Saturday, January 2, 2016

Saturday and Computer Problems

I'm amazed I slept at all last night..but I did. I spent the afternoon defragging Bob's computer. After It had finished, I downloaded the newest Mozella Firefox browser.  Everything was working fine. It was working as fast as mine. We went in to watch the news, and while there, the entire thing crashed. I spent the next couple of hours trying to get it back up. I got everything going except his mail. It seems to have disappeared altogether. Computers!

Anyhow, I slept until 4:00 and then just gave up and got up.

More after breakfast...

We did go to breakfast, although with Bob's cold, he probably should have stayed in out of the cold. I'm not his boss though. I picked him up and we went on to Sirloin Stockade for breakfast. Today for lunch/dinner, we will have the leftover chicken and noodles and leftover potatoes and applesauce and Tuscan veggies. I still have fruit for dessert and I should get in there and make cookies too.  I have time. We had such a big breakfast that we will eat later this afternoon.  Initially we had planned to go to Owasso to eat at Olive Garden but he still feels raunchy so we will just stay in Coffeyville and eat leftovers.

I have tried to e-mail Keith to see if he has the time to try to set up Bob's mail again.  But he is evidently out of the house and is not getting his e-mail on his I Phone. I imagine he's trying to have a nice quiet holiday too and that is fine. Bob can use my e-mail and just put "it's your dad" in the subject line.  He now has access to his bank and my blog and that's all he thinks he needs. He does need his own e-mail but until Keith can help me with it, he doesn't have any.

More later..I'd better get on those cookies.   ....

Well, I got the cookies made.  I also warmed up the chicken and noodles  for lunch and sent the little bit of leftovers home with Bob.

I read all afternoon. Later Bob came back over to watch the news. His cold is still bad. He went home about 7:00 to get ready for bed.

Missy and I did the same thing and sat in the recliner until bedtime.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Friday and the New Year

I slept poorly last night. It started out fine..... until midnight.  Then some idiots starting setting off fireworks and shooting guns off to celebrate the New Year. I almost never got back to sleep. Finally at 2:15 I got up and read awhile. Then I took a Melatonin tablet and finally got back to sleep and slept until 6:00 AM.

I will fix chicken and noodles for lunch/dinner today. We will have applesauce with it and a veggie. I have some fruit for dessert. I hope to feel up to baking cookies sometime today. We are currently completely out of cookies.

It's 24 degrees this morning. Brrr. It's supposed to get up to the 40s tomorrow with sunshine and then later in the week it will be in the 50s. How strange the weather is this year. Thanks to El Nino.  

I finally got out to John's yesterday afternoon and picked up my meat. We also went out and looked at the puppies and Mini and Speck.  The puppies will be five weeks old tomorrow and are so cute. The Corgis are darling. They are now eating solid food to supplement their mother's milk.  The half  breeds that belong to Speck are also cute. They are smaller and a week and a day younger.  But, let's face it. All puppies are darling.

When I got back in town, I stopped at the bank and made my rent payment.

Keith called yesterday while I was at the bank and I had a nice conversation with him. Homeland Security had sent their employees home an hour early so he was on his way home when he called... hands free.

More later....

Bob came over awhile ago. I was looking for noodles and all I found was macaroni. Bob volunteered to go over to Country Mart and buy frozen noodles. He also picked up a spice I couldn't find when I was over there. Now I am almost ready to begin lunch/dinner.

I am in the process of defragging his notebook. It is terribly slow. It says it defrags weekly but I know it doesn't because he keeps it in it's case all week and only comes over to use it about once a week. So after about twenty minutes, it's 3% defragged. It will probably take all day for it to finish at that rate but hopefully it will run faster when it's finished.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thursday and the Breakfast Club

This is the morning when some of us meet at Eggberts for breakfast. The past two breakfasts I attended, my food was cold. Today I will tell the waitress and ask her to be sure my food is hot..or I will not be coming anymore. I can't see paying for cold food...especially breakfast.

