Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday At Last

I am always so glad to see Friday. I only work two hours on Fridays anymore. I work from 1:00 until 3:00.

I slept well last night and got up about 4:45. I never did get out to church to clean those benches yesterday. I will go out as soon as it gets light this morning. I also will go to our Wal Mart. Tenth Street, the county road, is detoured to graveled roads until spring. And I need some groceries.

We intend to go to "Just Us" in Cherryvale for lunch today. It's been two weeks since we were there.

I'm not sure what I will do for lunch on Saturday. Bobby will be over at Marilyn's apartment installing her garbage disposal. I may cook again. I have some pork I could do in the oven. It's chilly here now so the oven would feel good.

The president calls for gun laws in America similar to those of Australia. That's just common sense.  From Wikipedia:

Gun laws in Australia became a political issue in the 1980s. Low levels of violent crime through much of the 20th century kept levels of public concern about firearms low. In the last two decades of the century, following several high profile multiple murders and a media campaign, the Australian government coordinated more restrictive firearms legislation with all state governments.

A common misconception is that firearms are illegal in Australia and that no individual may possess them. Although it is true that Australia has restrictive firearms laws, rifles and shotguns (both of which include semi-automatics), as well as handguns, are all legal within a narrow set of criteria.

As of 2015 about 815,000 people had a gun license in Australia and there was around 3.5 to 5.5 million Registered Firearms in Australia. Most people own and use firearms for purposes such as hunting, controlling feral animals, collecting, security work, and target shooting.

More later...

I went out to church this morning and cleaned the pew that had stains on it. I also changed the sign back to the time of church school and the worship service.  Then I borrowed the church's vacuum cleaner. Mine is in the shop. I will take it back out there Sunday. Hopefully, by the time I need mine, it will be repaired. It's only the power drive belt that slipped off.  The sweeper is only 28 years old. I don't know why it's having problems now. :)

I finished the sweeping with the church's sweeper before Bob came to pick me up for our trip to Cherryvale and lunch at  "Just Us".  Lunch was very good and then Bob dropped me off at work. I worked until 3:00 and then Bob came to pick me up. He finished his laundry after he got me home and then at 5:00 he left to go get the First Baptist Church ready for the pancake feed in the morning. This is in conjunction with Dalton Defenders Days which are going on now in Coffeyville.

I just had my yogurt and that will do for dinner. I had plenty of lunch.

Keith just called and chatted with me awhile. He is such a good son. I also texted Scott and Ginger to see if this hurricane was going to be a problem for them. They said "no".   That's good. I was concerned about that.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thursday and Breakfast with the Girls

This morning at 9:00, three of us will have breakfast together and afterward I will go out to church and clean the upholstery on two pews where someone must have put their dirty shoes...probably my two great grandchildren. I will leave the cleaner there just in case we need it again.

I had another rough night of sleep. I awoke several times and finally just got up at 4:00AM. I ate a small piece of Bob's pumpkin bread so I could take my meds.  I also had one cup of coffee. I don't want to wait until 10:00 to take my meds. Our breakfast is not until 9:00.

My sweeper threw the self propel belt yesterday as I was vacuuming the den. I took it in to Liebert Brothers Electric to have the belt replaced. I tried to do it myself but any more my hands are just not strong enough to handle stretching it. They have done it once before for me.   They say that when that begins to happen, it won't be long until I will need a new sweeper. Consumers Report says the $99 Hoover is a "best buy".   It still has the bag instead of the replaceable filter.  So I will probably buy a new sweeper soon. I can afford that one anyhow. Meanwhile, they will call me when the belt is back on.

Today is the last full afternoon of work at the library for this week. Fridays I only work two hours since the program cut our hours back a couple of months ago. I still make enough money to make two car payments each month. That's the important thing.

Marilyn came over last evening to tell me that Fred, the man who lives in the house across the street, has been doing a lot of loud yelling again. He is cursing at the top of his lungs. She is disturbed about it. She is home to hear all that noise in the afternoon. I contacted the landlady about it. She suggested I call the police and report him as disturbing the peace. He is drinking again. That's what that's all about. She had told him if the police have to come out again, she will have him evicted. They were out a month or so before. This used to be such a nice quiet neighborhood. What a shame she is not carefully screening her tenants.

