Saturday, June 14, 2014

Another Saturday

I slept well last night. I got up shortly before 5:00. I forgot it was Saturday and ate one of my browned biscuits. Oh 7:00, I will be ready for an omelet.

I don't know what we will do today. We may go somewhere......perhaps to Bartlesville since I am so tired of staying home all week. I can wear my sunglasses. I will check with Bob about his plans.  The eyes look a little better this morning but the lids are still pretty swollen and there's still some redness at the corner of my eyes and under them.  And of course, the stitches are still there.

We go to Joplin again on Monday to see the doctor.  I don't know what he plans to do...if anything. He may take out the stitches or he may just want to see the progress of the healing. I'll know on Monday.

I am ready to use my contacts again. My glasses are o.k. but I don't see anywhere near as well with them.  It will probably be another week before the doctor will let me use them though.

My younger son, Scott, called me yesterday afternoon and we had a nice visit.  He will be retiring from the army in March and will take all his leave and come see me in December for a couple of days before he leaves for Savannah. He will be driving across the country. He is a little apprehensive about looking for a job at 53. 

He has been hacked on facebook again (for the third time) so he has come off the program for good.  I saw on TV this week that facebook is sharing all our  personal information with advertisers and many people have been hacked.

More later...

We went to Bartlesville this afternoon and walked the mall after we ate at McCalister's. I bought a new summer purse and small billfold.  I had been looking for one for some time.

Bob came over this evening and we had a glass of wine and watched some TV. After he left I took my bath and put my PJs on and watched TV again.

Around 9:00 I decided to go to bed.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Exercise Friday

I will have to wear my sunglasses but I will probably go to exercise class this morning. I slept very well last night.

My eyes look somewhat better today and since I began wiping the stitches with ointment the dried blood is coming off. The lids are still swollen and there is still  bruising under the eyes too but it is definitely better.  It will probably be another week before I look like myself though.

I cooked yesterday.We had tuna cakes and fried potatoes with salad and veggies.  We didn't have dessert until evening and then we had my homemade ice cream.

I will cook again today. I am defrosting chicken tenders and we will have those with mashed potatoes and gravy and veggies and salad.  I will fix some pudding now that I have regular  milk again. I used almond milk the last time I made it and it did not set up. I just added it to my homemade ice cream.

I let Missy out briefly this morning but she did a lot of growling and hissing. I didn't see anything but evidently she did. Anyhow, I made her come back in.

More later....

We had our lunch as planned. But I served frozen fruit instead of pudding for dessert. Later Bob came over to help me finish off the homemade ice cream. I forget to get wine so we didn't have any wine.  It was my turn to buy.  He went home before nine o'clock and I took my bath and watched the CNN special on The 60's. Then I went to bed.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Better Thursday

I am doing better today after sleeping in my own bed last night. The bruising is still very bad and my eyes are still badly swollen but I feel fine and I slept very well last night.  The aching in my right leg feels better (so far) today.

I need a few things at the market but I don't know whether I feel up to subjecting myself to the public though.  I still look like someone gave me a bad beating. Maybe Bob will pick up the few things I need.  I'll ask.

I imagine it will be at least another week until I look like myself.

It's supposed to rain all day today. Thank goodness the children came to mow last evening. The grass looked very tall.  Who knows when the rain will finally stop.

I still haven't heard from Amie with the SER program with another appointment for a job.  That's a good thing since I look so bad. 

More later....

I had a couple of over ripe bananas and so I made some homemade ice cream this afternoon.  We will have some this evening.

Bob will be over shortly to watch some TV.  We are both reading the papers right now. I have the Reporter and he had the Journal. There's not much news in either of them.  He did go to the market for both of us. 

I will take a bath again this evening and then wipe my stitches with ointment.  I used some ice on the eyes earlier. I'll be glad when these eyes are well. It will probably be at least two weeks.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Recuperating Wednesday

Everything went well last night too. I slept in the recliner like the doctor said to do and slept all  night with the exception of getting up at 3:00 to go to the bathroom.  Missy slept on my lap. There is no pain this morning either. I did briefly put ice packs on the eyelids awhile ago. They suggest six times a day for 30 minutes.  I don't know that I will get that done but we'll see.  Besides that, my leg pain is also gone right now. Perhaps my body assembled it's resources to fight the pain in my eyelids and also took care of the leg pain. Who knows. The body is a mysterious thing.

