Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Very Good Saturday

This has been a very good Saturday. I had a real good night's sleep with only one interruption...Missy. She thought she wanted out but it was 28 degrees out there so when she got to the door, she decided against it. I picked her up and put her out. I told her once she woke me up to go out, she was going out.

Then I went right back to sleep.

I awoke at 4:45 and got up to let Missy back in and feed her. I believe we had an understanding this time.

I met Bob A. at 7:15 and we had breakfast. While we were ordering breakfast my daughter called to tell us that she also was going to Joplin but she was going to the reunion grounds. (our church's campgrounds) Afterward she was going to eat at Olive Garden too. So we invited her to join us. Then I came home and cleaned both my bathrooms. After that, I went out to visit Phyllis and Gerry. They were both awake and I had a fairly good visit with Phyllis and a good visit with Gerry.

Then I went to wash my car. I came home and vacuumed it out and wiped it down inside to clean it. It looks very nice right now.

About that time, Bob A. came and we went to Joplin and ate at Olive Garden with Leslie. She had just been seated so we didn't have to wait for a table. We had a good visit and she went on to get gas and then on to the mall before we did. We didn't see her there.

We walked the mall and then came on back home. He dropped me off and went on to his house. He will pick me up in the morning for church. I am the speaker tomorrow.

It was a beautiful day and we had a good time visiting.

We are making a trip to Branson to Silver Dollar City the first weekend in April and so we stopped on the way at the Joplin port of entry and picked up some material on the shows that will be showing there during the World Fest.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday At Last!

In the morning, Bob and I will have breakfast at Eggberts. Then I don't know what I will do with the rest of the day. I should do some cleaning. That plan could change.

An old friend, Doug, called last night and visited with me. He lives outside of Oklahoma City with his wife, Denise. I have known him for over 40 years, since he was a teenager. And he just turned sixty. He is working at the VA there. He has had his own dental lab but it didn't make it through the recession.

Keith called during our conversation and I had to beg off visiting with him. Keith never called back. He was probably on his way home from work and once home, he had a lot to do.

Yesterday I noticed the rest of my daffodils were blooming.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Payday Thursday

My first daffodils are starting to bloom. And it is only the 23rd of February. This has been the strangest winter in my history.

I got my first pay after the new 28 hour week was instituted. However the first week of the pay period was the old 12 hour week. Only one week had the full 28 hours on it. So I was very surprised to see I only had an extra $100 on my check. I guess that's right but I was expecting more. Next payday should show the entire 56 hour pay period so I will have to wait a couple of weeks to see how much extra I will get. It will probably only be about $400. I had misfigured and thought it might be closer to $700. Oh's still more then I was getting. It will help a lot.

Yesterday was exhausting. I don't know why since there was no real heavy work. I feel better today. I have no idea how Bonnie will fill 8 hours today and tomorrow. I did a number of different things yesterday. I started out folding sheets of jury forms and putting them in envelopes and stamping them for mailing. Then I filed a few files that were ready. And then I put labels on folders for 2012. After that I typed labels for old folders. Then I filed traffic tickets and wrote the information on other envelopes that hold the tickets. I ended up typing labels for the old 1996 files until closing time. I stopped from time to time and filed what had been scanned. Mainly it seemed like busy work.

I came home hungry. I had only had a cup of tomato soup for lunch. I microwaved some frozen lasagna from Schwans and ate that. It was too heavy for bedtime and I didn't sleep as well as usual.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Quiet Wednesday

This should be a quiet day. I will work 8:00 until 5:00 and I only hope they can keep me busy at work. Yesterday there was very little filing and I only worked 1:00 until 5:00. Lynn had surgery over the holiday and missed work yesterday. She's the one who handles domestic files. I got the filing finished in a hour or so. Then I typed labels on old files for awhile and then Bonnie had me sending out questionaires for choosing people for jury duty. I didn't get it finished so I will do that today.

I learned on my church's web site that they have cancelled Restoration Studies Symposium this year. That was to have been in April in Independence, Missouri. I already had my housing lined up and I am so disappointed. But now Bob and I can go to Branson if he still wants to go that weekend.

