Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday and Possible Rain

I think it rained all night. At least there is a lot of wet pavement out there. I don't think it's raining now.  I heard from the Service Office and Supply yesterday afternoon.  They wanted $195 per booklet to do my congregational directory. I wanted 25 copies and there were only three pages printed on both sides and  a cover. I had Bob pick it up and I will do it myself.  I will need to get a print cartridge set at Wal Mart and some more paper and some paper for a cover.  I will ask Karan to stitch them together with her sewing machine.  What a racket! They have never charged me anywhere that much before.

More later....

I got the directories finished by 10:30 and took them to Karan to sew the seam.  Then Bob and I decided to go over to Joplin and eat at the Olive Garden.  We used the gift card that my niece, Diana, had sent me for Christmas. Then we went to the mall and I bought two pair of dress slacks. I hadn't had anything dressy for years. Everything I owned looked dated and too large. I also got a great deal on them. They were marked $49.95 each but I got both pair for around $55.00 total.

There's nothing on TV worth watching on Saturday evening. I have no idea what to watch except just to read.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday At Last

I am always glad to see Friday come. I look forward to the weekend. I don't know what else I will do tomorrow but since they have taken the rain out of Saturday, I may go shopping. We are supposed to have the rain today. We will see. Bob and I had planned to go to El Pueblo today for lunch.

I want to strip my bed in the morning and do laundry.  I got most of the apartment cleaned yesterday. I still have some dusting to do to finish.

My Bose sound bar has not come yet. Scott called and checked on it and found that it has not even shipped yet. It was supposed to be here from 5 to 7 days from the date it was ordered. I assured him it would get here when it gets here and I am not overly concerned. That was my combination Valentine gift and early Mother's Day gift. I am excited!

 More later....

I did scan bar codes this afternoon but wasn't terribly tired when I got home. I also took "new book" stickers off a couple of dozen books that are no longer "new". What a mess. I had to use Glue Gone to remove the sticky stuff from the back of each sticker.  I also put away DVDs into the machines that store themnd put a couple of baskets of them in the bookcases.

The community knows we close the library at 5:00 on Friday afternoon yet about twenty people came in at 4"45 for use of computers and to check out DVDs. We have two new machines so will be able to put many now DVDs out.  When I left at 5:05, there were  still a dozen people in the library. Some came in at 4:50. I would have locked the door at 5:00 and had to let the patrons out  after that...even one at a time. How rude it was for those folks to try to get in so late. The library employees were still there trying to work through the crowd when I left.

Bob rented a video (and it was a good one) at V & S Variety. He came over after 6:00 and left after the movie. I don't recall the name of the video but it was very good. It was about the family that had two children with Muscular Dystrophy and the struggle to find a cure or at least a treatment that would allow those folks to live a full life and not die at 8 or 9 years old. I fixed popcorn to eat with our wine.  I shouldn't have done that.  It affected my sleep.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thursday and SER Payday

Today is my SER payday. I will use the money to pay a second car payment.  I have been trying to do that every month. I am trying to get the car paid off in half the time. I have a five year loan. How do I know what or where I will be in five years at my age.:)

Today I will try to do some housework. I need to vacuum again and dust. I also need to mop my kitchen and bathroom floors. I want to get that all done this morning before lunch and work.

I slept well last night until after midnight. Then I awoke with my right elbow and back still hurting. I had forgotten to take my Aleve before bed. So I ate one piece of chicken I had saved and then took the Aleve and went back to sleep until 5:30.  This morning the elbow is  still hurting some....but not as bad.

I took the church directory to the printer this afternoon. He said he would try to get it finished by this evening.  I doubt that. My experience with this young man has not been the best. I took my class newsletter to him with the same sort of promise and it was a week later.  But we will see.

Bobby came over and brought me some homemade  veggie soup. Bob and I had that instead of our sirloin pork. We will have that on Saturday. Tomorrow he wants to take me to El Pueblo for lunch. That's nice! I cook most days.....except Sundays. Going out to eat on Friday is a nice break!