Bob dropped over awhile ago to check on me. He was amazed there was no pain.  I am simply delighted.  I am zapped of energy but I expected that. I will do nothing today but take care of my eye lids.

Leslie drove me over and back and we had salad at Olive Garden. I remember nothing about the trip home. I was "out of it".  I have quite a bit of swelling and blackness at the corners of my eyes, but that's a lot less then I expected.

More later....

Bob brought pizza over from Casey's. It was good!  I had some Coke in the frig and we had some of that too.

I got a short nap this afternoon.

I also did some reading. But I am really bored with just sitting around.  I can't go out though because I look like someone gave me a good beating.   I have put ice on my eyes several times today.  But they're still bruised and swollen.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday Surgery Day

Well. today is the day. I will be interested to see just how it goes to have both eyelids done at the same time. Here I sit with no makeup on my face and glasses.  I don't see as well with glasses but I certainly won't be wearing my contacts for awhile.

I didn't sleep  well the first part of the night.  I awoke at 11:00 with awful pain in my right leg.  I don't know what's going on there but as soon as I recover from the eyelid surgery, if it isn't a lot better, I will check in with the doctor.  I ended up taking a 500 mg Tylenol to get to sleep again.

I will get my hair done at 8:30  this morning. Leslie will be by here to pick me up about 9:00.  My appointment is at 1:00 but I am supposed to be there a little early.

I downloaded Hillary's new book this morning. It is called "Hard Choices" and I think that is an appropriate name for it.  Her life has been full of hard choices. If she runs for President in 2016 I will vote for her.

More later...

The morning went well and the surgery went off like clockwork.  I have quite a bit of swelling and bruising so it may be awhile before I can blog again.  I  slept all afternoon and Bob evidently stayed and watched me. He left a bit ago.

Good night all!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday and Exercises

Today we have our exercises again. I slept fine last night but this morning I find I am limping and I can't not matter how hard I try.  Weird!  Tomorrow I have my eyelid surgery so I can't do anything about it right away....even if the doctors could figure out what it is. Their track record has not been very good at doing....even the specialists.

I spent the morning transposing the list of classmates e-mail addresses into this new laptop. The old laptop crashed again this past week and though it managed to come back up, that won't always happen.  One of these days the crash will be permanent.  I believe I bought it in either 2006 or 2008...and it's ancient as computers go.

I need to go to the market today. I am going to fix the hamburger pie and I need a few things for that. Bob wil bring a combination salad and I will fix some pudding.  I also need to bake my cake today for Bob to take to Independence tomorrow.  It's cake week again. I will do that this afternoon. Then I can ice it tonight.

But first we have more later....

I went to the market and also bought Missy's treats at the Dollar General  store.

I made pudding for dessert today and I made it with Almond milk. It didn't set up so I made some soft serve and added that unset pudding to it with a mashed banana.  It turned out very well. When Bob came over we ate some of it.

Tomorrow I have my eyelid surgery. That will be interesting. I'm not sure what to expect. First, at 8:30 I will get my hair done...without makeup.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Filled With the Spirit

Filled With the Spirit
June 8, 2014

This day—Pentecost Sunday—is the end of the Easter season. Jesus had promised to return and had assured his followers they would not be left alone. Now they began to recognize God’s Holy Spirit within their movement and even within each individual.  With that recognition of the Holy Spirit to the church, Jesus’ promise was beginning to be fulfilled. Today’s text is set in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. 

The same author wrote the Gospel according to Luke and the Book of Acts. There are many parallels between the two books. If the Luke Gospel is the story of Jesus, the Book of Acts is the story Luke’s recognition of the work of the Holy Spirit. This recognition of the Spirit was responsible for the birth of the early church. It gave this people the confidence to move out and share the story of Jesus among their friends. 

The same Spirit that Jesus recognized at the time of his baptism and gave him the power to begin his own ministry apart from John, was now apparent to the disciples and giving them the power to organize a movement of followers.  Just as Jesus began his ministry filled with this Holy Spirit, the disciples were beginning their own ministry as they recognized they were filled with the same Spirit.

The noise of the events mentioned in this scripture apparently drew a crowd. The text goes into some detail listing all the nations present. The people of Israel had hoped the Messiah would bring together Jews from all nations. Peter had made the connection with prophecy suggesting they were in “the last days”.  By the end of the Book of Acts, though, it became apparent that the “last days” were not upon them as Jesus and Peter had taught. This passage connected Jewish expectation that God’s Spirit would be leading the church not just for Jews but for all nations and for all people with God’s vision for an inclusive community that went beyond Judaism.