Marilyn also told me the landlady raised the rent on Robert and his girlfriend who live in the small apartment where Bob used to live in the fourplex.  Now they are paying $500 a month for a 1,000 square foot apartment. When I rented this one which is 1200 square feet, two and a half years ago, those smaller ones rented for $425.  I only hope they don't decide to raise the rent on these Marilyn and I rent again. They raised it $25.00 last year but they intended to raise it $50 a month. We had a tenant's meeting and invited Betty and the property manager, Martha, to come. I explained to them that the four of us (Bob was living here in the fourplex then too) were good housekeepers and they knew we would take good care of their property. They decided to just raise it $25 at that time. Of course, they eliminated the business TV cable then too so we ended up having to provide our own cable. That raised the expense another $30.  Then they also only mow twice a month so the yard only looks good for a week before it starts looking shaggy.

I have gone to a lot of expense to live here. I intended to live here until I die. I bought all new Roman  blinds and also bamboo blinds for the den and living room to replace long drapes that Wayne had in here. I knew Missy would end up messing up his drapes so I replaced them with blinds. I bought an "over the range" microwave oven and John and Jeff installed it for me. I also bought a cabinet for over the stool in the bathroom and John and Leslie put that up and then I bought a new coverlet for my bed. I brought my own frig and range too. I intended to live here as long as I lived. Now I'm not sure. If they continue to raise the rent, I may not be able to afford it.  I looked at the low income places in Caney but they were too small and had no place for my three piece wall unit that is full of books and had no carports.  So I was happy when this apartment opened up and Joyce called and told me about it.

I've rambled on long enough. I'll get back to this later....

Another school shooting with 10 people dead and 20 injured.  How many hundreds of  people have to die before this ignorant gun law is changed.  Anyone who actually reads the second amendment sees that it was a cultural thing with militias to be armed by citizens. We now have a standing army and police forces in communities.  We no longer have militias. We need a constitutional amendment and do what Australia did after just one mass killing decades ago. There are way too many legislators in the pocket of the NRA.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Before I left for work, I called the police on Fred across the street. He stands on his porch and shouts curse words across the street. He also follows the 18 year old girl who lives two doors over in this fourplex and shouts at her at her work. He is drunk. The 18 year old is scared of him. I talked to the police officer and told him what we are dealing with here.  My landlady said if he had another police visit, she would get rid of him.  We will see.

I had another big day at work this afternoon. I stayed busy with all kinds of busy work.

Tomorrow is my two hour day. I am looking forward to that.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday and Hump Day

I find I am having a harder time all the time least at the library. My legs bother me a lot because I am on my feet the entire four hours and that's a lot for someone my age. This is the first year I have actually felt my age. I am going to try to stay with the program for the next year though since it expires for me September 30th 2016. That will be my four years.  I hope to have my car paid off by that time.

I need to clean house today. I am going to start with the kitchen and bathroom and if that is enough for today, I will run the sweeper Thursday and dust on Friday. I don't know if any of the girls are going to meet for breakfast on Thursday morning. I will probably check with them later on this morning.

Missy is patiently waiting for her opportunity to go outside. It's only 6:30 so it will be another thirty minutes before it gets light. I haven't seen the stray tom cat for several weeks now. The woman across the street got a trap from the animal officer and caught the kittens that were born under her deck.

I am doing a small load of laundry this morning. Among the laundry is Missy's bathmat. She is so old that she prefers lying on an small old bathmat that I brought with me when I moved.  I used to use it in the half bath at my home.

More later...

Another big afternoon with DVDs and hunting for books that were evidently put in book sales over the years since the new bar codes were instituted in 2008...but not deleted from the system. I looked for two huge sheets and found none of them.