I slept like a log last night. I stayed in bed until 5:30 this morning too. I have fed Missy and given her fresh water. I also had a cup of Chia. I will have my coffee at the restaurant.

This is the revised pie chart provided by politifact which includes social security. My contention is social security is self funded. Those of us who worked all our lives, paid into it and funded our retirement. If the past governments had not dipped into it continually to pay for other programs including the Vietnam war, there would be plenty of money in the fund. And think of all the benefits that are not being paid because the supposed recipients are deceased.

There has never been any change in the way the Social Security program is financed or the way that Social Security payroll taxes are used by the federal government. This question comes from a confusion about the way the Social Security Trust Fund is treated in federal budget accounting.

Starting in 1969 (due to action by the Johnson Administration in 1968) the transactions to the Trust Fund were included in what is known as the "unified budget." This is sometimes described by saying that the Social Security Trust Funds are "on-budget." This budget treatment of the Social Security Trust Fund continued until 1990 when the Trust Funds were again taken "off-budget." But whether the Trust Funds are "on-budget" or "off-budget" is primarily a question of accounting practices--it has no effect on the actual operations of the Trust Fund itself.

 This different pie chart can be found on

I also have something to say about the charges against Bill Cosby.  I don't justify his actions by any means but I also say the women did not need to go to his private home/room and subject themselves to the chance for abuse. They knew they were at risk when they took the pills he gave them and then drank wine. Give me a break! All women can use their own common sense about putting themselves at risk with a stranger...regardless of how famous that person is.

More later....

The breakfast was cold again and this time I told the waitress about it. She took it back to the kitchen and had it warmed up.

I went out to Walmart afterward and bought $40.00 something worth of groceries.   Then  I came home and warmed up the cornbread and beans.  Bob came over and we ate those and the other french vanilla pudding and the last two cookies.  I need to bake cookies again.

More even later....

I read all afternoon and then later on Bob came by  to watch the news. He left at 7:00. He is fighting a bad cold.

 I took my bath and watched TV for awhile before going on to bed.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wednesday Already

I slept well again last night and didn't get up until 5:30. For me, that's late.

I checked my e-mail after I dressed and made my bed. I have a notice of the new schedule from Leslie but she didn't attachment the schedule.  I have notified her. She had a horrendous weekend on call last weekend. Every time I talked to John she had come in and was immediately called back out.  I have no idea how many times she had to leave. Luckily, John is very good with the girls....and the puppies....all 11 of them plus the three adult dogs.

I fed Missy and myself and took some hamburger out of the freezer to thaw. I meant to put it in the frig last night..but forgot.  So I am thawing it in a plastic bag this morning. We will have hamburgers and french fries. Bob is going to invite Dennis too.

Lunch turned out fine Dennis came too. He has lost his job and is looking for another. It will be an uphill battle this time of year. Plus, he dropped out of high school years ago and never got a GED. Nowadays most people want at least a GED. I have tried to provide him with leads for jobs listed online but so far, he has had no luck.

Bob came back over in the evening until 7:00 and I watched Nature and then a TV show on healthy food that was being aired on PBS.

Then I went to bed at 9:30.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tuesday and Snow on the Ground

I don't know whether I will be able to get to Independence this morning or not. It's the day for my hairdo.  I will have to wait until the sun comes up to see how the street conditions look. I don't think Bob is all that crazy about going.  I'm not sure I should go by myself since the tenth street (the county road) bridge is being  replaced and we have a couple of alternative routes up there. One is a gravel road...which I would not attempt with snow and ice on the road. The second is Sunflower Road, which is a county road that is paved. But it is clear across town and a long way off. If it's clear, I'll take it. Thank goodness for cell phones.

I slept well last night...better then usual. I had quite a bit of indigestion yesterday. Tums takes care of it but still I have never been troubled with indigestion before this past few weeks. It's probably the mileage. :) Or perhaps the M & M Peanuts. :) They are gone now so I'll see if that helps.

