Saturday, August 1, 2009

Interesting Saturday

This should be an interesting day. Leslie and I are planning to go to Porter Oklahoma so she can buy peaches to can or freeze...I'm not sure which. She will pick me up this morning between 9:30 and 10:00 and we will be on our way. It is raining lightly this morning. I don't know whether it is raining in Porter or not. That's south of Tulsa. We will see.

Bob does not want to go so he will stay home.

I hope the rain didn't get as far as St. Louis and mess up Scott and Taresa's plans for the ball game.

Leslie and I bought peaches and I called Juanita to ask her if she wanted any. She wanted a half a peck so that's what I got for her. Then we went to Bass Pro and I bought a birthday gift for John, my son-in-law. Later we went to Olive Garden at Owasso and had soup and salad. Yum!

It appears Bob and I are going to Sirloin Stockade for their salad bar this evening. Since he didn't go with us, I should go with him, I guess.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Neat Fun Day

Scott and Taresa came last night. I fixed Parmesan Chicken for dinner with salad and we had cherry pie dessert with "no sugar added" ice cream for dessert afterward. We had a really nice visit and they stayed the night. We got up early this morning and sat out on the patio and drank our coffee and amused Slinky, the dog. Then closer to noon we went to Independence and met Leslie for lunch at the Mexican Restaurant there. We then went out to John and Leslie's house and got some tomatoes, a watermelon for Scott and Taresa to take home with some home canned tomatoes and then they went on home after we got back. It was a nice, but short visit. John was sleeping and we did not want to disturb him. He works midnights.

They are going over to St. Louis tomorrow to attend a Cards game. Taresa has never seen one.

Leslie and I will go to Porter, near the Tulsa area tomorrow to buy Porter peaches. She wants to put some up. I will probably not buy any because Bob should not eat them and he loves them. He does not want to go so he will stay home.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

August 2 sermon

Partake of the Bread of Life
August 2, 2009

Our scripture lesson this morning is taken from John 6: 23 – 35. Here “the crowd that followed Jesus realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus”.

Jesus the Bread of Life

When they found him on the other side of the lake they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert, as it is written: ‘he gave them bread from heaven to eat’

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir”, they said, “from now on give us this bread.”

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Notice, if you will that this crowd is not following Jesus to learn of his message and mission. They are following him because he had fed them. This was a group of people who lived from day to day and ate and fed their families only when they were able to get work as day laborers. Rome fed the poor daily. They distributed bread. This was an effort to keep the poor subjugated and to keep down rebellion. All Rome had to do to subjugate these people was to withhold their daily bread. When Jesus told them not to work for food that spoils but to work for food that endures to eternal life, they thought he was talking about day work they could do for God to obtain more food and food that would not spoil so they asked him what work God required. Then they asked for a sign of his ability to provide the bread they needed. Their ancestors had had a sign from Moses when he provided them manna from heaven following their captivity in Egypt.

Are we like that? This people were seeking one kind of blessing when a far more satisfying blessing was available. The crowd was so preoccupied with loaves, fishes, and manna that they lost sight of the blessing Jesus was teaching.

Jesus was trying, by his own example, to teach the people to take care of one another. None of them had much but by sharing what they did have, they could have had enough for all. His message of the Kingdom of God on earth would have helped them all to have their needs met. However, that would have meant that they would have to give up control of what little they had in order to share.

It was the day after Jesus fed the 5,000. The picnic was over and Jesus had taken his disciples to the other side of the lake. But the crowds of people who shared the meal with him yesterday and who then tried to turn him into their king are not about to let him go. They are hungry again.

We can understand their feelings. After all, Jesus is their meal ticket. In their minds he has the potential to do something unheard of, to lighten the fundamental burdens of life that plaque their existence. Who knows what else he can do? If he can provide food, perhaps he can do the same with shelter and clothing: he can protect them from the unending uncertainties of their lives. Who among us would not choose that sort of security? After all, in our time so much of our living is dedicated to the illusion that somehow our complete safety can be ensured and that we can be protected against all the ills and evils common to human existence. This delusional pursuit has become an obsession.

Soon the pursuing crowd catches up with Jesus and his entourage on the other side of the lake in Capernaum. There they greet him with a question. “Rabbi, when did you come here?” It sounds innocent enough, somewhat like saying, “Fancy meeting you here.” But it means much more. They know something about him, but they want and need to know more. Their question is not limited to temporal time and place; it’s a question about ultimate origins. They want to know where he came from and how he came to be. They remind us of a perplexed wine steward who wondered where the new wine had come from, or a women who asked a visitor for the living water that he kept telling her about.

Judging by what happens next, we might conclude that Jesus would not make it in a seeker friendly church. Although the people have been looking for him for hours and have crossed over the lake to find him, Jesus detects an ulterior motive and candidly calls their bluff. “You worked all night to find me”, he says, “because I represent a free lunch. You never read the sign; you missed the point completely.”

Most of us are afraid to be this forthright. In this case, Jesus takes the risk of doing something more pertinent and more useful than complying with the crowd’s misguided agenda.

“I know what you are up to,” he tells the crowd. “You came after me because of what happened yesterday when it was time to eat. You ate your fill and now you’ve come to see if you can exploit the situation. You aren’t really interested in knowing who I am. Your question is a fa├žade to cover your true intentions.”

