Saturday, July 9, 2011

Off to Camp Today

I'm going to meet my brother-in-law for breakfast at 7:30 this morning and then come home and pack my car for a week at camp. I hope I will be able to sleep over there. I am taking my melatonin and my sleeping pills just in case. I certainly did not sleep well last night.

I have already begun packing. I just finally got up and gave up at 3:00. I started worrying about my money. My social security does not come in until the 13th this month and everything is due before then...including my house payment. I finally just transferred some money from my savings to cover everything and then I will transfer it back when the social security comes in. I should have done that earlier. I really can't afford to go to camp but decided life is too short to miss everything over money.

When the time comes, I will just sell my house and move into senior housing.

I am going to take my computer but the reception is so bad out there in the country that I probably will not be able to get online and post so today may be all you hear from me until next Friday. Cell phone reception there is terrible too. So we are really cut off from the world...which is the whole idea, I think. It is supposed to be a form of retreat.

More later...

Well, we went to breakfast and then I came home to vacuum. First I took Slinky for a walk while it was still cool enough to do so. Funny, he did not want to climb that hill for the second time. He stopped, waited and then turned toward home. He is pretty old for a Shar Pei at 13 so maybe he just isn't up to it anymore. That's fine. It's more his walk then mine anyhow. So our eight block walk turned into a four block walk. But he seemed happy.

Bob A. will be over after while to see what all I'd like to have done every morning while I'm gone. Feeding and watering the animals twice a day is the main thing. My plants are looking pretty scraggly now anyhow. The heat has been hard on them even though I water them every morning.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday At Last

Today Heather, my supervisor, will be back..not that means a lot. She hasn't been able to keep me busy all the past four weeks. But there's a chance there will be something to do....a slim chance.

This morning, while it was relatively cool, I went out and got my trimmer going. The one battery was evidently able to be charged. It was the one in the charger. So I got the yard trimmed. That's good because I leave for camp tomorrow and the yard was looking pretty ragged.

Of course, I am now soaked with sweat. I blotted myself off so I can leave for work shortly.

The flowers are watered and the animals are fed. Now the yard is trimmed. It will really need mowing again when I get home next Friday. My brother-in-law, Bob A. will come over morning and night and feed and water the animals and water the flowers in the mornings. That is a great help. Without his help, I couldn't go to camp.

Tonight he and I will go to Independence and Bowl for Life for my daughter...actually for Bob, my husband. The funds go to cancer research. I have recruited eight people for her project. My friends are simply wonderful. All but six agreed.

More's time to go.

Well, I've done some laundry and some cleaning. I like to come home to a sparkling clean house. I'll have laundry to do and that will be plenty. It's almost 2:00 PM and in another four hours, we'll go bowl.

I had a phone call this afternoon from the Judicial Center. I have an appointment with this Nancy on the 20th. If she likes me, she may take me away from the senior services and I'll have actual "work" to do. I hope this works out.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursday Again

Well, it's Thursday again and I had virtually no work today. I had a job that I was supposed to have done this morning but the afternoon worker did it instead. I imagine they did not leave her any work either.

I came home after work and picked up my brother-in-law to go to Independence with me. We had lunch at Big Cheese and then I got my hair done and he got a haircut after she put me under the dryer. Afterward we stopped by the church and hung a note on the window that the services will be at our campgrounds on Sunday.

Then I came home and worked on the list for the Ministerial Alliance. I bought a newspaper for my son in Iraq and got it in the mail. He wants to have his photo taken with it in Iraq under the "where in the world" caption.

This evening I will stay home and watch TV if I can find anything to watch.

More later...

Well, I kept falling asleep in my chair and just decided to go to bed about 9:45.

Upcoming Sermon

July 24, 2011

Romans 8:26-39
New International Version (NIV)

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As the scripture reminds us, all of us suffer from time to time. In the day of the scripture, there was plenty of persecution from Rome and the Jewish Christians. But Paul reminds us that regardless of the circumstances of our lives, God’s Spirit is always with us and intercedes on our behalf. Since God’s Spirit is always with us, indeed within each of us, we can only feel disconnected if we choose to do so. Paul also reminds us that we tend to complicate our lives with poor decisions. But even as we do that, God is still with us and gives us the strength to endure whatever may come our way…but we must choose to recognize that Spirit. Paul’s theology was that even in our weakness, we have a role in cooperating with God to bring about good.

God’s love for us is deep and unconditional. Paul reiterates time and again that nothing can separate us from God’s unwavering love. There is only one thing that can separate us from God and that is our own choice to do so. That choice is ours. God does not force us to accept his love and direction. That choice is ours. Our pride, fear or guilt can cause us to turn from God. But God is always there, waiting to welcome us back into God’s presence.

