Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Busy Saturday

Today I will meet Bob for breakfast at Eggberts and then come back home to make my chili. I'm supposed to be at the Amazing Grace church at 10:00.  I am not going to take a cake. I don't want to bring cake back home. I will bake a couple of cakes on Monday for Tuesday's dinner at Independence's Christian Church. I always make a few cupcakes out of that batter.

I am to do the welcome and the explanation about what the PINCH organization is all about and what it's mission is supposed to be and invite folks to investigate it and join if they are interested. 

After the service, we will serve a free chili and soup lunch  with cake for dessert.

We will need to go back to Joplin pretty soon. Bob bought some house slippers at Macy's and even though they were supposed to be his size, they were too small.  He wants to exchange them.

More later....

Well, the service was a success. We had between 75 and 100 there and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. Many of them stayed for the chili, soup and cake. Some brought large cases of bottled water. The speaker was very enthusiastic.

I brought chili home with me. I tried a new recipe this time and I don't like it as well as my old one. I will probably freeze this leftover chili since Bob and I had chili a short time ago.  

I have worked on the bulletin for next week's service when I am presiding.  I have it finished now.  It's 3:30 so it's been along afternoon.

Missy is lying here in the rattan chair by me sleeping off and on.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Hair Day

I will be leaving in a little while to drive to Independence to have my hair done. Today we have exercise class again too.  Maybe we will go to Joplin today instead of tomorrow. This morning I suddenly realized the Martin Luther King services are at 11:00 tomorrow. We had planned to go to Joplin. But I do the introductions and welcome tomorrow and will also need to make a big pot of chili for the dinner afterward.  I willl need to run out to John and Leslie's and get some more ground meat for my chili this morning too.

I slept like a log last night. Strange too, because I went to bed at 9:00 again.  I woke up once during the night but went right back to sleep. This miracle foam topper seems to be working well.

I talked to Scott last evening and he is doing well. He and Becky seem to be back together again.
That always makes him happy.

Bob came over last evening and we watched TV together until 8:15. Then he went home and I took my bath and put my pjs on and watched some of the travel show before going on to bed at 9:00.

More later.....

We did go to Joplin and ate at Olive Garden and then walked around the mall. Bob bought a couple of things and I bought some gourmet coffee and some tiger Chi. . We got back home about 3:30 and went out to Woodshed to get some gas.

Later Bob came over to watch the news with me and left about 8:00. He was very tired. he had missed his nap.  I watched some more TV after taking my bath and putting my pjs on and went to bed about 10:00. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday Housecleaning Day

I just called Bob again. He is doing fine. He slept late so I am glad I didn't call any sooner.  He will bring garlic toast and toss salad for our lunch. We have decided to have spaghetti instead of roast beef.  I have the sauce already.

I must clean house today. It's been over a week. What with Bob's stint in the hospital and spending so much time there, I have neglected the apartment. It's neat but I know it needs to be vacuumed and dusted. And the floors in the bathroom and kitchen need to be mopped.

Other then that, I need to go to the market. I would like to wait until tomorrow when I will be in Independence again. I like to shop their Wal Mart.  Ours never has all that I want. I have driven all the way out there before for my ink cartridges only to find they didn't have the ones I needed. I can always get them at the Independence superstore.

I went to the PINCH meeting last night and took my lemonade and ice from my freezer. Marilyn brought everything else. We had a good attendance. I stayed and helped Marilyn clean up afterward.

I was exhausted when I got home. I tried to watch PBS last night. They had a program on the Zeppelin bombing of London during World War I and I wanted to see it but I couldn't keep my eyes open. Finally at 8:45 Missy and I just gave up and went to bed.  I slept well so I must have needed to go to bed.  She is in there now in the bamboo chair in the dining room... sleeping. That cat sleeps a lot.

More later...

Be sure to watch this video!

I cleaned thebouse this morning before starting lunch. It looks a lot better now.