More later....

I did scan bar codes this afternoon and did not feel terribly bad. Maybe I am getting used to it at last.

I came home and had some yogurt and chi latte for my supper. Bob is tired and decided not to come over for wine this evening.  That's fine. I will take my bath before Big Bang Theory comes on this evening and sit on the recliner with Missy on my lap and watch TV tonight.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wednesday and Exercises Again

We will go to exercises again this morning. We missed Monday because of the snow. But the snow is nearly gone now. It is cold. I think it was 19 degrees last time I looked. We are forecast rain for Friday and Saturday.

This will be a good day for our leftover chili. I am out of scoops but may go get some later when I take the congregational directory in to be duplicated at Service Office and Supply. They are in the same shopping strip.I like cooking about twice a week and eating out and having leftovers the other days. We had this chili the first time on Monday.  I'm not sure what we will have on Thursday. I haven't decided yet.I like to alternate pork, chicken, ground beef, and fish. I have that pork sirloin Karan gave me and I had divided into two meals and may fix it again for tomorrow with boiled potatoes and a veggie.  

More later...

We had our chili and it was very good. I put the pork sirloin in the frig to thaw and we will have that and fried potatoes and a veggie for lunch on Thursday. Bob will bring his coleslaw. I will probably fix another pudding for dessert.  He wants to take me to El Pueblo for Friday. That will be neat.

Katie had me shelf read part of the  afternoon. I cleaned shelves as I went. Later she had another project for me. She had redone her application for a grant and she had me reassemble the application for the board to see. I put away several hundred DVDs.

I developed a very sore upper back and a sore right elbow today. I will take a couple of Aleve before bed. Bob came over and watched Nature on PBS and had wine with me. He went home at 8:00. 

I stayed up another hour after my bath but then Missy and I went to bed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday and Disappearing Snow

Our snow didn't amount to much...about an inch.. and as soon as the sun came out, it began melting. I had cancelled my hair appointment though because it was freezing out there and the road to Independence is treacherous. Now I will call in a little while and see if I can still get in today. I really need my haircut.

I stayed in most of yesterday. It is just as cold today but we are getting no more snow at this point.  We are to get rain on Saturday.

I will fix chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and a veggie for lunch.  Bob will bring a salad.  I don't know if I will have a dessert or not. I am low on milk and I need it to make my gravy. I sometimes make pudding when I have plenty of milk.

I go back to work this afternoon.  I dread it in many ways. Saturday morning, I cleaned the carpet where people had tracked in on it.  I did that on my hands and knees. People just don't seem to see that there is a mat at the front door to wipe their feet on. I always wonder if they wipe their feet at home when they track mud and dirt in on the new carpet at the library.

I also still have a lot of bar code scanning to do for the inventory. My hands have just quit hurting after a two day break.

I stayed up until 10:00 last night and watched an old movie on TV. It was "Anatomy of a Murder" with Jimmy Stewart. I must have missed it in the theater years ago. Anyhow it was Otto Preminger movie.

So, I slept well last night even though I got up at my usual 5:00 this morning.  I have had my oatmeal and coffee this morning and Missy has had her treats and fresh food.

More later....

I was lucky, Today Katie had  me just shelf read after I got all the DVDs put away. Later she had me assemble a booklet that is the 2014 library report.  Just before I left, I put away another 50 or so DVDs. When I left it was starting to rain.

I came home and gave Missy her treats and put some fresh food in her dish. Then I had a couple of cups of hot chocolate and some yogurt.  That's my supper. I didn't feel bad at all.

Bob came over for wine and to watch Genealogy Roadshow.  He went home at 8:00. I tried to watch "The Italians" but just couldn't keep my eyes open. I went on to bed at 9:00.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Snow at Last

We had a snow last night. I am not sure how much is out there since I have only looked outside from inside.  It definitely cancelled our intention to go to Joplin for lunch at Olive Garden. Now I am thawing ground beef for chili. I don't know whether Bob can get over here for lunch. His car sets out unprotected from weather.