For the gospel to go to the entire world—to every ethnic group, culture, and tribe—it would have to be translated. Some people have understood this passage of scripture describing the speaking in tongues that Paul describes in his letter to the Corinthians. But the miracle of this story is that everyone could understand him in their own language. 

We too are able to transcend differences in culture and even in differences in understanding of the gospel message. While some churches have emphasized the doctrine of personal salvation, the Restoration movement has concentrated on Jesus’ message of God’s Kingdom…building community and peace on earth….a movement embracing meeting people’s needs through working together. 
This Holy Spirit led the very early Christian community to care for the sick, feed and clothe the poor and love one another and even love their enemies…those who would eventually disclaim that special mission of community.

Bible historians have discovered that during the first millennium, Christians had filled their sanctuaries with images of Jesus as a living presence-as a shepherd, teacher, healer, or even an enthroned god. In these images he was serene and surrounded by lush scenes, depictions of this world as God’s Kingdom.  

Yet once he appeared on the cross and as crucified two centuries later, dying was virtually all Jesus seemed able to do, and that wonderful caring community basically disappeared from the earth. This truth turns a fascinating new lens on current Christianity, from its first centuries to the present day,…. we have to ask ourselves how its early vision of the beauty of a peaceful paradise world evolved into a vision of torture and death, and we also must ask what changes in society and Christian theology marked that evolution and why it changed. 

It was in the second millennium of Christian history, amidst the warring struggles of the tribes of Europe and later in the birth of the Holy Roman Empire, that the theology of the crucifixion was raised to prominence. The origins of Christianity and the quest for human wholeness showed how both got "hijacked" by imperial ambitions in the later centuries and that led to the crusades and other forms of church sanctioned violence.

But Jesus didn’t teach such violence. The teachings of Jesus were of a life-affirming and inclusive community that the world today sorely needs and is a message that calls us to struggle for justice and peace on this earth rather then some afterlife. 

It will be a new world for those willing to embrace it, this age old message frames a challenge to re-vision love for this world here and now as the necessary first step for creating a sustainable future. It transcends doctrine and denomination to elevate theoretical discourse and empower practical imagination, giving us both knowledge of how we got into our present situation and resources for finding our way out of it. A must step for intelligent persons of all persuasions in a world where truth is increasingly scarce and profound reconsiderations are imperative.

Where does the new hope come from? Often it comes from remembering what has been lost. As a work of Christian historical theology, this is one of the most important teachings of the current generation. It does what a great theologian once called 'epochal thinking' about how Christianity MUST, in an era of environmental crisis and religious conflict, recover the theological sensibility that marked the first few years of Christian faith -- when Jesus was understood and depicted as opening the possibility again of human life together in a peaceful earthly kingdom, and before that vision was replaced by one of Christian imperialism and salvation by violence.  

We can agree with that message of peace, when we are taught to embrace the good earth we have been given in gratitude. The teaching of God’s Kingdom that Jesus gave us can give us hope for a once dominant form of Christian thought and practice that we desperately need to recover today.
The teaching of salvation theology is a theology “all about me”….my personal salvation. There is no concern for the “other”. That was not the message of Jesus. It developed as a result of the hierarchy of the early Christian church wanting to sell indulgences for the money to build their huge churches.
As an apocryphal prophet, Jesus expected the end of this world as we know it to occur in his own lifetime and God’s Kingdom to be ushered in by the Son of Man.   He declared that the kingdom was already among his followers but that they simply did not see it.  

Jesus was led by God’s Holy Spirit and after Pentecost, we know that same Spirit led his followers to be servants to one another.  That same Holy Spirit can prompt us and lead us today.  

So, knowing this, let us ask ourselves now what the Holy Spirit has done in our lives and in the lives of our congregation? How has that Spirit led us beyond our human weaknesses? Or has it?
And what does it mean for us to be “filled with the Spirit”?.....  We must be open to hear God’s still small voice and respond to it. 

How can we and our congregation be involved in bringing the gospel to all ethnic groups, cultures, and nations?  How can we best show them Jesus’ message of peace and love? 

First we must recognize that size really doesn’t matter. The early movement of The Way, was very small. That did not stop them from sharing the good news of God’s Kingdom. 