I then fixed our spaghetti lunch and Bob brought the garlic toast and salad and we had a good lunch.   Then I went over to the Country Time antique (junk) mall and looked around just for something to do because I was bored. I tried to take a nap but could not go to sleep...which is probably a good thing because I should sleep better tonight.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday Exercise Again

I just called Bob. He slept just fine and, in fact, is going to bring his coffee and come over for awhile. It's 6:30 now. At 9:00, we will go to exercise class. I am supposed to meet Gay at 11:30 for her classmate lunch at Sirloin Stockade. I forgot about it in all the excitement. I noticed it on the calendar just now. I will have to tell Bob he is on his own for lunch today.

More later...

O.k. Bob just left and I'll finish this blog.

After exercises, I will meet Gay at 11:30.  Bob will have some soup he has on hand. When I get back this afternoon,  I will just rest. Tomorrow I will clean house and scrub my kitchen and bathroom floors. I like to do that when I don't have exercise class. We may go to Utopia after the exercises this morning and have their gourmet coffee and perhaps a scone.  Then I will meet Gay.

Tony, Gay's husband,  has had a bad month. He and his son cut wood in that cold weather we had a while back and Tony has COPD.  He was in the hospital for awhile and when he got out he had to go back on his oxygen all the time. I hope he can recover again. He ought to have known better. With COPD you do not get out and work in cold air and do manual labor either in cold weather. Men!

I have three friends who want to have lunch with me. I was not able to meet Leslie yesterday. She was much too busy. But I'm supposed to meet Gay today, and Nancy wants to have lunch and also Myra.  I should set aside a day to have lunch out with one of them.  I haven't seen Juanita for some time. The same for Myra. She went to Wyoming for the holiday. Nancy went to the east coast to North Carolina where her son, David, lives. And, of course, over Thanksgiving, I was in Hawaii with Scott.  We have all been busy.

By the way, watch this video. It will wake you up.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday Hair Day

I will go over to the hospital this morning and wait until the doctor comes in to see Bob. I want to hear what he has to say. At 9:15 I will go to Independence to get my hair done and have lunch with Leslie...if she can get away.  They were very busy yesterday so she may not be able to.

If Bob gets to go home today before I get back down,  he will ask Denise or Dee, her daughter, to take him home. He is really anxious to get out of the hospital and would not wait for me to pick him up.  I will be anxious to see how his night went and if his heart rate began fluctuating again.

I went to bed early (9:00) last night. I was very tired. Scott was going to call me at 10:00 but I could not stay awake so I texted him that I was going to go to bed. He was in a class at Scofield.  Maybe he will call me on his way there this morning. Becky, his girlfriend, called me last night to see how Bob was doing.  I texted him about that and he was very happy that she inquired about Bob. I like her very much.. But she has her hands full with her business, her father and her two sons.

More later....

Bob's heart had stabilized though at a slower rate then the doctor wanted. That may just be his "normal".  The hole in his aorta valve is somewhat larger then it was in 2011 and so he has an appointment with a heart specialist for Bob on the 20th.  His doctor wants an opinion from that doctor.

Bob had to have Denise bring him home from the hospital. I had to leave for my appointment before all his paperwork got finished.  When I got home Denise was just bringing her dad into his apartment.  He treated me to lunch at Just Us over at Cherryvale after she left to go home and fix lunch for her family.  I will cook tomorrow.

He will go pick up his new prescriptions after he wakes up from his nap. Then he will come over to watch American Experience with me this evening.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday and Exercises Again

I will go to exercise class at 9:00 but first I will drop by the hospital about 8:00 and see if Bob needs anything from his apartment.  I took him his overnight satchel with clean underwear and his pjs yesterday. If he should have to stay in the hospital an extra day (heaven forbid!) he will need  a clean t-shirt and more underwear. 

I got to bed last night about 10:00 and slept pretty well. I don't think I will go anywhere today because if Bob gets released, he will need me to take him home from the hospital. I also have his car and house key and his billfold.

I have a TV dinner in my freezer and I may eat that for lunch.

More later....