Bob came over for the news and we walked over to Braums and had an ice cream cone. Afterward he left to go home and Missy and I watched PBS with "Nature" and then at 8:50, we went on to bed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday and Hair Appointment

I slept better last night than I have in weeks. I feel very rested. Today Bob and I will go to Independence and I will get my hair washed and blown dry and Kathy gives it some fullness by using a curling iron.  I can't use a curling iron. I tend to burn my forehead. While we are in Independence we will go to their Wal Mart and do some grocery shopping. They have a superstore. Ours is not. I will need to buy print cartridges. I use a lot of ink when I do a newsletter every week and then I did quite a bit of printing before I left for the conference.  I always print off my sermons too. Anyhow, I have already had a warning that I am low on ink.

After that, we will eat at Big Cheese. We have decided to do that each Tuesday and then alternate between Great China and Big Cheese for lunch.  Coffeyville doesn't have either. 

It's 6:00 now and Missy is lying here beside my chair waiting to go outside. I always have to tell her "not until it gets light". I haven't seen that stray cat for a couple of weeks but I don't want to take any chances. I always go out first and get down and check under the cars before I let her out. And I always go out with her and keep her nearby.  It will be 7:00 before it is light.

Yesterday was a nightmare at work. They had emptied several baskets of DVDs and put them in the machines but none had been filed in the bookcases.  So it took me from 12:40, (I went in early) until 3:30 to get all of them put away and filed. Those DVDs bookcases were half empty. I was really tired when I got home.  I had a cup of Chi Latte but didn't eat anything before bedtime.  After Bob left at 7:00, I took my bath and Missy and I sat in the recliner until 9:00 and then I went to bed.

Yesterday I noticed a woman out east of my apartment taking a photo of my flowerbed out there. I thought that was kind of strange. Then last evening while Bob was here, she was out there again, taking more photos. Strange...I wonder what that was all about? This is what it looked like earlier in July.  I will get a new photo when it gets light and you will be amazed at how full it is now. And I seldom water it since its on the east side of my apartment and I seldom go out there since I am working. I usually sit out under the carport in the front.

This is that same flowerbed this morning. That's what the woman photographed yesterday. It's bit fuller alright.

The nephew of our landlady is supposed to mow this evening. I hope he gets it done since it's been three weeks.  The yard usually looks bad even after he mows since he only mows every two weeks and then when he does mow, he make tracks in the grass and leaves the clippings on the lawn in piles. But at least it gets mowed. This may be the last time he will mow. Next will be the fight to get tons of leaves bagged and off the lawn. I may have to do it myself. I did that year before last. The problem is if I do it in the mornings before work, I am already tired when I go to work.

This woman has a ton of rental property in a trust for a mentally disabled young man whose parents died. So she doesn't want to do much upkeep.  She has way too many properties to manage for him. Some of her tenants are not good renters and cause enormous problems. I have encouraged her to appreciate that Jeannie and Marilyn and I do take good care of her property and our apartments are always neat.  She raised the rent on the young couple that are living in the apartment where Bob used to live. She raised it to $500, which is what Marilyn and I pay for the larger apartments.  Now I fear she will raise our rent next. I am stretched as it is so I am going to look around for another apartment with a carport...just in case.

More later...

Bob and I went to Wal Mart  and bought some groceries after we left the beauty shop where I got my hair done. Then we went to True Value and then Sears and finally to Ace Hardware where we found what we were looking for.  We bought a garbage disposal for Marilyn. Bobby will install it Saturday morning.

Now I am ready to go to work. When we went up 10th street road to go to Independence this morning, we learned that we had to take a detour on a country road. When we came home we took a county road that was paved.  They are doing some work on 10th street road.

More to go to work.

Work was grueling, as usual. I got quite a bit done. Not only did I put away tons of DVDs but I also bound up many newspapers..getting them ready for Adrian to take to the vets. The vet can use them.

When I got home I went to have my car washed. The yard was being mowed at the time.

Bob was not feeling well so he did not come over. I watched some TV with Missy in my lap and we went to bed at 8:30.  

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sunday's Sermon

At church yesterday we learned that the woman who was scheduled to preach next Sunday will be out of town so they asked me to trade with her. It usually takes me a week or so to get one together but I had some time this morning after waking up early so I tried to get it finished. This is it:

Receive the Kingdom of God as a Child
October 4th, 2015
Mark 10:2-16 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

I’d like to share with you from Mark 10: 2 – 6 this morning.

Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”  He answered them, “What did Moses command you?”  They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.”  But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you.  But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’  ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,  and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.  He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her;  and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them.  But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.  Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”  And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

Our Worship helps for today’s theme explain a little background about these scriptures. 

Mark 10:2–12 is about marriage and divorce. Mark 10:13–16 deals with the blessing of little children. Since Mark’s Gospel is short enough to read at one sitting, it suggests we read today’s passage in the context of the whole Gospel of Mark. Instead, we will examine the content. 

Mark begins with Jesus proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God (Mark 1:14–15). This contrasts with the bad news of Caesar and the oppressive Roman Empire, and Herod and his brutal Galilean and Peraea kingdom. If you recall the story, John the Baptist is arrested and eventually executed by Herod. And Jesus has already warned twice of his impending crucifixion at the hands of the authorities in Jerusalem (Mark 8:31, 9:30–31). He certainly knew if and when he left the countryside and moved into the cities with his message of the kingdom of God, his life would be in danger. And punishment for preaching against and inciting rebellion against the Roman Empire was an offence worthy of execution by crucifixion.

In the preceding chapter, Peter, James, and John saw the transfigured Jesus (Mark 9:2–8). For them, it is a mountaintop experience. But as is sometimes the case, they came down the mountain only to enter a valley. The other disciples could not cast out a demon from a child and then all of them argued about who was the greatest among them (Mark 9:14–29, 9:33–34).

The kingdom of God has a different view the disciples still did not fully understand. To help the disciples understand, Jesus talked about service not domination, and then took a little child, put it among them, and holding it in his arms he said: “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me…” (Mark 9:37). 

So today’s passage should be read in the context of God’s kingdom where its citizens take the lowest place to serve and children are blessed and welcomed. Peter, James, and John’s mountaintop experience is not meant to elevate them but to empower them to serve the least. In God’s Kingdom, they are taught not to expect to be rulers, with the power to dominate and execute, but to be servants. According to Mark’s gospel, Jesus taught them that God’s kingdom is to be different than the kingdoms of this world.

Next we will examine the first part of today’s passage which addresses marriage and divorce (Mark 10:2–12). Jewish law only allowed men to divorce their wives…wives were powerless to initiate such action (Deuteronomy 24:1–4). In Jesus’ day husbands could divorce their wives for very little cause, leaving the women destitute. By quoting the original intentions of God in creation (Genesis 1:26–27 and 2:24) Jesus seeks to correct the then Pharisaic understanding of marriage and divorce. Women and men are both made in the image of God. Women are not things or property that can be discarded. Rather women are persons of equal dignity to men, made in the likeness of the ultimate personal being, the Divine.

Jesus is saying marriage is to be different in the kingdom of God. Extending the teaching from the preceding chapter, husbands and wives should not dominate or abuse each other. Rather they should serve and bless one another. Finally, nothing and no one should separate two joined together by God.

The second part of the passage—on the blessing of children (Mark 10:13–16)—follows naturally after verses on marriage. Marriage of parents should be faithful, loving, and committed. This is the biggest blessing possible to give a child. Children, like women, were powerless and marginalized in the first century. They too were considered property in that culture. 

These two stories remind us of Jesus’ concern for both groups. Marriage, family, and society in the kingdom of God are to be child-centered with men and women of equal dignity and worth. The kingdom is to be a safe place for all children.

Today is Communion Sunday. The Communion prayers speak of remembering Jesus. To remember Jesus includes remembering his teaching. The prayer on the bread includes the admonition to keep his commandments. God has joined us all together in the covenant of baptism. Let nothing separate us. And let us be a congregation that treats all humans with dignity and is a wonderful place for children.

Marriage equality and the dignified treatment of women and children are expected in the Kingdom of God. That certainly has not always been the case and as we all know, in many parts of the world, it still is not the case.  Women and children are abused in America as well. We all have a lot to learn about God’s peaceable kingdom. 

Marriages and congregational life are to be lived in the light of Jesus’ teaching. Each person regardless of age, sex, race or sexual orientation should be treated as a child of God. 