Furthermore, since we each have God’s Spirit within us and to help us, God’s Spirit keeps us connected with one another. God uses us to minister to one another.

A couple of weeks ago, I met with the new officers of the Coffeyville Ministerial Alliance. One of our new officers has been rather standoffish with the rest of us. He has been very hard to get to know. We could not get him to join us on other occasions and for this meeting, we simply had to set up the meeting and invite him. At the last minute, he e-mailed me that he would be attending.

So we met. One of our number had had a bad experience with this minister but tried very hard to not let that influence his relationship even though it had been difficult.

After we had worked out the details of the meeting, he unexpectantly began to share with us his life story in testimony. After we heard his story of family rejection and a failed marriage, we understood him much better. No one was more surprised than he that he chose to share that. Afterward he apologized for doing so. We were all so impressed with what he had been able to overcome with the help of God’s Spirit, that we assured him that we were very pleased and honored that he had seen fit to share that with us.

His father had been an alcoholic and his mother a nagging wife and what he considered a whiner. As a teenager, he had married a dysfunctional woman and had a child with her. The woman continued to be unfaithful even when he attempted to forgive her and build a new life with her. At that time he had no vocation to be a minister. He was working as a carpenter and a number of other jobs. But because of the child, he was willing to try to make a go of the marriage.

Time and again, his wife would leave him and the child and go away with another man. Time and again he would try to help rebuild their lives together. His story reminded me very much of the story of Amos in the Bible.

Finally, he decided that it was not within her to be faithful to one man. He filed for divorce. He had a lovely singing voice and time and again was called upon by friends to share his music at their churches. He also tried time and again to get his college degree and after repeated tries and many years, finally got his bachelor’s degree. He decided to go into music ministry. He enrolled in seminary but made very poor grades and was not successful. But while he was attempting to build a new life for himself, he met his present wife at church. She was a very good woman. She was a music teacher so he also became a music teacher. She encouraged him to try again for the ministry. Even before he completed his seminary work, he became a music minister. Later he became a youth minister. His wife encouraged him to forgive his mother for her shortcomings and explained to him that if she had to deal with his father’s alcoholism, she probably was a nag and a whiner…with good reason.

After many a struggle and after finally being ordained, he became a senior pastor. He now has been one for 17 years. But now, because he has five children, he finds he cannot retire. His children have taken most of his resources and he feels he will have to work the rest of his life.

After he told us this story, he said, “I don’t know what possessed me to go into all of that with you folks. I’m sorry.” We all told him we felt God’s Spirit was using us as someone he could talk with to unburden himself. He was a whole lot more personable after that. It’s amazing what stands between us and others. But God’s Spirit is able to heal those breaches.

Most of us have experienced God’s generous gift of love in difficult times. It is important for us to know that we can trust others who have experienced difficult times to help us to understand.

God’s Spirit is something we all share and in our better moments, we can sense that in one another. God is infinitely patient and is always yearning to draw us close whenever we are ready to receive God’s love.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Half Through the Week on Wednesday

Well, it's Wednesday and I am dreading going to work. Aime never did call me back. I don't know why. I hate it when people don't return your calls.

I've been reading again and ran onto this author who says, "Our fears and infatuations with the next life have kept us from being gracious in this one. Emphasis on the next world has served as a way to escape from this world. In the author's view, "This world is our home and our responsibility. To shirk that duty in order to focus on a world we have no verifiable proof even exists is misguided." Preoccupation with an afterlife makes our own eternal well-being the goal of our faith, and that's the opposite of what Jesus said our goal should be. Isn't it time for the church to change its focus?"

I couldn't agree more.

I took Slinky for his walk this morning about quarter to six. It was about 70 degrees here at that time and he was delighted to go. When we got to the place where we turn north to climb the hill, he stopped. He waited awhile and then turned around and turned south to come home instead. I guess he wasn't up to climbing that hill this morning.

Today, after work, I have a meeting of ministerial alliance officers at Eggbert's. I will probably eat lunch there. Then we will work on plans for the new year which starts for the CMA in September.

I want to get a birthday card for my brother-in-law. His birthday is Tuesday.

Then in late afternoon, between five and seven, the cable company is going to come out and try to figure out why I keep losing the internet from time to time.

That will be interesting.

More later...

He thinks it's my modem but I don't think so. I think it's my router. It is humming...according to him. And it's quite old. At least four or five years. The modem is six years old but still has a strong signal.