The doctor came in this morning while I was visiting Bob  and he had some bad news. Bob's heart rate is still jumping around. Last night it would go to 130 and then back down to the 30s. So the doctor said he could not go home until  he got it right. He wants it around 60 and he wants it to stay there and not jump around. .He said he would try to adjust the dosage until he got it right. If he couldn't get it to stabilize with medication, Bob will have to have a pacemaker. But that's a last resort. He cut the medicine back in half.  When I left there at noon time, it was holding at around 50. Not bad for Bob. He still had not had his ultrasound and the doctor wants to check out his blood work too.  So he will stay in the hospital another night. He was very disappointed of course.

I went on to exercise class and the class sent him a card. I took it back to him.

When I got back to him this after noon he was having his ultrasound test. Now perhaps the doctor will read it and let him go home today. If he has to stay yet another day he will really be disappointed. But unless his heart rate stayed steady and low all day and even all night  tonight, he will not get to go home.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Update On Bob

I went over to the hospital this morning to see how Bob's night went. He got very little sleep because, of course, in a hospital they come in every once in a while and wake you up to take your vital signs.  However, he was feeling pretty well. In fact, well enough to want to go home. Of course that isn't going to happen until he's had the tests the doctor wants.  They also put him on Coumadin yesterday to thin his blood.  They don't want him to develop a clot and have a stroke. I came back home when they came in to tell him he could take a shower.  He was anxious to take a shower. :)

I'll go back up after lunch and check on him again.

So..more later...

I went back after lunch and he was doing fine. He's bored and wants to go home.  I took him a book. His daughter, Denise was there. She had stayed all morning so she went on back home. She has an invalid husband that she cares for at home. he can get around but is partly paralyzed and kind of unstable on his feet.

I took him the Sunday paper and then left about five to come home and get ready for the Living the Questions group. There were ten of us tonight. We voted to stay with the DVDs and not do printed material. Some of the group do not like to read. They are more visual learners.

I served the cake I had frozen last week and it turned out fine. I put ice cream on it too. Then I sent the rest of the cake home with the group. I sure didn't want it here where it might tempt me.   I saved a piece for Bob when he gets back to his home from the hospital.

It took me awhile to get the kitchen cleaned up after they all left.

A Sunday To Preach

Here is this morning's sermon:

Fulfill All Righteousness
January 12, 2014

I’d like to read to you first from the gospel of Mark, who was the earlier gospel writer. Then I will share from Matthew and we will compare the two.

Mark 1: 9-11.

“During that same period, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. And just as he got up out of the water, he saw the skies torn open and the Spirit coming down toward him like a dove. There was also a voice from the skies: “You are my favored son – I fully approve of you.”

Now Matthew 3:    13-17.

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.  And John tried to stop him with these words, “I’m the one who needs to be baptized by you, yet you come to me?”

In response, Jesus said to him, “Let it go for now. After all, in this way we are doing what is fitting and right. “. (or fulfills all righteousness as our theme statement announces) Then John deferred to him.

After Jesus had been baptized, he got right up out of the water, and amazingly, the skies opened up, he saw God’s Spirit coming down on him like a dove, perching on him, and listen!... there was a voice, which said “This is my favored son. I fully approve of him.”     

The words Matthew has created for Jesus are meant to account for Jesus’ baptism by John.  Matthew had Jesus take the view that any devout person would associate with the Baptist’s call for repentance.  That’s reasonable. Among the gospels, Matthew alone regarded Jesus’ baptism by John as a question to be addressed. His dilemma was if Jesus was without sin, why would he have wanted or needed to be baptized? Yet, this apologetic statement of Matthew’s itself later became problematic for the early Christian church.

The fact that Jesus had been baptized at all by John and that John was his mentor for a time was an embarrassment for the early Christian community that wanted to distance itself from both the Baptist movement and rabbinic Judaism, so it developed various apologetic ploys to explain these earlier connections to John and Judaic religion.

For example:

John preached that the end of the age was at hand and he called on the people generally to repent and be baptized to prepare for the coming end.

Jesus rarely spoke of baptism or, for that matter, end times.  His disciples had earlier been disciples of John’s and it was they who practiced baptism. 

Most scholars also agree that for a time, Jesus was a disciple of John.  Jesus, after all, did not begin his own formal ministry until after John was killed. 

