Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturday Breakfast and then Bartlesville

I will go with Bob to have breakfast at Eggberts this morning and then later meet Myra in Bartlesville at 10:00.  We will meet at Lowe's and then later go to lunch. She has something to return at Lowe's. We will probably walk the mall and perhaps find something at Christopher and Banks we can't live without.  They were in their process this week of combining their two stores and possibly are still closed.  We'll check that out.

I didn't sleep well last night. I awoke three times...once at 10:00, the second at 3:00 and I really didn't get back to sleep well after that. Finally at 5:00 I awoke and got up.

It's been raining and I think rain is still in the forecast. There's a 90% chance of rain...that's almost a certainty.

Missy wanted to go out this morning and since it had been raining I thought it was a safe time to let her out. Wrong! She went around the corner and I had to go entreat her to come back in the house. Luckily, she did as I wanted for once.

More later....

Breakfast was good, as usual. Afterward I went to Bartlesville to meet Myra. We loked around at Lowe's for awhile but she could not find what she was wanting there. We went to Penney's and found that they have discontinued a catalog. Now everything must be done online. Myra was not happy about that. She will go into Joplin later to see if she can find Roman shades there that she can actually see before she orders anything.

We had lunch at McAlister's and did a lot of catching up on our news.  It rained the entire time we were there but we didn't let that deter us from our visit.

I stopped at their big Wal Mart store and bought four more wine glasses for tomorrow's party. I also bought some paper bowls and napkins. I guess I am ready now. Tomorrow afternoon after I do the congregation's newsletter, I will bake my Apple Brown Betty.  I will serve  nuts and chocolate covered almonds, popcorn, caramel corn and ice cream during the game. Bob is bringing wine and so is Marilyn.  It should be fun.

Tonight I will try to find something to watch on TV.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Again

How the weeks roll by! Here it is Friday again. I will go to exercise class this morning and then try to come up with something for lunch. It may be hamburger pie. We've had a lot of hamburger lately but then I don't have to buy hamburger. John and Leslie give it to me. I'll mull it over. I may go buy some pork cutlets. We haven't had those or pork chops for a while.

My contacts are blurring this morning. It might be because I've worn these for several months. I'll break out some new ones and see if that helps.

I slept so so last night. I woke up twice but got back to sleep both times. The last time I woke up at 4:15 or so, I never could get back to sleep so I just got up at 4:45.  I will be tired tonight.

I will probably scan again at work. I can do that for a couple of hours without my hands getting sore.  I broke yesterday's work up into two sessions after the tablet went haywire again.

Tomorrow I will meet Myra at Lowe's in Bartlesville and we will catch up on our visit. I haven't seen her since November or December.  Bob will be on his own for lunch. It will be a girl visit.

Sunday evening is my Superbowl party. I have all my treats bought and I will make my apple crisp  Sunday afternoon. Everyone is supposed to come around 7:00. The game starts at 7:30.

More later.....

I came home very tired after scanning another aisle and then did some shelf dusting and shelf reading, I did not eat dinner tonight but did eat some chocolate covered almonds. Bad woman!

I will watch TV after awhile.  I will take my bath at 7:00 and look at the schedule.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thursday and House Cleaning

Today is the one day a week when I can get some laundry and house cleaning done. There's no exercises and no hair appointment. So today I started by catching up on my laundry and then vacuuming the apartment.

I was interrupted by a phone call from a classmate. She is the one who instigated the 80th birthday bash. She wants to be "in on" the planning but lives miles away and doesn't really do anything toward it except wish it off on others.

I talked to her for thirty or forty minutes.  Finally I was able to break away and get on with my own projects. Missy was asleep in my chair so I sat in the other one and read awhile. Now I'm almost ready to start lunch.

Lunch will be a broccoli and chicken casserole. Bob will bring a salad. We will have tea if there is enough for two. As it is, I have ordered tea from Keurig but it will be several days before it arrives. We may just have water.

I slept well last night and got up shortly before 5:00AM.

I am still checking in on my blogging friend, Balisha. She has begun her chemo and is feeling rotten. My heart goes out to her.

More later...

I got into a mess at work today. I was half way down an aisle and noticed that the tablet had skipped up and was adding the scanned numbers in the wrong place again. I saved what I had done since I was halfway down the aisle and shut down the tablet. When Katie finally came back in the office, I explained it to her. She and I found the place where those bar codes should have been and she shifted them up there and I continued scanning until I finished the aisle. I was so relieved. I was afraid I was going to have to do the entire aisle over.

I stayed until after 5:00 since I wanted to finish that aisle.

When I got home I made myself a couple of cups of hot chocolate and read the paper.  I will watch the new episode of The Big Bang Theory at 7:00 and then take my bath.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday and Exercises

Today was exercise class again. My back has been sore between the shoulder blades.  I don't know why unless it's the reaching up to the top shelves with both hands to do the scanning.  I use one hand to remove the book and open it and the other to operate the scanner button. Getting old is not for sissies!

