Saturday, November 21, 2015

Saturday and Breakfast Out

Bob and I went for breakfast at Sirloin Stockade again this morning. Afterward I took him by my apartment to pick up the newspaper so he could read it.  I talked to Scott on the phone while he read it. Scott is interested in one of John and Leslie's Corgy puppies. They are due to be born the first week in December. Ashley, my youngest granddaughter, has one and John and Leslie have two. One is Mini and she is the female who will have the pups. Hoover is the male and the father of the pups. Leslie will take some photos of them after they are born so Ginger and Scott can choose.  They say they want a blond like Mini.

Corgy's are so cute. I had never heard of them before Ashley got hers. This is Mini.  Aren't they cute!

And this is Hoover with Mini....

.And here's a better photo of them both...
 More later....

I was reading a blog from one of my friends who is a PHD and very wise. This is what he has to say about of political situation right now.

 "The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, is pursuing a strategy explicitly designed to provoke hostility toward innocent Muslims in Western society in order to radicalize these communities and recruit them to their cause. Listening to the American political debate in the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, that strategy may be working. Islamophobic rants are both morally offensive and factually inaccurate and play right into the hands of our terrorist enemies.

ISIS is not hiding its objectives. In its publications, it talks of forcing the world into two camps by “destroying the gray zone” between itself and the forces aligned against it. For ISIS, the gray zone is inhabited by those who have yet to commit to one side in its clash of civilizations. In the February edition of its official magazine Dabiq, an ISIS writer outlined a plan to compel “the crusaders" [the West] to actively destroy the gray zone themselves by generating anti-Muslim hysteria in the wake of terrorism. Attacks such as those in Paris are designed to get Western governments to alienate their Muslim populations and push them toward ISIS."

And I'm sorry to say it may be working.  Is it worth it to alienate the peaceful Muslims in our society?

More even later.... 

After lunch, I went to Bartlesville and began my Christmas shopping.  I got the great grand's gifts and Leslie's.  I also bought myself a sale 3/4 sleeved t-shirt and got a free pair of jeans on a promotion. 
It's almost 4:30 now and I want to sit and read the paper and my new Time magazine. 

Bob came over about 5:00 and read the paper and stayed an hour. After he left, I took my bath and decided to just decided to use the computer until  this football game is over and I can see some news. Then I will go sit in the recliner with Missy...spoiled rotten cat!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Again and Oversleeping

Well, it was cold last night and I had turned the furnace down so I slept so well last night that I overslept.  That's always a good thing. I went to bed at 9:00.

I feel like fixing chili today it is so chilly.  I think I have the makings too. And we have Bob's pie that he brought for yesterday's lunch.

I also need to do some laundry again. Other than that, I have very little planned for today.  I may go to Bartlesville just to get out of town.  I also have a brown top I need to take back to Goodies to exchange. I thought it was 3/4 sleeved but it was short sleeved.  For winter, I need the longer sleeve. I bought this Tuesday on sale in Independence.

More after lunch...

Bob came over this morning before his exercise class and told me he had "operated" on his ingrown toenail and found it had grown into a spiral in the corner. He made an appointment with a podiatrist in Independence and wanted me to go with him to help him fill out the paperwork for his visit. We went up early to eat at Great China and also let me exchange a t-shirt I had bought at Goody's.  It was short sleeved and I wanted 3/4 sleeved for fall and winter. While he was here, I changed the filter in my furnace too. It was getting pretty dirty. 

He had the surgery on his toe this afternoon and the doctor said it was already mildly infected. He gave him a prescription for an antibiotic and he has to go back the next two Monday mornings for the doctor to see how it's coming along. He was going to wash his car now and also get gas and then stop at the Medicine Shoppe and get the gauze squares and tape to keep it bandaged.  He will be back later to watch Brooks and Shields on PBS with their analysis of the news if it doesn't hurt him when it wakes up.. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sunday's Sermon

 Listen to the Truth
November 22, 2015 

John 18:33-37New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”  Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?”  Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?”  Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”  Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

What is truth? Pilate asked.  

That’s a pretty good question and one we still attempt to answer. 

Exploring the Scripture:
The reading from the Gospel of John is not a “happily-ever-after” close to the Christian year. Good stories often end with a sense of resolution. Loose ends are tied up and things are fitly framed together. Not here. In this story we are transported back to Holy Week and are in the room with Jesus and Pilate as they discuss Jesus’s role. 