I spent the evening working on a congregational directory for our congregation. It hadn't been updated for several years.

More later..

Bob called awhile ago. He lives four blocks away. If worse gets to worse, he will walk over here for lunch.  I have the chili done and it is in the slow cooker with a setting on three to keep it warm.  It's only 8:30 so it will be awhile.  I fixed myself a bowl of oatmeal a little while ago because all I had had this morning earlier was two cups of coffee.

Awhile ago, I saw birds on my empty bird feeder looking for seed. I have some. I just haven't put it in there so a little bit ago, I put on the boots Karan gave me and actually put on a heavy coat and gloves and went out there and brought it in and filled it. Then I waded back out there and hung it back up. I hope those poor birds check it out again now. It's still snowing lightly. We probably only had an inch last night.

I will check the computer out from time to time today and read too.

This is a photo of my great grandchild, Cheyenne. She has a birthday today. She is three.

And this is our snow... This is off my patio toward the apartments next door.

This a photo off my carport toward the north....across the street.
More even later....

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday and Another Personal Sermon

Today I speak at church again.

I got up earlier...around 4:20 this morning. I fed Missy first, of course.  She wants to go out but it is very cold out there and she is old too. :)

I am baking a coffee cake to take to church. They seem to enjoy that with coffee during Sunday school class. Our snow and ice storm here will begin this afternoon and into evening. We should get an inch of snow...nothing like the east coast. Those poor people are getting another blizzard.

I don't know whether Bob will come over this evening for 60 Minutes or not. The ice and snow is supposed to be starting at 3:00 today. We had planned to go to Joplin tomorrow while I'm off work for the holiday but I imagine that is cancelled.  I will just stay home and read. 

More later.... Here's the sermon:

Sermon: “Listen to the Beloved”
February 15, 2015
Mark 9:2–9
Exploring the Scripture
Relationships and the idea of Jesus as teacher are a few overarching themes in the Gospel of Mark. These themes are strongly related to the theme for this Sunday, “Listen to the Beloved.”

Mark’s Gospel describes Jesus’ many relationships: with God; with the crowds; with those who oppose him; and with his closest followers, his “disciples.” Jesus is the disciples’ friend and teacher: called (rabbi). This week’s theme is a call to Jesus’ disciples, who were deepening their relationships with him, to listen to him as he continued to teach them what it will mean to be called a disciple and all about God’s Kingdom.

In an earlier section in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus invited his disciples to follow him. We can only assume the reason they responded so quickly was that Jesus presented a vision (which he called the kingdom) of life that was so compelling they could do nothing else but follow him. 

Remember several of Jesus’s disciples had first been disciples of John.  So they had heard the message of John before they heard the message of Jesus. John’s message was about repentance but Jesus’ was about the makeup of The Kingdom of God. …relationships. 

This is followed by teaching moments as Jesus shares by example and through parables. When Jesus tests Peter to see how much he has learned he asks Peter who he [Jesus] is. Peter responds to Jesus as “Messiah” or “the anointed one.” Peter’s declaration ends the first section of Mark’s Gospel.

Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain, away from the crowds. The first lesson he taught them was about the value of withdrawal. Jesus practiced this spiritual discipline many times. 

When a cloud appeared signifying the presence of God, the disciples were afraid. But that fear was soon diminished. They heard the voice of God confirming Jesus’ “beloved-ness” and God’s presence with him. At times like these, the disciples needed to know they too were loved by God.

The scripture ends with the four descending the mountain. Jesus resumed his ministry of bringing hope to lives of everyone he encountered along the way. The disciples learned the importance of being with God in a “withdrawal” to receive God’s love and that it was equally important to later share that love in ministry to God’s people. Relationships.