Jesus reminds us to be a blessing to children in our fellowship and neighborhoods. We here at Crossroads have had a history of embracing the neglected children in our neighborhood. Some will recall the neighborhood children we gave and received ministry from when the church was located on 11th street in Coffeyville. We hope we are all still as hospitable to the children in today’s congregation. 

The sacrament of Communion is an ideal time to remember Jesus’ teaching and our covenant with God. Marriage and divorce are very sensitive topics. We need to be very careful how we share this part of Jesus’ message since many people in today’s world have suffered divorce. We need to learn how to preach on this passage without making people feeling condemned or judged. After all, we have not walked in their shoes.  It is the special responsibility of all of us to bring loving ministry to families having trouble in their marriages. 

As some of us marry couples from time to time, we are advised by the church to encourage all who  conduct the sacrament of marriage to suggest to couples to prepare for the sacrament with premarital classes to prepare them better for marriage. Some will accept such counseling, especially from someone who has been carefully trained to do it.  

So let us ask ourselves, How best can our congregation be a place of blessing for all marginalized people, especially children? And how might we “receive the kingdom as a child” during the Lord’s Supper as well as in the rest of our lives?

Monday and The John Whitmer Association Meeting Photos

I took some photos while I was attending the meeting and I want to share them on this blog. First there is the new hotel. It was just opened in March of this year and is very pretty.

It has an event center just to the right of the photo. I barely got it in my photo.  This is a huge hotel for this part of the country.
This is the lobby of the event center.  It is what you see when you walk through the front doors here.
This is the registration table. Several people are picking up their packets there....including Billie, who brought her little poodle. One other person brought their dog as well. They were fairly well behaved animals but personally, I don't think there is a place at a convention of this sort for animals.

I ended up taking a trolley tour on Saturday afternoon and we stopped by the Auditorium where our conferences are held. This is a photo of that historic building. It was planned and begun before the great depression and work had to be held up on finishing it until the 1950's while the church paid off a million dollar debt on the building.  We learned from this experience not to borrow money from lending institutions. If the money for a project is not in hand, our church doesn't proceed until it is.

This is historic Stone Church. It was the first building project after our church returned to Independence after the reorganization. So it is very old but well kept. My friends, Joanne and Reg, whom I stayed with during the conference attend here.

This is an old friend, Professor Bill Russell. He is presenting a paper at the conference. He is a very entertaining presenter and has a great sense of humor.

I'll have to go to my other computer to find a photo of our Temple. I did not take one on the tour even though we did a mini tour in there.
This is not the greatest photo I have of it but I neglected to take a new one while I was there. It was designed by a Japanese architect.  It is beautiful. It is dedicated to the pursuit of peace.  The church presents a peace prize every year to some deserving person who has worked hard for world peace.

I'll see if I can find a better photo of this Temple.

Community of Christ Temple

This one is a little too small and slightly fuzzy.  But maybe you get the idea.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday and Home Again

I started  back home at 7:00 this morning and arrived at the church shortly after 10:30. I made good time because there is a lot less traffic on Sunday. That was a good move.

I did have a good time but probably will not attend again. It's just too stressful at my age to go alone. My daughter had other plans.

I went ahead and did my sermon and it turned out fine. I also have the sermon next week. Karan was scheduled but she will be out of town. So we traded. After church I went to dinner with several church friends. The dinner was fine and the fellowship made it worth the trouble.

Then I came home and did my letters and got a birthday card ready for of the people who attends our congregation. I started to read the papers I had missed but Bob came in so while he was here, I had him help me remove the leaf from my table. I bought a new tablecloth in the 60 inch round size. My dining table if a small round table. 

Missy is sticking close by. She got nervous when I brought my suitcase in and put away my clothes. I think she thought I was going somewhere again.  Every time I come into a different room, she follows me in here.

Tomorrow when I have more time, I will download some of my photos. Right now I am getting ready to go pick up Gary for the Living the Questions group. He wants to attend these. H missed the fellowship.  Gary does not have a car so I go pick him up. I need to be there to pick him up in about thirty minutes.