In our story, Pilate, the potentate of political power, holds Jesus’ fate in his hands. Pilate, evidently intrigued by Jesus, undoubtedly sensed the innate wisdom and personal power of Jesus. He might have been fearful of the authenticity of Jesus so unbearably close to his own inauthenticity and duplicity. But Pilate’s heart appeared to be ruled by a commitment to keep the peace, Pax Romana, at all costs; to weigh his decisions on the scales of his own political career. Pilate was not the merciful potentate we are led to believe in the gospel of John. Indeed! His reputation as described by his contemporary writers was a cruel inhuman ruler who often executed people even without trial. The writer of John has softened him for the sake of his story.  

Let’s stop right here and look at the historian and scholarly point of view:
For many decades now there have been scholars who have been convinced that the Gospel of John is based, in large part, on a written, but no-longer surviving, “Signs” source.   It is much debated whether the author of John relied on the Synoptic Gospels for any of its stories, or whether in fact its author had ever read or even heard of the authors of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. John was written much later…close to or even after the year 100.  It was written in a time when many “Christianities” were available and the writer of John evidently was trying to prove Jesus was God to his congregation. 

Why? Because there are very few verbatim overlaps between John and the other gospel writers, and outside of the Passion narrative there is not a lot of overlap in any of the stories he told.  Somewhat like the Synoptic Gospels John does have the healing of a Capernaum official’s son, the feeding of the 5000, and the walking on the water – all told in strikingly different ways.  John’s other miracles (which he doesn’t call miracles, but instead… “signs”) are unique to his account, the turning of water into wine, and the favorite of most Hollywood screen writers, the raising of Lazarus.

Moreover, the teachings of Jesus are highly distinctive in John.  Almost nothing that Jesus teaches in the Synoptic Gospels can be found in John (there is not a single parable in John!) and almost nothing of Jesus’ teaching in John can be found in the Synoptic gospels.

Most scholars think that the author of John probably had not even read the Synoptic Gospels.  That doesn’t mean, however, that the gospel called John was without its own sources. One source that scholars have isolated is called that so called “Signs” source.   It would have been the source that John used for his accounts of the miracles of Jesus…. a written account in which Jesus’ spectacular deeds were not called miracles, but signs.  Signs of what?  Signs of who Jesus was ….the king of God’s kingdom.

In the earlier Synoptic Gospels, Jesus flat-out refuses to do signs in order to demonstrate his personal identity.  In Matthew 12:38-42, the Pharisees request a “sign” from Jesus; from the context it is obvious what they mean: they want a physical demonstration – a miracle – to prove that he is the messiah sent from God.  Jesus refuses to do a sign, and tells them that “no sign will be given to this adulterous and sinful generation” 

Jesus insists he will not do any signs to prove himself.   He will not perform a miracle to prove his identity.   And so Jesus’ miracles are not called signs in the Synoptic Gospels.
That is striking, because, as indicated, Jesus’ amazing deeds are not called miracles in the Gospel of John but are precisely called “signs”.   They are called this for a clear and certain reason:  in this Gospel, unlike the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus engages in spectacular deeds – seven of them (the perfect number remember!) – precisely in order to “signify” who he is.  

For a variety of reasons it is widely thought this final chapter was an addendum added either by the author himself or, more likely, by a later editor.  Here is how the book originally ended in the earliest documents:  “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not recorded in this book.”  

The miraculous deeds, then, are miraculous proofs that Jesus is who he says he is: the messiah.   It is important to note, that Jesus spends his ministry talking almost exclusively about his identity in the Gospel of John.   He does *not* do so in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.   In John Jesus declares that he is a divine being, and he does miracles to prove it. This is a very, very different Jesus from the one found in the earlier synoptic Gospels.  So, when someone asks – as conservative Christians often do – whether Jesus was who he said he was,  one always needs to ask “in which Gospel?”

In short, the miracles of Jesus, for John ….and only for John, are meant to convince people in John’s congregation that Jesus’ claims to divinity are true.  That is why Jesus does his “signs.”

But let us look at the truth of our own lives…one we know for sure. Without condemning one another or ourselves we must confess that in our yearly journey with Jesus we have often chosen to live with Pilate in the “kingdom of this world.” In the beauty and possibility of “my kingdom that is not from here” (v. 36)—which Jesus said is right next to us, right now—but we still don’t get it! 