In other words, these people have followed Jesus for the wrong reasons. This should not surprise us today. It’s still common practice. The Emperor Constantine is still with us, and we follow his historic example of exploiting the cause.. Our culture has made an art of doing the same thing.

Jesus will have none of it. He abhors such crass opportunism. In this instance, he doesn’t even answer the people’s question, but instead moves the conversation in a new direction.

“The bread you are after,” he tells them, “will not last. Yesterday you assuaged your hunger. You ate the bread and now you are hungry again. There is food that perishes and there is food that lasts. God the Father has marked me to provide you the food that endures. So work for that food.”

“How do we do that?” they ask. “How do we perform the works of God?”

The answer is disarmingly simple. “This is the work of God that you believe in him whom he has sent.” He might have said, “Believe what I have taught you. I have taught you to take care of one another. That way all will have enough”.

The people aren’t sure they can do that. With the aroma of yesterday’s wonder bread still fresh in their nostrils, they have the audacity to ask for a sign. “Prove it,” they say and they recall their ancestors and Moses and the miraculous manna from heaven. Whereupon Jesus reminds them that Moses was not the author of that bread. Rather, it came from “my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.”

In one way or the other, each of us is challenged by a personal wilderness; painful loss, physical suffering, financial reverses, betrayal or bereavement. These are roads that we travel not by choice, but by necessity. A Spanish proverb speaks of this condition “With bread and wine, you can walk your road.” For us, Jesus message is that sustaining bread.

This is communion Sunday. We have an opportunity this morning to consider our covenant that we made in the waters of baptism. We can ask ourselves if we have done our very best to follow the path of Jesus. Have we given up control of our lives in order to let God lead us into the path of service?

Once more John has started with the literal meaning of a word and ended by having it point beyond itself to something more. The word itself becomes a sign: bread of life and Bread of Life. Then and now it all comes down to the same thing; it’s a matter of believing the one who said, “I am the Bread of life” and doing what he taught...take care of the needs of one another.

Nice Wednesday

I went to Independence this morning for my hair appointment and met Juanita fro breakfast afterward. After that I went to the only women's clothing store there and found they were having a summer sale. They let me have first choice on that stuff. I bought some while cropped pants and two nice tops.

After that I came home and spent the afternoon re-creating Sunday's sermon and the next week's sermon too. I am to guest minister at Joplin, Missouri that week. I lost that sermon too. I got the two of them finished in time to fix dinner. I still have the third week's to do because I also guest minister at Webb City, Missouri the next Sunday.

Slinky seems to be well now. Whew!! At least he is eating again now.

Tonight we will just watch TV.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Great Tuesday

As usual I went to sit with my sister this morning while her husband went to his breakfast. He also had a dental appointment this afternoon so I looked in on her again in the afternoon.

Bob and I went to Independence and took our daughter to lunch at noon then went to the market while we were up there. We had a ministerial alliance executive meeting at 4:00 and we also attended that. When we got home there were a couple of messages on the phone. One was the cement contractor we had asked for an estimate on paving the apron of the church's drive. He gave me the estimate.

The other was a dear friend of mine. She called to say there would be eight of us attending the Peace Colloquy in October. She has invited her sister to come from California for it too. I will stay with friends but since her husband is a judge, they will stay at a bed and breakfast there. She said this year the colloquy is during her husband's birthday and he turned down an invitation he has every year because "he was attending the Peace Colloquy". Needless to say, I was thrilled that it meant so much to a couple of Presbyterians as it does to me. Another three are also coming this year. They are Methodists. One is a retired Methodist minister.

That is so wonderful. They appreciate the efforts of peacemaking of our small church. We have 250,000 worldwide on the rolls of our church. We are dwarfed by the other Christian denominations. But our church, Community of Christ, has a great mission that compliments the missions of the rest of Christianity.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Horrible Monday

It's been a day. I spent most of the day at this computer getting everything re-installed and working again. I have two programs that need drivers and I may wait and let Keith find those. I found the audio driver so my sound is working again.

I re-installed my printer, scanner, Microsoft Office, Works, my camera software, and found drivers for most of it. I got my e-mail working again last night before I went to bed. It was 1:30 when I finally went to bed.

It seems to be working fine though. I can't get the lap top to operate the printer so something probably did not get installed in the printer installation.

I got most of the important e-mail addresses back in my address book.

One top of all this, I cleaned house today and did four loads of laundry.

I have lost most of my most recent photos including the wedding of my grandson. I had forgotten to back them up.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Catastrophie

Well this has been a day. It started out kind of bad. My cake for the salad luncheon after church didn't come out quite as good as I had hoped. Although everyone said it was good. I felt it was dry. I got most of it done and needed three sticks of oleo and only had one and a half. Bob ran to the market for me and bought another pound.

The sermon from the guest minister was fact, very good.

I got my letters out before four but about four o'clock, I lost my internet signal and could not reboot my modem and after trying three times I decided to reboot my desktop. Mistake!

It crashed while trying to reboot. This Dell desktop is only one and a half years old but it appears the registry is corrupted. I will call my son, a tech tomorrow. I paid $700. for it a year ago last September. So it will be two years old in September.

Luckily I have this laptop. Unfortunately I did not back up that desktop before I rebooted. So I lost next Sunday's sermon..or I would have if I had not already printed it off. But I did lose a lot of stuff.

Bob and I will go to Marilyn and Jack's tonight for "Living the Questions".

When I got home, I called my son, Keith, and he walked me through reinstalling Windows XP on the desktop. Little by little I will get everything back.