I have been having smoothies for dinner. I sleep well with something light in my stomach and I have been using frozen fruit in them with yogurt and orange juice.

I had a big day at work. Lots of grinding work. This evening I am exhausted. I may go to bed early and try to get some rest. There's not much on TV tonight.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cakes Again

Today about 9:30 Bob and I will take the cakes to Independence to the First Christian Church for their dinner this evening. We are so blessed to be able to share in their mission in this way.

Afterward I will have my hair done before we eat lunch at Big Cheese. Then I will come home, deliver Bob back to his home and go to work.

Last night I watched part 1 of the American Experience documentary on Clinton. Regardless of his wild reputation, I always thought he turned out to be a great president. He learned the job on the job. After he convinced congress to pass his budget, for the first time in forty years, we had a surplus. He is even greater now because, like Carter, he has spent his retirement years doing service projects. I believe part 2 is tonight and I want to watch it too. I have read his and Hillary's books and admire her for her intelligence and the fact that she stayed with him through all he put her through because she decided she would be miserable without him. I always wanted her to become president but being Secretary of State has worn her out. I have watched several of his speeches and he has a phenomenal mind and memory. And he has always said she is more intelligent that he is. Her intelligence was what first drew him to her. He admires her greatly.

People seem to forget that other presidents also strayed. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy and I am sure there were others, strayed but that was before the cable wars and the press respected their personal privacy. The Republicans tried to crucify Clinton but the press also pursued him.

Anyhow, it is an interesting documentary.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Next Sunday's Sermon

On this first Sunday of Lent, the season that guides Christians through the crucifixion of Jesus and the declaration by his followers and disciples as the Messiah, we explore the ancient Hebrew version of the flood story. To understand Jesus outside of his Hebrew context is to misunderstand the Son of Man, therefore it is appropriate that we start the Lenten season within the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).

An ancient global flood story is not unique to the Israelites. The flood story we have today appears to be a combination of two separate Hebrew accounts; one derived from the northern kingdom, Israel (referred to as the “P” source), and one derived from the southern kingdom, Judah (referred to as the “J” source). But both accounts seem to pull similarities from some widespread Babylonian flood narratives. A major difference is that in some of the non-biblical accounts, the flood occurs as a means of population control, whereas in Genesis it occurs as a result of sin, but then God commands them to be fruitful and multiply.

This week our section of the story occurs after the flood when God makes a covenant, not only with Noah, but with all creation. Verse 6:18 in Genesis states that a covenant will take place, but only now is the covenant revealed. In the flood narrative the reader is led to understand that no creature, human or otherwise, outside of those on the ark, was spared from the raging waters. Noah then becomes the new Adam or first man. From the writer’s perspective God is aware that humanity will fall again, yet makes a promise to preserve us regardless of our response. This occurs before Israel is established; before Abram responds to a call to journey in the wilderness. Therefore the covenant God makes is not just with the righteous of Israel, but with all creation independent of their religious beliefs.

A careful reading of the passage reveals that the covenant is first a reminder to God that comes in the form of a rainbow (9:14–16). In the ancient context originally given, a [rain]bow was known as a divine weapon, with lightning bolts representing arrows that inflicted judgment. By establishing a new understanding that the rainbow will now be a symbol of peace, the listeners are once again reminded that God can take anything and turn it into something good, something that fulfills God’s greater purpose of reconciling God’s relationship with creation. As the gathering clouds build up, no more is judgment passed, but instead the rainbow is a reminder to God that peace shall be the order of the day in the midst of the storm. This is not to say that the rainbow in the midst of the storms cannot serve as a symbol of hope to humanity, but this understanding is secondary to what the author understands to be God’s promise to creation.

From very early on in Israel’s understanding of its relationship to God, the people realized that they were just the mouthpieces of what God desired for all of creation.

Regardless of our response to God, God is always looking for ways to reconcile with us. God’s intimate relationship with all of creation gives reason for all of us to have hope. God has not abandoned us and will not abandon us. We are all God’s creation and God always has our best interests at heart just as we have our own children’s best interests at heart.