God wants a relationship with God’s people. That’s one reason we are simply “Community” of Christ and no longer called “church”. And withdrawing is a spiritual discipline in which we learn we too are loved by God. With this assurance we need not be afraid of being alone as we are about God’s special mission.

How has prayer or participation in a spiritual discipline helped you understand and appreciate your relationship with God? Or has it? There was a time when I was young…in my twenties, when I really needed a closer relationship with God. I had been baptized when I was 13, primarily to please my grandmother, but I had not had what I considered a “conversion experience” of my own.

Later, when I was in my twenties, and pretty miserable, I took the advice of our pastor there in Bartlesville, and began a Bible study and meditation time at 6:00 in the morning. No one else was up at that hour so I had the kitchen to myself. The kids were in elementary school and Scott was too young to even be in school.  After a few months of that, I realized I really loved and needed the church and its wonderful caring people. I had some wonderful relationships with folks that knew I was troubled and loved me anyhow. And that realization made me realize what I considered that my conversion experience. I felt God’s love for me. I actually asked the pastor if I could be re-baptized but he suggested that my experience should be proof enough that God was with me and trying to heal me of my brokenness. So I accepted that. 

When Scott was a baby, I attended my first reunion weekend. I went to Wilburton, Oklahoma, for a weekend there with friends. I sensed a wonderful fellowship while there. It wasn’t the ministry of Arthur Oakman that caused that experience. It was the welcoming experience I had there…the closeness with those people…their caring about me. 

It was enough! In time, I began to feel I was healing. I had wonderful relationships there with the Bartlesville congregation.  They helped Bob and me through some very hard times with emotional support.  That was my “mountain-top experience”. The question before us now is this. “Have you had a “mountain-top” experience that was hard to leave?” If so, why do you think “leaving” is necessary?

I know leaving there was necessary for us. We needed to feel needed. We decided we would see how easy it would be to sell our new home. City Service and just moved to Tulsa…leaving Bartlesville…and there were hundreds of houses on the market. We decided we would give it two weeks and if the house didn’t sell in two weeks, we would simply stay in Bartlesville. 

We sold our home in three days and moved to Caney where Phyllis and Bob lived and where Bob could commute to Bartlesville to work. We wanted to be able to travel to Coffeyville each Sunday to be another presence there.  And there we found another group of wonderful people. 

I have never felt alone since those experiences. I know God is always right there with me…trying to influence me to good wholesome experiences, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing when I have chosen my own way. That’s how it goes. I believe there is no “arriving point” in our need for God’s presence….the presence we often find in the company of others who are also on their journey. 
And I find God when I am alone as well. When I was a troubled teenager I used  to take a sack lunch and climb up Big Hill to Shadow Lake and eat my lunch there on Roosevelt Drive while  sitting on the wall there. I would watch the lake and the birds and think about how tough life was. While I was wallowing in self pity, the still small voice would remind me how loved I was. 
My folks were not demonstrative but in a hundred different ways they let me know how they loved me.  My stepdad was a jewel. Yes, they had their problems too and yes, they inflicted them on us. Alcoholics have a way of doing that. But we always knew they loved us. My stepdad, Russ, always introduced me to his friends as “his daughter”.  We spent a lot of time together in that front porch swing while he told me his war stories.  In the telling, he eventually healed.  My motto became, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  I have tried to live by that motto over the years.

 So, let us ask ourselves, “How do we know when God is present?”

I believe God is always present but we know it when we begin to realize the guidance we receive….can’t possibly be just “us” because that kind of wisdom doesn’t come from “just us”.  Sometimes it comes from that still small voice and sometimes it comes through our wonderful relationships.  My friends have saved my life over the years.  I have had some wonderful friends…through them, and their wisdom, I have often heard God’s voice. 

So it is always good for us to “listen to the beloved”…that still small voice that doesn’t sound like us. 

Yes, Jesus taught his disciples to listen to his voice and just like that, if we listen, we will hear the voice of God trying to reach us give us the strength and wisdom to finish our journey honorably.