More later....Missy is waiting patiently for her treats..

O.K., I've had my breakfast and coffee and am waiting for daylight  to assess the chances of my being able to get to Independence safely. It's still dark out so I can't tell yet. It's just shortly after 7:00 but it's getting there. I just checked sand my new amount for Blue Cross/Blue Shield came out last night. They raised the premium $35.11 in one year. Now it's nearly $300 per month. Usually it's about a $10.00 raise each year. Insurance is a racket.

Bob just texted me that he is too tired this morning to come over.  He must not have slept well.  If he can't come for lunch, I will take him some corn bread and beans.  I soaked them overnight and they are cooking now in the slow cooker.

More even later...

I made it to Independence on the Sunflower Road. It had been cleared and was fairly clean. I still drove 35 miles per hour. There was very little traffic. I left here at 8:00 for a 9:00 appointment and got back at 9:45. I got my hair done and came straight back home. I left the beans cooking in the slow cooker and they are done. I added the onions and turned them down to 2. I will fix the cornbread in a little while....closer to 11:10.

Missy is lying here behind me on the daybed napping.

More still later....

Bob came at 11:20 and we had our beans and cornbread for lunch.  Then I went to Braum's and got my milk and to Orchelens for wild bird seed. I think it's about time I start feeding the birds again. With the snow on the ground, they may have a hard time finding food.

More even later...

I filled the bird feeder and the birds flocked to eat from it.  It never did warm up. But the rain did finally stop.  I finally found the top to my trash can but never did find the flowerpot. It must have blown a long way away. I will have to buy another one in the spring.

Bob came over this evening and stayed until 7:00. After he left I took my bath and stayed up until 9:30.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Last Sunday's Sermon "Develop Disciples to Serve"

In this passage from Luke 2: 41 – 52, Jesus is a 12 year old. At 13 a Jewish boy became a man and he was approaching that point in his life. He had come into an age of responsibility and accountability. As we read the scripture, we sense the tension that accompanied the learning curve on this particular journey.

It is the festival of the Passover—a time when Jewish people remembered they were once slaves in Egypt and God brought them out of slavery (Deuteronomy 16:12 and Exodus 13:3) and that God spared their firstborn from the 10th plague. God commanded the “children of Israel” to keep Passover so they would never forget (Exodus 12:14).

Jesus traveled with his family to Jerusalem for Passover. It was a journey they made every year so this was not a new adventure for Jesus. It was a common event. He knew his way around the town and the temple. His parents had little or no concern about him in the larger company of family and friends. As Passover ended, they joined the caravan to head home. At the end of the first day of travel, they realized Jesus was not with them. They hurried back to Jerusalem and spent three days searching for him. They found him in the temple sitting with the teachers, learning and astounding those around him.

Jesus surprised his parents by not letting them know where he was. They were concerned. They spent three days looking for him! He, on the other hand, was surprised that they were concerned and didn’t know he would be in the temple. His comment to them was “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” It is the moment when Jesus began speaking for himself; pointing himself in the direction his life would take.

This story of Jesus highlights the importance of preparing oneself and learning in a place where the sacred is spoken. Jesus went into the temple and sat with the teachers to learn and discuss. The scriptures tell us Jesus went to the temple to learn and teach not only when he was 12 but throughout his life. And because of this, “Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor” (Luke 2:52). As disciples of Jesus we are also called to lifelong learning, spiritual growth and service to others.

This vision is based on the three movements of Jesus’ ministry on earth. 1) Jesus proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God; 2) he taught people how to live; 3) he ministered to the needs of those around him. This week I want to say a few words about developing disciples. 

Sociologists Peter Benson and Carolyn Eklin concluded from their study of over 500 churches that: “Only a minority of church going adults evidence the kind of integrated, vibrant, and life-encompassing faith congregations seek to develop disciples to serve. For most adults, faith is under developed, lacking some of the key elements necessary for faith maturity and to develop the initiative to want to be of service. ” If we are to believe their research, we would have to conclude that somewhere along the way the church at large has neglected one of the most important commands of Jesus. 