They simply felt compelled to do everything they could to recognize and implement Jesus’ message. They had recognized God’s Spirit working within their attempts and moved forward to do what they could to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, take care of the sick, visit the widows and homeless and visit those in prison just as Jesus had proclaimed. 

So what can small congregations like ours do to become involved in meting out justice in the world of our experience?

More often than not, we let the culture around us form us into its mold and then are troubled or even shocked when the Bible contradicts our beliefs or biases about how things should be. But reading the Bible closely…and Jesus’s teachings in particular…will be uncomfortable at times. As we listen carefully, we will hear both the prophets and Jesus attempting to move us beyond ourselves and our own concerns. We will find Jesus talking not only about personal change but social change ----and these words may cause us to squirm and reexamine our priorities.
This prophetic Jesus not only challenges our person-to-person relationships but our social and political involvement as well. This is where things become more complicated and more emotional for some people.  Catholic Bishop Dom Helder Camara of Brazil experienced this phenomenon firsthand when he began to speak out for social reforms in his country. He said, “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why there are so many poor, they call me a Communist.”

Southern Baptist pastor and scholar Clarence Jordan, lived in Georgia and started an interracial farming community call the Koinonia Farm.  It was here Millard Fuller came or a retreat and formed the idea for Habitat for Humanity. Before Jordan’s community gave birth to Habitat, he was a pioneer in the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. He would often preach as a guest in little Baptist churches, but after congregations heard his message of equality for all people of all colors, he was rarely invited back. On one occasion he gave a sermon that called for our country to stop the practice of segregation. After the sermon, a lady came up to him and said, “My granddaddy was an officer in the Confederate army and he would not believe a word you just said about race relations.” Jordan smiled sweetly and said, “Well, ma’am, your choice is very clear then. You can follow your granddaddy or you can follow Jesus.”
Clarence Jordan was a lot like Jesus. He was willing to let people hear the hard demands of his message and to let them walk away if they found his words offensive.

While firmly in the “Random Acts of Kindness” category, Sylvia Slaton’s story is nonetheless a story of spirit incarnation. After feeding expired parking meters in downtown Cincinnati so the parked cars would not be ticketed, the sixty three year old grandmother of ten was convicted of obstructing official business and fined $500.  A lifelong Sunday school teacher in her Presbyterian church, she stood up to the city, became a local folk hero, and inspired a generation of guerilla parking meter feeders. Years later, having resolved their differences, the city honored Sylvia with a memorial parking meter.   

This kind of Holy Spirit service might be called a  “passing it on” service but it is something all of us can do to make a small spirit inspired impact in our communities.   

A man I know passed a man with a sign reading “anything will help. I have three children”. He turned his vehicle around and stopped to give the man $20.00. His philosophy was “I don’t know what he will do with the money, but that is his responsibility. I responded with mine.”

We do not have to do big things to express God’s Spirit with us. We simply have to look for the smaller things within our capabilities. 

Two friends have told me of experiences of getting to the check out at Wal Mart just to find their groceries were paid for by the person ahead of them in the line.  

One woman was checking out and discovered she did not have enough money to pay for all her groceries and began taking things back away from the cash register. The woman behind her handed the additional cash to the cashier and said simply “Pass it on sometime”.

So to do that as well, we too will need to be aware that we are each also  “Filled with the Spirit”.

Sunday Sermon Again

I have the sermon again this morning at church. I've worked on it for a couple of weeks now. I traded Bill Sundays because he and Carol have gone to North Carolina to a disaster training meeting.  He will take the last Sunday of the month. That's when I was formerly scheduled.

I've had the sore muscle in my right leg for several weeks now. I don't know what brought that on. It may be connected to the gouge I took four or five weeks ago when the door to my car caught the wind and hit my right leg.  It gouged a hole in that leg that took over four weeks to heal. Anyhow it aches almost constantly in the leg four inches above that wound. Always something! Getting old is not for sissies!

I don't know where we will eat lunch today. It's always a toss up. I leave it to John and Leslie to make that decision.

When I get home though, I will do my weekly newsletters and get them out on the mailbox.

Right now I have white laundry in the wash  and it will need to go into the dryer soon.

More later...

After church we ate at a different Mexican restaurant. It was alright but not great. Then I came home and did the weekly newsletter. After that, I took a nap.

Now it's 4:00 PM and in three hours we will go to Keith and Joyce's for Living the Questions small group meeting. 

I stripped the daybed and washed the sheets. I will sleep tonight back in my own bed.  Then I will see if my leg still hurts.