We went to the exercise class at 9:00 this morning and later had lunch...the warmed up meat loaf, fried potatoes, cottage cheese with applesauce and broccoli. We had some ice cream for dessert.  I still had a very sore back between the shoulder blades so I took a couple of Aleve and that took care of the pain. I scanned for a couple of hours at work, put away a bunch of DVDs and did some cleaning and repair work on some of the DVDs. I stayed busy.

When I got home from work, I stopped by the dollar store and picked up a few more groceries. Now I am enjoying some hot chocolate and will watch some TV if I can find something decent to watch.

More later....

I watched some TV until 9:00 and I went on to bed then.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday and Cakes Again

I will be leaving about 8:15 to take the cakes to Independence and then on to my hair appointment. After that, I will go by Juanita's house and balance her check book. When I finish there I will probably come on home and fix hamburgers and french fries for lunch. If I'm running later, I will drop by Big Cheese and pick up a small pizza. I have the cakes all loaded in my trunk.  They've been there since last night.

I slept well last night although for some reason I had a lot of ache between my shoulder blades. (I think it's just the mileage.) :)

Katie will be back today at the library.  She was gone yesterday again. The good news was I didn't have to do inventory.  She did not have the scanner and tablet out of lock up. 

Missy thought she wanted to go out this morning but when I went out to pick up a few leaves she went out with me but when I came back in she wanted to come right back in too.

More later...

I got back from Juanita's in time  to fix hamburgers and french fries.  Bob had brought canned coke so we had soda with it. I also still had lemon pudding for dessert.

Now I have the kitchen cleaned up and will get ready to go to work. I imagine I will be scanning bar codes today. Katie is back.

More even later....

Sure enough, I spent 2 1/2 hours of my four hours today working on the inventory..  ..scanning bar codes.

I got home shortly after  5:00 and was really tired. I will watch TV until 10:00 if I can stay awake. There are a couple of programs I am interested in seeing...for a change.

Now I am having a cup of hot chocolate and relaxing.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday and Exercises Again

Today will be quite busy. Even before exercises, I want to mix up my meatloaf and get it ready for the microwave at 11:00.  Then sometime today, I will bake my cake.  I might do that this morning too. That way I can ice it this evening. I will leave in the morning about 8:15 to take the cakes up to Independence. Then after I deliver them, my hair appointment is at 9:00 and after that I will go to Juanita's and work on her bank statement and check book to balance it.

When I get home I will put the meatloaf in the microwave and bake a couple of potatoes in there while it cools. Then after I wrap them in foil to keep them hot, I will zap some veggies. I still have lemon pudding for dessert.  We will have enough meatloaf to send Bobby some.. plus have some for Wednesday as leftovers. I try to get two meals out of most of my meals.

More later....

The meatloaf was wonderful and the rest of the meal as well. I took some of it to Karan for Bobby.

I worked this afternoon and came home very tired.  I had some hot chocolate and walked up to the Dollar General store and bought some ice cream. That just sounded good somehow. Bob brought his cake over and so he had some ice cream with me. He went home at 7:00 and I took my bath and Missy and I sat in the recliner for an hour and a half.  Then I got up and put away the dishes in the dishwasher. Now it's nearly 9:00 and I will go on to bed.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday's Sermon

Theme: “God, Our Refuge”
January 25th, 2015
Worship Resources
Psalm 62:5-12New International Version (NIV)
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.

Exploring the Scriptures
This psalm has been called the “Song of Faith.” It establishes without a doubt that the writer believed it is God alone whom we must trust on our journey of faith and trust. Words are powerful reminders in this psalm of our need for God and how important the presence of God is in our lives. 

As we hear this psalm read, we notice the images created through words like, my hope, my rock, my fortress, my refuge, and my deliverance. They point to God as a strong foundation and one that is reliable and trustworthy. God wants us to experience through our trust this deep and abiding sense of connection and support.

The type of trust described by the psalmist has a particular perspective of life: It illustrates confidence that is unshakeable in God and God’s presence. The question of faith is not “What do we believe?” but “In whom do we trust?” As articulated in this psalm, no other human effort, cause, or relationship is suitable for this type of absolute trust.

God is generous, always offering each day to be “our refuge.” This psalm encourages us to keep our attention and focus on God rather than ourselves. We should put no faith or trust in the things of this world. They can be distractions to our relationship with God. This can be difficult since our world seems to be dominated by our wants and what we consider our “Just Needs”. 

As receivers of God’s love and people who have acknowledged God’s power of this love in our lives, we are asked to be generous and share our stories and testimonies. No matter where we find ourselves—in need or in abundance, in loss or in joy—God is there, blessing and supplying the foundation for our lives.

So this is my experience.