We often judge worth and value in the many ways Jesus asked us not to. We narrow the definition of “neighbor”. We prioritize by what is practical and politically expedient. We place first things first. We’re all for “onward and upward” and “more, better, and faster.” We emulate “kings” and rulers but dismiss or overlook servant heroes disguised as people who are wounded, flawed, or…. just like us.

All the while Jesus kept saying and doing his Truth right there in the scriptures. “It’s right here. Move this last-place person to first, Move that priority from the bottom of the list to the top, listen to the persistent whisper below all those prominent voices until you hear it more and more clearly. Now, can we see and hear?”

Here’s the Truth on which to end the Christian year: You and I and all creation belong to the Truth. Like Pilate, however, many of us negotiate our lives inside a “kingdom of this world” that is often—at best, a flat, fuzzy image of the rich depths of God’s kingdom. It’s not real. 

The Truth is this: the reign of God is as close as our breath and as real as the world outside our windows. But, we’ve got to change our perspectives to see it and we have to learn to live it. 

So, let us put the servant on a pedestal. Now, we start preparing to be uncovered and discovered by the Truth once more. We don’t look where we normally look. We need to seek out our lonely neighbor. Step through the door at the local laundromat, hangout, or social service center. Let us be a disciple! And I’m a great one to tell you that. I still haven’t invited my neighbor to church!

At the end of the Christian calendar year, it is time for us to remember the truths Jesus taught throughout his life. As we look back on the Christian year, we are called to confession in order to move forward into Advent. .Jesus’ Truth lifts up very different priorities from the daily cultural truths and messages we hear. So, how does it feel to end the Christian calendar year with this unsettling tension-filled passage of scripture? What message from the scripture helps put into context the end of another yearly journey with Jesus’ message in the here and now?”

 We are invited to gather under the sanctuary of God’s peaceable reign, but we sometimes choose other painful, often death-dealing ways. As we reflect on this year’s journey, let us also ask ourselves, “Where has God’s Truth been manifest in our lives, the church, and the world?

Thursday and Breakfast with the Girls.

At 9:00 this morning, I will go to breakfast with the girls (and Bobby).  Joyce is back from California now and I expect we will hear all about her trip. Last week, I didn't eat anything first and late in the day I noticed I had not taken my meds. So this morning I will eat a banana before  I go to breakfast so I will be sure to take my meds.

I played Skip Bo at the senior center yesterday afternoon and had a good time. Then last night I went with Marilyn to PINCH. That was fine but I was really tired last night. I was so tired I didn't sleep well. I have the sermon coming up on Sunday at church and I was also concerned about that.

It's after 5:00 now so I'd better make my bed and dress. I'll get back to this later...

Made my bed, dressed, made up my face, had my banana and my meds as well as my coffee. I even took my trash out. I still have two hours before the "official"  breakfast. It is light out now.  Missy is in the den on the day bed. She wanted to go out when I took the trash out but it was too cold to stay out. It's 41 degrees now.

We will have a chicken noodle casserole for lunch with a veggie and some more fruit and cookies for dessert.  Bob will bring a salad.  I will take the two pieces of hamburger pie to Marilyn when she gets up this morning. She said she would have it for lunch today. She can reheat it in the microwave.

More later...

That breakfast was kind of a fiasco. I expected to hear Joyce tell about her trip to San Fransisco but Karan and she dominated the conversation to the place where Bobby and I mostly just sat.  Marilyn had opted out. She had had a trying day yesterday and was worn out and needed some private quiet time. That was wise under the circumstances.

Karan wants me to speak at Bobby's services when he is gone. She talked about it right in front of Bobby. I don't know how comfortable he was with that but it made me uncomfortable. When it is my time, the only thing I want to know is that my kids are around until I'm gone and the services will be theirs to plan.  I would like to have a Celebration of Life type service and not a funeral with a preaching service. They have picked out Bobby's casket, made the arrangements and even chosen the headstone.  I'll leave all that to my family. I want to be cremated.

Maybe I'm strange. ...let's face it..I am strange. :)

Now I have to get ready to fix lunch...More later...

