by suggesting that God exists throughout the universe and thus is not identifiable as a super human. I believe that our evidence for the existence of God is in all life forms. I suggest that God is incarnate in all life and that we as humans best observe this incarnation in human life. It might well be that this incarnation is rather primitive with respect to the nature of God throughout the galaxies. But human incarnation is the only contact that we have with God.

Ninth. There is a connection to the ancient stories of Jesus and his proclamation of the establishment of a 'kingdom of God' or the type of society where the God incarnate on this earth can find the fullest expression in the lives of humankind.

Tenth. This leads to a very different view of Jesus and what he taught. It has nothing whatsoever to do with him being the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. It sees him as very human as are we. It even sees that in some things he was very wrong in some of his ideas of how God intervenes in this world.

Relatively Quiet

Today should be relatively quiet. Bob has a 1:00 eye appointment with Dr. Burch in Caney but that's about all that's on the schedule. I do need to get over to see Cyndi this morning to see if there is anything she needs. Yesterday was so busy I never made it. I had my hair appointment, breakfast with Juanita, went to Wal Mart in Independence to get dog food, cat food and wild bird seed and then came home in time to clean up the dishes, the kitchen and go meet Gay and Tony for lunch at Sirloin Stockade. Bob and I just had soup and salad but we had a great visit. God's mom was there. She is 91 and sharp as a tack

We didn't get away from there until nearly 2:00. We had a very good visit.

We went to bed at 9:00 last night and for a change I had a good night's sleep. I quit worrying about Scott's dilemma.

This morning I got up at 6:00 and fed the animals and watered the plants. Then I did some weeding in the flowerbeds. I will take a trash bag out there after awhile and pick up my mess. I also want to do a little cleaning this morning. I am presently washing and drying Slinky's bedding.

Bob has had some problems with blurry vision lately. That's what the eye appointment is all about. I am nearly out of my right contacts and am out of my left ones so I will probably order some new ones today. I don't recall when my regular eye appointment is due.

Should be a nice dull day...for a change.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another Wednesday

This should be a fun day. Trouble looks like rain. I will go to Independence to get my hair done and eat breakfast with my friend, Juanita. I will eat light.

After that.I will come back home and Bob and I will meet Gay and Tony for lunch at Sirloin Stockade.

We won't have a large dinner this evening because I am watching my weight. This winter I have gained five pounds and just about the time I begin to get it back off, Scott comes for a visit and I either do a lot of cooking or we eat out a lot and I put it right back on.

He wants to meet Taresa in California and help her drive back to Tyler and get her things put in storage and then drive down here to get his vehicle. I am afraid he is trying to control her again. I do not know that she asked him to do that. I am very leery of this reconciliation.

Neither Bob nor I slept very well last night for thinking about the situation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

An Obama Delimma

I wonder if Obama is really up to the presidency. I know he is very bright and all that but things like the atomic bomb development of North Korea and the same aspirations of Iran and the horrible problems between the Palestinians and the Israelis are such overwhelming problems that I actually wonder how we will ever see peace.

He made some promises in his campaign that I actually believed. I guess I wanted to too badly. I thought we might actually get out of Iraq and Afghanistan in the near future. That is such another Vietnam. We have no business over there trampling over their sacred ground. It seems so evident that if we got out of there and quit meddling in the internal affairs of another sovereign nation, they might actually settle down and develop a country. The real experts know that the insurgency is only a response to our interference. We have plenty of skeletons in our own past closet. Look at the debacles of the Native Americans and black slavery. With our sort of history, we have no business trying to tell other nations how to run their internal affairs. What we really need is a united nations peacekeeping force to make sure other nations do not do things like what was done in Darfur.

I'm just not sure Obama is up to standing up to the nation's war machine. Then there's this recession/depression. A student of history would realize that it was not all the spending of the Roosevelt administration that brought us out of the depression. It was the war. Plus, we had enough money in surplus following the Clinton administration to repair the nation's infrastructure but Bush spent that dream on his war.

Now the nation's debt may cost it more then it ever dreamt of paying; especially since much of that debt is held by Red China. What a mess. This is the kind of mess we get ourselves into by warmongering and meddling.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Birthday Party

This is Bob's 79th birthday as well as Memorial Day. Ashley sent him a very cute card and he was tickled over that. I have a gift for him that I think will please him.

I will run out to the cometary after while now that I have everything done except the laundry. I got up early and checked out my potato salad. It is not as good as usual but I can't figure out why. I have doctored and doctored it but it is still pretty bland. The cake looks good. It is called a cherry chocolate cake. It is easy to make and very tasty.

I fed the dog and cat and fixed a pot of coffee early this morning and sat on the patio as long as I could before coming in to fix the guys a breakfast of ham, scrambled eggs with salsa and toast.

We are to be out at Leslie and John's at 11:30. They want to put the hamburgers on at noon sharp. Scott needs to leave early this afternoon. He has a three hour drive back to St. Robert. Rain is forecast. I hope it holds off until he gets home. At least I hope it holds off until our cookout is over.

John and Leslie have been working on their yard all weekend. They want to get it ready for Jeromy and Marlene's wedding on June 20th.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Busy Sunday

This will be fairly busy today. I have just boiled some eggs for my potato salad. I will fix it after church and then refrigerate it overnight. That will make it better for tomorrow. We just had cereal for breakfast this morning because Billie Jo may remember to bring breakfast for church.

Then in the morning I will bake my cake for the cook out birthday dinner tomorrow noon.

Leslie is going to speak at church today and Karan is in charge. Afterward we will probably eat out as usual. Sometime this afternoon I will fix the potato salad.

Scott went to his 30th class reunion last night but he found it depressing since he was the only single person there. I hope that Taresa doesn't back out of their try at reconciliation. It would break his heart all over again.


The church services were very good and afterward we ate out at Hong Kong Delight. Then we came home and I did my letters to the congregation.

Then I made up my potato salad for tomorrow.

My cousin, Pat, came to visit this afternoon. She and her husband, Everett, live in Houston. They come back each year at this time to decorate graves. This is the first time they have been here since my sister fell and broke her hip. My sister and brother-in-law saw their car and stopped and visited.

Tonight we will watch Sixty Minutes and the special on PBS for Memorial Day.