And what is a disciple? A disciple is a person whose life, purpose and practices are shaped by another. A disciple is a learner, one who follows a teacher. So, a disciple of Jesus is a person whose life, purpose and practices are shaped by Jesus and his message but also by his example. A disciple is a person who strives to learn from Jesus, to grow to be more like him.

And truth be told, there are as many Jesus’  as there are disciples of this remarkable first century figure.  Regardless of how faithful one is to the portrayals of Jesus by any particular denomination or tradition, no two people understand or relate to Jesus in exactly the same way. This is one of the reasons the Bible includes four different versions of the story of Jesus’s life.  

One thing most New Testament scholars agree on…and they don’t agree on much…is that Jesus’s main aim was the kingdom of God…...not some saccharine vision of a future in heaven, but a clear political statement about the here and now. 

They say, basically it’s pretty simple. It means just asking ourselves what this world would look like if God sat on Caesar’s throne.  What would a divine instead of an imperial program look like? What would a divine budget look like?  So “kingdom of God” is a way of saying Rome is not the kingdom of God. Rome thought (since Caesar was divine and it had a kingdom) that it must be the kingdom of God. What Jesus was saying, sort of “in your face” is “Rome, you are not the kingdom of God. You’re not even the will of God”. and “You’re not even close”. 

Over and over again, the Gospels ask us to choose our allegiance. Whose kingdom? The evidence we have about the identity, actions, mission, and vision of Jesus varies widely and wildly depending on the source and the theological filter. At best, one can speak of the “lives” of Jesus rather than the life of Jesus.  The complexity and radical nature of Jesus’ message for the world in which he lived, are critical in understanding how we might live as followers of Jesus today.  The problems of our worlds are not that different. There is still prejudice, hunger, a wide disparity between the rich and the poor, and vast injustice.  There is a lot a disciple can do. 

Jesus wasn’t seduced by power and privilege. Jesus practiced a lifestyle and commitment of servanthood and what I call “downward mobility” that contradicts the allure of “upward mobility” that is so pervasive in our culture today, defining significance and status through wealth, materialism, fame and power.   Jesus was best exemplified by his self-proclamation of “I am the good shepherd.”  He was both tender and gentle and yet also fierce in his pursuit of Justice. Jesus didn’t just speak of these things…he demonstrated them in how he lived, how he loved and how he welcomed the stranger, the marginalized, the leper, the widow, the prostitute and the sick. And he confronted the religious leaders of his day.

That’s why we must keep asking the important questions of “Who are we following?” and “Where are they leading us?”

Our vision as a community is to develop disciples. We will strive to do this by encouraging our members and friends of the church to take responsibility for their own faith growth as well as empowering them to encourage others to grow in faith. The church will provide opportunities like Sunday school, small group studies, retreats; and workshops which are targeted at helping us develop an “integrated, vibrant, and life-encompassing faith and…. sharing that faith through action.”

Ultimately, developing disciples is a relational experience, not an instructional or classroom experience. It is the influence of one life on another in the midst of the difficulties of life. It is an influence that helps us face our personal darkness and grow in our reflection of the image of Jesus.

Writer Greg Ogden put it this way, “Developing disciples is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well.”

One Methodist minister some of us know said he attempted to share some of the things he learned in seminary with his congregations. Every time he did, he was moved. Some people simply do not want to know. 

Marcus Borg speaks of various stages people pass through as they develop an appreciation of the Bible as metaphor. For example, as young children we interpret the Bible with what Borg calls a “pre-critical naivete” in this stage we believe what we are told and never give it another thought. 