We all have times of storm clouds in our lives. No one escapes these times. But we can be assured that God is with us and will give us the strength to endure the worst of times. This is the hope we long for and need. All of us need to feel that we are never alone. God has assured us of God’s everlasting presence. Sometimes we feel that presence in the form of a friend who comforts us during the bad times.

Recently Bob and I were discussing some of these bad times and our responses to them. He confessed that he never felt the necessity to attend a support group before Phyllis’s illness, but now finds it very comforting to share with others and have them share their experiences with him. It is so comforting to know others have dealt with the same trials we endure. That in itself gives us hope and strength.

One man in the support group has a sister at the Winston unit at Windsor Place. He cannot bear to go see her in the condition she is now in.

One woman we are acquainted with at the support group has the complete care at home of both of her elderly parents who have Alzheimer’s Disease and a husband who has dementia resulting from a stroke. Neither us of can even imagine what she endures each day or how she even gets through the days and the nights are even more of a nightmare. Yet she copes. She has removed all the locks from the inside doors because her mother or dad may lock themselves in the locked room. She has a sister who has chosen not to help her with their parents. Without God, found by this woman in this monthly support group, she would undoubtedly not be able to cope at all.

God has covenanted with us never to leave us alone and never to leave us with more then we can handle if we will only depend on God’s Holy Spirit. That Holy Spirit may be found in you as you meet someone that can relate to you through a shared life experience.

In the tension of storm clouds building in your life, when has the promise of hope seemed redemptive for you? This story found in Genesis is about God’s grace and the assurance of God’s promises. That assurance of God's Holy Spirit is for each of us as we seek to be the source of strength for one another. To help and serve one another should be our life’s mission. Are we here for one another? As we recall God's covenant with all mankind, that is the tie that will help us to establish God’s Kingdom here on earth.

President's Day

See that lump under my bedspread? That's Missy, my silly cat. She loves to crawl under there and hide. I guess she thinks I can't see her since she can't see me. Silly cat!

Today is President's Day and I am off work. The office is closed. I will miss a half a day tomorrow too because I will be taking the cakes to Independence to the First Christian Church for their free dinner tomorrow evening. I will bake mine this afternoon and ice them this evening. In about thirty minutes I will call Juanita and see how her knee is coming along. She has been suffering with her knee for at least a month now. She wants to go to lunch if it ever clears up. Poor woman...she's 90 now and it has not been pleasant so far.

I was sick last night. I had stomach cramps and diarrhea all evening. I even missed most of 60 Minutes. Finally about 8:30, it stopped and I went to bed exhausted. I think it was the fish and chips I had for lunch. It was pretty greasy.

This week, I will work 8:00 until 5:00. That will make up for the lost four hours on Tuesday. I don't know what they will have me doing all those hours. I get paid this Thursday and it will be the first paycheck since I began working 28 hours a week. Maybe I will learn what my new pay will net.

My brother-inlaw read this blog this morning and came over to see if I was alrright today. He suggested we go over to Eggberts and have lunch so we did. They have a very nice and small chicken fried steak that is just the right size for us and is ony $4.95. We have had it on several occasions.

My grandson called this morning to tell me I could come out after 4:00 and see the new great granddaughter. They have named her Cheyenne Sky. I am really dying to see her. I will drive out there after 4:00 and perhaps take some photos too.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Again

I had another good night's sleep last night. I awoke about 5:00 and Missy was wanting out. After I let her out I checked my e-mail and the blogs. Then I got my makeup on and dressed for church. I have decided to wear my dress clothes. I have several real nice suits that I wore when I was working and they were simply going to waste. We are really a casual group but I am pastor so I can get away with dressing up. :)

I will do the letters this afternoon after lunch. Then this evening I will stay home. Mona e-mailed me yesterday to say they both have colds and wanted to cancel their Living the Questions meeting. That's fine with me. I like to stay far away from people who are ill or who have colds.

I don't know where we will eat after the services. Usually John and Leslie make that decision and the rest of us just go along with them.

Today is my sister's 79th birthday. In her condition, she will not even know.

More later...