What a mess fixing lunch was today. I got the white sauce finished and got ready to add the chicken and discovered that I had bought "Chicken of the Sea" for boned chicken. That's tuna. I was also short on milk. So I ran down to the Dollar General store and bought a large can of boned chicken after putting the tuna in a jar and in the frig. Then since I was short on milk too, I stopped next door  to Braums and bought milk too. When I got back, I finished the casserole and fixed the broccoli.  What a mess. Bob did bring coleslaw and also a Razzleberry pie that he found in Wal Mart. He baked it and brought it and it was very good. We will have plenty for the rest of the week. If the weather turns bad, we will stay home for Thanksgiving and go to "Just Us" for that meal. It's supposed to rain on Wednesday and we will go to Branson in the rain.

Now he is checking his e-mail and I am fixing my blog.

I will take Missy out this afternoon since it is nice out now.  She will be happy. She will hate winter when she can't go outside.

I asked Miss Kitty if she wanted to go out  but she didn't budge. Silly cat! This is her best chance.

She just lays there in the recliner (which she thinks is hers) and ignores me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Busy Wednesday

Today will be busy. This morning I will do my usual. I have had my oatmeal, juice and coffee.  Now I am checking my e-mail and posting on this blog.  Later, I will go to our market. The Independence store did not carry my coffeecake mix. Ours does. I still have three or four things I need and ice cream for the Living the Questions group on Sunday evening.  I will get that and my milk from Braums. I will stop by the health food store for my pecans. Then I will come home and rewarm the hamburger pie we will have for lunch with salad.  I need to get fruit again while I'm at the market so we can have that and cookies for dessert.

And, of course, if it warms up enough, I will take Missy out on the carport for awhile.

This afternoon, I want to attend game day at the senior center.  Then this evening, I have the PINCH meeting at the Presbyterian church.

So it will be a busy day.  More later...

Well, I went out on the carport and swept the leaves for about a dozen times.  They will continue to fall, of course, until after a hard freeze. Missy went out briefly but it is cold out there and she didn't give me any problem about coming back in. She is lying on the daybed behind me right now.

The laptop crashed again this morning. I finally got it back up but no telling how long that will last. I still have this desktop and amazingly, I still have my old laptop from 2007 with XP on it. It still works although there is no support for the XP operating system anymore. It was a great stable system.

More even later...I'd better set the table.

Bob called. A group from the exercise group will be at Utopia this morning for coffee and he wanted to know if I would join them. I was at Wal Mart  but had nothing perishable so I stopped on my way back and joined them.

My daughter is doing the Relay for Life again and sent me an e-mail to see if I could donate to it. I lost my husband to cancer so, of course, I did. I also have a very good friend who is terminal and I donated for him too. My younger son also donated. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tuesday and Hair and Cake Day

We have been under a severe thunderstorm warning all night and it will go on until 7:00 AM this morning. It is nearly 6:00 AM now. I never worry much about those things but just prepare what I would do if a severe storm or tornado hit here. I have an inside closet I would get into and pull a large comforter over my head to try to protect my head. The rest is in the hands of God.. I slept like a baby last night. The sound of the rain helps me to sleep.

Today, I hope the rain is over when I leave for Independence to take the cakes up. I will take Sunflower Road to avoid the mud of the detour. I also have my hair appointment at 9:00. The cakes are already in the trunk of my car. Everyone got them over here yesterday afternoon without even having to be called.

Missy is lying here nearby as I type this...waiting patiently for her treats and fresh food. She is a lot of company.

We will have the leftover hamburger pie tomorrow since Bob is going to Independence with me to help with the cakes. We will eat lunch at Big Cheese. Before that we will  go to their Wal Mart Superstore because I have a list of grocery needs going now.  I am hosting the Living the Questions group on Sunday evening and will fix my Apple Brown Betty for our dessert. I need 6 apples for that.

I'd better go get Missy her breakfast before she loses patience with me. :)

More later....

Well we both  had breakfast and then went out a few times on the carport. It is still raining out there.  At 8:15, I picked up Bob and we drove to Independence to have my hair done and also deliver the cakes.  After that we looked around in one of the retail stores up there before going to Big Cheese for our mini pizzas.  Then I dropped him back to his apartment and came on back home to read.  I read most of the afternoon and then played solitaire on my computer for awhile while waiting for the newspaper.

More later....