Jesus did not speak of God’s rule as the end of an age. He taught that God’s rule was close by or already present and even already among them….just unrecognized.  We know this because he spoke of God’s rule in so many different sayings and parables.

For Jesus, the act of fulfilling all righteousness was his way of signaling the sharing of his life. Jesus was willing to enter into relationship, solidarity, and community with those who were considered sinners…and the broken and unloved… to make God’s kingdom known and real for all people.  He taught his disciples those values. They didn’t always “get it” but on the other hand, we, as modern people, don’t always “get it” either…do we?

Some do not like the term “righteousness” It denotes an impossible situation to them.
So what is righteousness?  The dictionary says it is “acting in a just upright manner” “doing what is right.”  That doesn’t sound so hard does it?  It sounds pretty simple. Unfortunately we often get our own “wants” ahead of doing what is right. I have been guilty of that and very probably some of you have as well.  Luckily, God continues to work with us…urging us toward the path that eventually is best for us. 

In this account we must hear the invitation to recognize and experience the great love God has for each of us.  Traditionally in our baptism and confirmation, we signal our commitment to live in the rightness that restores us to one another and to God.  Sometimes we fail. But God knows we are human and does not stop speaking to us because we fail. God is probably even more concerned for us when we fail.  We have failed to hear or heed God’s voice of advice.  But God still attempts to persuade us..

So why are we baptized?  The only valid reason I can think of is because Jesus set an example for us. Baptism is symbolic. It symbolizes the laying down of our old life style and taking on a new one. It doesn’t mean we have arrived. But when we know right from wrong and we choose the wrong, we are ignoring the voice of God within us…pleading with us to hear that inner voice of reason and rightness.  

It is entirely up to us to choose. And when we choose for self interests, we have to be willing to bear the consequences of our actions. We have become what Henri Nouwen calls Wounded Healers and that’s not altogether a bad thing. Out of our own woundedness, we can relate to others who are also wounded but are unable to accept being wounded and castigate themselves for failing to live up to their own goals.  Yet, we know the person who can help us through the worst moments of our lives, is the person who has “been there” and gone through some really bad times themselves.  So sometimes we find that our personal failures become avenues for service.  

Often, even when we try to do the right thing, things don’t turn out well anyhow. We get no guarantees in life. Even Jesus found that doing the “right thing” at the wrong time often has dire consequences. But one thing we all know is that regardless of the consequences, God is still with us…working with us to tune us to be a better person before the end of our lives.  God knows that “better person” will be a happier person too. 

Victor Frankl story:
Victor Frankl wrote a riveting memoir about his experience and the lessons he learned while in a Nazi concentration camp.  He learned there lessons in spiritual survival.  He learned that we cannot escape suffering but we can choose how to cope with it and move forward.  At the heart of his study is a conviction that the primary human drive is not pleasure but the pursuit of what we find meaningful. 

Frankl concluded that the meaning of life is found in every moment of living; life never ceases to have meaning, even in suffering and death..  Frankl offered the thought that for everyone in a dire condition there is someone looking down, a friend, family member, or even God, who would expect not to be disappointed. He concluded from his experience that a prisoner's psychological reactions are not solely the result of the conditions of his life, but also from the freedom of choice he always has even in severe suffering. The inner hold a prisoner has on his spiritual self relies on having a hope in the future, and that once a prisoner loses that hope, he is doomed.

Frankl also concludes that there are only two races of men, decent men and indecent. No society is free of either of them, and thus there were "decent" Nazi guards and "indecent" prisoners, most notably the kapo who would torture and abuse their fellow prisoners for personal gain.

What Frankl learned from his terrible experience:
What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We have to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We need to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life - daily and hourly. Our question must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.

We can do much good with our lives if we choose not to live selfishly. We have constant opportunities to do good things with the blessings we enjoy. We may not have a lot of money to share like the philanthropic rich.  But we are each capable of compassion. We can each be an ear for someone who needs someone to talk to. We can do thoughtful things for those we come into contact with.  We each have God given gifts to share.

The act of baptism is not an end of a journey. It is a beginning. It makes a statement about the depth of our commitment. It launches us on a journey of discipleship and into personal and corporate mission.