As we get older, we move onto a stage of “critical thinking” in which we unpack our understanding of the world and toss out what we recognize as false….such as the tooth fairy and the idea that you can break your mother’s back by stepping on a crack.  Many get stuck in this stage of “critical thinking”.  Then there’s a third stage that Borg calls “post critical naivete”. That is demonstrated by the capacity to recognize the truth in the biblical stories, even though you know that their truth does not depend upon their factuality. And even though you are pretty sure many of them are not historically factual. 

But that's not the important thing.  The important thing is that we have mission. That's what disciples do. And we need to be open to life changing revelation from historical scholars who spend their entire lives and careers studying for the truth.

I have often said I did not want to be a part of a congregation of pew sitters.  If our congregation did not have mission, I would not be in church.

Monday and Rain, Rain and Perhaps Snow.

I slept in awhile this morning. It was cold in the house.  When I did get up, I decided to wear a sweater. It is supposed to snow today too. Right now it is still raining and we are under flood warnings.

I will probably just stay home today. I don't like cold weather. I hope the roads will be passable tomorrow for my hair appointment in Independence.  If not, I will wash it myself. It is warm here in the apartment. And I have had a cup of coffee and oatmeal and orange juice for my breakfast.

I took Missy out briefly when I swept the leaves off the carport. She did not like the cold and the cold wind. She stayed out less than ten minutes.  Now she seems content to just stay in here and huddle on the floor.

We will have chicken tenders, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad and a veggie for lunch/dinner. I still have two pieces of pecan pie for our dessert.

More later....

It is sleeting now and very slick out. This is the time of year when I am happy to be here with a carport over my car. Bob texted me awhile ago and his car is covered with ice. I will probably go pick him up for lunch/dinner. He lives only four blocks away but with his heart condition, he has no business out there scraping ice off his windshield.

More even later...

I went to get Bob while the chicken was cooking and it was snowing right down then. We had our lunch and then I took him home. He wanted to check his mail and also see if his Blue Cross/Blue Shield had come out yet. He will also take a nap, I imagine.

I just stepped outside and took a photo of the snow. This is looking out my back door toward the neighbor to the east. You can see my bird bath and flowerbed. Luckily, while it was warm last week, I pulled up all the flowers...what was left of them after a couple of freezes and put them in the trash barrel. I watched a video Karan loaned to me last month. The snow gave me an opportunity to stay home and watch it. It was very funny. I think it was called "My Mom's New Boyfriend." It was very funny and entertaining.  Bob dropped over to see the last of it. He did not stay because the weather is so uncertain.  Now I am watching the news.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday and Church

I hope we will be able to get to church this morning. It rained hard all day and night. If we go by the Dearing way, we may find the creek out of it's banks. Maybe we will take Woodland.  I slept well though because the rain always puts me to sleep. I awoke several times but managed to get right back to sleep.

I got up and dressed then went out in this cold rainy weather to pick up the paper. Brrrr. After I got my coffeecake in the oven, I read the paper.  Now it's about to get it out of the oven.  When it's cool, I'll ice it.

I will be speaking this morning at church but I'll be surprised if there are more then six there. Generally we have from 15 to 20. Two days after a major holiday, everyone has house guests. When I have house guests, I invite them to church. :)  I hate to miss church. My week is all off when I miss church.

We must have had a heck of a wind with this rain.  I had to retrieve my trash container. It had blown down the yard. It's still blowing hard out there and is cold.

The coffeecake is out of the oven and now cooling. I will ice it in a bit.

More later...

O.K. I got the coffeecake iced...way too much icing but they can scrape it off.  I also went over my sermon (talk) for the morning service.

Bob has come to read the papers. I texted Marilyn about going to church and she said she had slept right through the alarm and could not go this time.  Maybe next time.

We took the little girls to Sirloin Stockade at lunch time. They eat pretty well there because they anticipate the ice cream machine. :) They are 3 and 5. ..and cute as a button.

I came home and did my congregational newsletters and went to the market to buy stamps.

Bob came over in the evening to watch the news. After he left at 7:00 I took my bath, put my PJs on  and got ready to sit in the recliner with Missy. I went to bed at 9:30.