When Bob died so suddenly almost five years ago, and after the shock of that week’s experience wore off, I realized I had a choice to make. I could grieve for days, months or years or I could do what Bob always told me to do when life got rough “and pull myself up by my bootstraps.”  I had choices.  I could choose to be miserable or I could choose to go on with life.  I knew any choice I made would take some time. 

 I could choose to be sad, angry or upset about the turn of events or I could make a conscious decision to be happy. I chose to be happy. As I made that decision, I trusted that God is always with me and would be my source of comfort in those bad times.  I didn’t lose faith in God or find it difficult to have complete trust in God because I did not expect God to do anything or be anything that is outside God’s domain.  I believed (and still do) that God is our constant source of strength and I trusted God to be right there with me as I worked through all that.  I also knew God worked to give me strength and comfort through my friends, who were very supportive. 

Although my concept of God’s power has changed over the years, my concept of God has not.  God’s presence is the very foundation of my life. In every difficult situation I have found myself in over the years, even if my poor decisions had brought bad consequences on myself, I learned that if I were able to withdraw from myself and from the stress of that particular difficult situation to find God’s presence, then God could and would give me the guidance I needed and the peace I sought.  Most of the time, I can do that now because I am even more aware of God’s presence everywhere in our world. Sometimes, I rebel though and try to “fix things” on my own. That’s usually always a mistake.  But that’s not God’s fault.  It’s mine.  

You see, I don’t expect God to be something that my experience with God denies. My experience with God has to make sense to me. Changing my concept of God was not easy. It required me to rethink the nature of both God and the world. 

To this day, I conceive of a God that is conscious and that loves, and acts …but mostly, is just with me. And God, to me, is relational and is ethical.  Since God is love, I find the ethics of the traditional concept of God appalling. 

In the Bible and in much of traditional Christian thought, God has been described as causing great evils: war, slavery, plague, famine, and even the hardness of human hearts.  At the very best, God has been described as standing by and allowing needless suffering that God could have easily prevented… such as the holocaust and terrible wars.  That is not my concept of a loving God. I believe God does everything within God’s power to work for the good. But I believe God’s power is limited by free agency. God can persuade us but cannot coerce us into doing the right thing. 

And dominion, another popular Christian concept, has proven to be a poor theological model for my understanding an ethical relationship to the world. Instead, I have found that we must come to see ourselves as participants in a complex and fragile web of relationships in which each person and even each creature has some value. That’s something Bill touched on in our church school class several weeks ago and something Bob Miller seemed to believe. He never wanted me to kill a bug or a spider. He always wanted me to pick it up in a Kleenex and put it outside.   Where bugs and other creatures were concerned, dominion just didn’t fit that model. 

Cooperation with our world seems more logical….not domination over it.   

Thus this God of love is our refuge. 

I believe God awaits our free response to God’s urgings and that God always urges us toward the best decisions for humankind’s best well-being.  

I believe God is omniscient; and knows everything there is to know, perfectly.  But to me this means knowing the future as “open”,….. as a range of possibilities, not as something fixed or already settled.  

The reality is that life is hard. Nowhere in scripture are we promised that it will be easy. Life is hard. The history of the Israelite people, God’s chosen, is ample proof of that. Bad things happen to good people, to bad people, and everyone in between.  We live in a real world, and we should want a religion that deals with that reality.  This psalm was written while the children of God were in captivity in Babylon.  They had to face that real world.  It gave them hope and trust in God. They were advised by the prophet to marry and make Babylon their home and even raise their children there. …to make the best of a bad situation.  God was to be their refuge. 

When Corrie Ten Boon was in her late teens, she witnessed Nazi soldiers arrest and torture an older person. She said to her dad, “I couldn’t stand that. I would wilt under persecution. I’m afraid I wouldn’t be faithful.” Her father said, “Corrie, God will give you the strength you need.” But she kept insisting, “I don’t have that kind of courage and faith.” Finally her dad said, “Do you remember when you were a little girl and we took rides on the train? I kept your ticket in my pocket. Do you remember when I gave you your ticket?” “She said, “Yeah, right before we got on the train.” “Right,” he said, “I kept it until you needed it so you wouldn’t lose it. God is like that and will give you the faith and strength you need. He will empower you by His Holy Spirit according to your need. Trust Him for that.”

Later when Corrie Ten Boom was arrested and persecuted by the Nazis, her faithfulness and strength became an inspiration to all.

God will be our refuge, but the refuge does not protect us from experiencing the storm, but rather it strengthens us during the storm. In this life we will experience trouble, but if we can put aside “ourselves”, and trust in God, God will see us through it. 
In the storm, one thing a refuge will do is provide us with strength we do not possess on our own. I have experienced that in my own life and heard testimony upon testimony from others who have gone through some awful situations, situations they thought they could never handle, but somehow, with God’s help, they had the strength to get through them.  That is God as refuge.