It's always something. The Worx trimmer batteries, both of them..are not holding a charge. It appears I have to buy a new battery. I will talk to Worx GT tomorrow. They are on the east coast and were already closed. I was not aware that you should not leave the battery in the charger. I thought I read in the instructions that that was perfectly acceptable.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Heat

I think the heat is getting to me. I haven't felt well for the past couple of days. Of course, I'm not eating right. I'm not getting enough veggies and way too many sweets...including too much ice cream. I have a vague feeling of uneasiness.

All I did yesterday before going out to the kids for the cookout is watch TV. I did water my plants and take Slinky for a walk but other then that, I just didn't feel up to doing much of anything. I could have gone to visit Phyllis but I just wasn't up to it. My left knee is swelling up and aching. When I got home last night, I took a bath, took my melatonin and an Aleve. Then I slept fine but woke up feeling just a half bubble off of level. I suppose I should see the doctor but I am leaving next Saturday for camp.

More later...

Well, they had my morning filled with work. Will wonders never cease?

After a bite of lunch, I went out job searching. It was almost 100 degrees. Now I feel queasy again. It must be the heat. I have just about exhausted the job possibilities here in Coffeyville. I simply cannot afford to travel out of town to work...not at minimum wage.

I have a call in to Aime about the job search problem. I hope she calls me back soon. I have a funeral to attend at 6:30 and it's thirty minutes away so I need to leave at 5:30.

Later this evening....

Bob A. and I went to Caney for the funeral of a couple we both knew. They died 13 days apart. They were the other grandparents of his grandsons. He wanted to see the grandsons so we went down to the church basement after the services. David P. was his ex-son-in-law and Russell and Jeff, his sons, were there too but Galen's wife was having their baby today so he could not come. But I got to see David P, Russell P and Jeff P. They were pretty broken up after losing David's parents 13 days apart. I can't blame them. That's got to be rough.

I also saw several old friends. Beth R was there and my old boss, Chester M. as well. He was one of the dentists I used to work for....and a very good one too.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

This is the holiday Independence Day. It's a commemoration of freedom from the oppression of the British.

I am fixing my potato salad right now and later on this afternoon...around six o'clock, Bob A. and I will go out to John and Leslie's for a cookout dinner and fireworks when it gets dark. Leslie is fixing homemade ice cream so in one week, I will have it twice. That can't be too much for me.

I think Cyndi and Jeff are to be there too. Maybe my grandson Jeromy and Marlene and Maia will be there.

Other then that, I have no plans for the day. It will probably be a scorcher because it rained last night and the humidity will be something else. I should take Slinky for his walk before it gets too late but first I want to get this potato salad finished and in the frig.

More later....

The potato salad is finished and in the frig and the dog has been walked. He was delighted. It's only 8:45. I don't know what I will do the rest of the day. I have already cleaned and mowed and started trimming before the battery went down. I can't finish trimming because the grass is too wet. It rained last evening.

More even later...

Bob A. came by and we tried to get the power washer started. Even with new gas, we couldn't get that done. So, we will take it out to John this evening and see if he can get it done.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cooler Sunday

It was 100 degrees and hotter yesterday. What a day. I stayed in and read a book primarily because Slinky had to be in or roast. I also watched a lot of the episodes of the Living the Questions DVD that we are showing at church camp (called reunion in our tradition). It was definitely a slow day. Of course I got the lawn mowed and partly trimmed (before the battery on my trimmer went down) and the windows washed so I was gratified.

Today I am in charge at church. My daughter is the speaker.

After lunch I will come back and do my letters and also let Slinky in the kitchen if he needs to be in. I will stay home tonight and watch 60 Minutes.

Tomorrow evening I will go out to John and Leslie's for the 4th. John loves to shoot off fireworks. We will have hamburgers and the works including homemade ice cream again. I must remember to make potato salad this afternoon.

All next week my supervisor will be gone and I have no idea what I will do at work. Sit..I imagine.

More later....

I did the letters. It was 102 this afternoon and Slinky spent much of the afternoon in the kitchen. Then it began to cool off a bit and he wanted to go outside so I let him out...with plenty of water.

Then it began to rain. That cooled it down to the 70's. The new patio roof did not leak. He has stayed dry out there and cooled off too. I can't find Missy. She's in the house somewhere but hates the fireworks so is hiding. I imagine she will want out after midnight when the fireworks stops. Even though it is raining, that has not stopped the kids from doing their fireworks. The noise drives me crazy too. I know how Missy feels. I just let Inky out of the garage. He likes to stay in there and I usually have a time getting him to come out even though it's usually very hot in there.

He's out on the patio now.