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Radical Islamic Problem

I am watching the CBS news about what we are doing about national security after the attacks against the French in Paris.

Once more, I share the warning given by former CIA Intelligence Officer Michael Scheuer after 9/11.

Michael Scheuer warns:

"Since the year of 1996, Islamist leaders, sub-leaders, theologians, field commanders, and fighters-in-the-trenches have said U.S./Western interventionism had motivated them to wage war, that they would kill as many of their enemies as was necessary to rid the Islamic world of Western military interventionists, and that they were waging a religious war, one that their faith required them to fight until they won or were eradicated.

The Islamists also told their foes that they intended to geographically expand their war as quickly and as far as possible, and that they believed that, while victory could only be granted by Allah, they could assist the divinity by inflicting casualties on their sophomoric, casualty averse-enemies. They also explained that, Allah willing, they would cause a steadily increasing drain on Western nations’ treasuries — especially that of the United States — which had already been bankrupted by the devastatingly destructive spendthrifts who govern them. Allah, it seems clear, has delivered in spades to those on whom his favor falls."

Michael F. Scheuer is a former CIA intelligence officer, American blogger, author, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst. He is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's Center for Peace and Security Studies. One of his assignments during his 22-year career was serving as Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station.

Not many people in power in this country and also overseas paid any attention to Scheuer, even though he was our primary expert on the middle east terrorist threat. We have paid dearly for that neglect. He wrote the book, "Imperial Hubris" anonymously to warn the west but unfortunately his warnings were ignored.

We cannot fight a guerrilla war with "boots on the ground". We should have learned this lesson with our experience in Vietnam but obviously, we did not learn anything and continue to send our troops into the middle east to fight against people who are willing to die for their ideology.  In a guerrilla war, our troops cannot tell the enemy from the civilians because they integrate the civilian population. 

Monday House Cleaning Day

Today I will clean house. I changed my house cleaning day back to Monday after I gave up my job.

I slept well last night...again. Maybe my "hard to sleep" days are gone at last. My hands hurt most of the time and I have a hard time sleeping if they hurt at night. My hands have never recovered from my days doing that inventory at the library. Between clicking that scanner and holding those big books open while I scan the bar codes, my hand took a beating.

I will need to go to the market sometime this week. My list is growing. We are going to eat the rest of the potato soup for lunch today.  We will have crackers and cheese with it and perhaps some fruit and cookies for dessert.  Tomorrow I will need to go to Independence to take the cakes up and also have my hair done. If Bob goes with my, we will eat at Big Cheese. If not, we will have the rest of our hamburger pie. While we are up there, I may go to their Wal Mart market.

I haven't heard from either of my boys for a couple of weeks. They are probably very busy.

More later....

I got the bathroom and the kitchen floors done and am now waiting for the floors to dry so I can finish the wiping down of the cabinets and vacuuming the carpets. 

Back to the cleaning of the apartment.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday and Church

Today I have baked my coffee cake and will take it to church for the Church School class. Usually I have some to bring home but it depends on who is there. Leslie and John will not be there today. They went over to our camp grounds to get the camp ready for winter.  They camped there overnight.

After church, those of us who are there may go somewhere to eat out together.  Bob and I will ask Phyllis F.
I wonder if our visitors will be back today.

I watched the Democrat debates last night and I thought they all did well. At least they are civil with one another. And they all make sense with their answers. They really are all pretty well together on most issues. At this point, I will vote for Hillary. She's the best informed and wisest. I think Bernie Sanders was the one with the most statements that were not factual. I checked with Politifact on the entire debate. I have the link here on my website and readers can check for themselves.

I'd better go check my coffeecake now. More later...

I checked my coffeecake and it was ready to come out of the oven. As soon as it cooled I iced it.  Then I picked up Bob and we went on out to church. They pretty much ate the coffeecake and I had one piece left so I gave it to Bob.

After church, we went out to El Pueblo for lunch. Then I came home and did my newsletters.  Now I will catch upon my blog and facebook.

It rained last night and got pretty cold so I will not do any raking or bagging today. Instead I will just relax.  This evening Bob will come over for 60 Minutes...if there isn't a football game instead.

More later....

Bob came over to watch 60 Minutes but we had to watch a football game before 60 Minutes began. After 60 Minutes he left and I got ready for bed. Missy and I watched TV until 9:00 when we both turned in.