Saturday, September 2, 2017

Saturday and Breakfast Out

I slept fairly well last night. I awoke at 3:30 and had problems getting back to sleep. I must have finally done it through because I awoke at 6:00...late for me.

I texted Bob to see if he would like to go to Independence to their Eggberts and see if we like that. He had forgotten to pick up his jeans at the laundry there on Thursday when he was there to get his oil changed at Quality Toyota.  Mine is due too but I have a coupon for a $19.99 oil change at Honda of Bartlesville. My appointment is Tuesday at 2:30.

We went to the Independence Eggberts but were not impressed. We had no service for 15 minutes. Then when our food finally came, it was cold. We will not go back. We get much better service at the Coffeyville store.

I watered my flowers in the pots in front last evening so they may not need it this morning. I don't have a plan for today.

There is a storm called Irma heading toward the Caribbean. I hope it doesn't hit Florida. Usually when they get into the gulf they encounter warm water which fuels them. My son and his wife had to deal with hurricane Matthew last year. They don't need another one this year.

I need to go out to Walmart and buy a few groceries and I need to go by the bank and get some money from the ATM machine.

I still have not made it to either Walmart or the bank. I can get along without the groceries but I will need money for lunch tomorrow after church.
I did go out to the church and run off the bulletins and set up the worship center and get the communion ready for tomorrow. So I had better go get to the bank or I won't have lunch tomorrow.

So more even later...

O.K. I did get money at the ATM.  I never did get out to Walmart. I just came back home and laid down a bit with Missy.

Later, around 5:00 Bob came over to watch the news. He left about 6:00 or so and I took my bath and laid back down to watch TV with Missy. I went to bed at 9:00.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday and Exercises Again

This should be the last day I am in charge of exercises again. Kay should be back on Wednesday. Sheila came by last evening and brought me the key to the senior center just in case she doesn't get back early last night from taking her brother to Bartlesville for more testing.  He has a lung disease that makes the bottom of his lungs like leather. I forget what she called it but it's only treatable...not curable.

I will open the senior center and also open the kitchen and make coffee for the break room.  I will need to open the break room too. If Sheila doesn't get up there this morning, I will also lock up the break room and the office as well as the senior center when I get ready to leave.  I may have to stay until 3:30. It all depends on Sheila. Delores is still in the hospital in Tulsa. She had a heart attack after her stint failed.  Sheila has been subbing for her.

I'm glad I got the apartment cleaned yesterday morning before I met Gay.

Bob is coming over early to check his bank account to see if social security came in early because of the Labor Day holiday. I got my boy's donations to me early yesterday and I may go ahead and pay my rent this afternoon.

Bob's social security did come in today. He will bring his checkbook and have me write his rent check this afternoon. We went to Utopia for a Utopiachino and a cinnamon roll after exercise class and we will have later lunch now.

More even later....

After lunch...chicken potatoes and gravy and brussel sprouts and a coleslaw salad  he brought, we worked on patching up his front bumper again. I took nail polish remover and wiped down the sticky mess from the gorilla tape I use to put the bumper back together again. He ran up on a curb at the doctor's office a couple of years ago and tore the bumper...plastic, as usual. So I patched it with gorilla tape twice. This time I did a much better job of it and it looks almost like new.

Bob and I then went to find a Fed X truck uptown and gave his Cox TV box to the driver. He has decided he needs the money worse then he needs the TV.  We went by the new Dollar General store and went through it. It's very nice. While we were there, Scott called and talked to me awhile. It had been awhile since I had actually talked to him.  They have been very busy. They ran a triathlon last weekend.

It's 7:30 now and I just took my bath. I will go watch TV with Missy now. I need to take an allergy pill too. I have begun sneezing again. I will try to stay up until 9:00 or 10:00. I sleep better that way.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday and Lunch With Gay

I slept pretty well last night but since I went to bed at 9:00 I woke up just before 5:00 AM.

I watched the news until almost 8:00 and finally decided I'd better get something done. I washed both the bathroom and kitchen floors and then vacuumed all the carpets. All I have to do now is dust. That's the easy part. I can do that in 15 or 20 minutes in this small apartment.  I should probably water the flowers on the east side. I haven't done that in several days.

I will drive up to Cherryvale at lunch time and meet Gay at their Pizza Hut for lunch. That's about halfway for both  of us. I like to do that about every month or six weeks. We have been friends for almost 65 years. I was a senior in high school and she was a sophomore or freshman.

More later...

I had a really good lunch with Gay and a really good visit too.  She wants to check into a hearing aid like mine. She has lost some of her hearing in her left ear.  She will come down one day soon and meet with Stan. I called him about her and he suggested she come for a 1:30 appointment. He is closed int he afternoons and does his service calls then. But if she makes an appointment, he will meet her at his office and test her hearing and fit her for a free trial of 30 days.

This is Gay
Here's a close up.
She sure doesn't look 79 years old.

When I got home I took Missy out for a little while. The painter was working across the street though and that worried her so she wanted to come back in.

I checked my bank account and both of my sons had deposited their deposit for me in my account so I can pay my rent tomorrow or Tuesday.  They are so thoughtful. They didn't want me to have to wait until Tuesday to pay it. Monday, of course, is Labor Day.

Sheila came over with the key to the senior center while Bob was here watching the news. She is not sure she will be back in town in the morning in time to open it up for exercise class and she wants me to go early and open it and open the office too.  If she is not there in time for exercises, I will take the phone over to the tape player and lay it down in case it rings. Bob left shortly after 6:15.

I took my bath and put my PJs on for bed. I am trying to stay up until 9:00 and will go to bed then. It's almost 8:30 now.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wednesday and Exercises Again

I slept really well again last night...without any help from any drug or even an antihistamine.

My TV Bose sound system is no longer working correctly. Only the yellow light comes on and the green one will not come on. I am getting sound...just not Bose sound. I have turned it on and off several times but the green light does not come on. The TV speakers are turned off. I checked. So the sound I have is from the Bose not the TV.

I will have to lead the exercises again this morning and Friday. Kay will not be back until Monday.  She lost her husband a week ago tomorrow. His funeral was yesterday.

This afternoon at 1:00 is Bunco. I will go. I enjoy the games. We will eat the rest of our hamburger casserole this noon with the green beans and a salad and the rest of the garlic toast.

I may go to the PINCH meeting this evening. I need to tell the group that I did try to recruit people to come to the meeting they are having in September. I posted their flyer on our church bulletin board and had it announced.  I also posted it on my facebook page.

Tomorrow I will meet Gay in Cherryvale for lunch.

My son, Scott, who gave me that Bose system, called to be sure I had sound on my TV since I am getting only the yellow light.  He must have read this blog.  I do have sound so I am happy.

I walked down to the Dollar General store on the corner to get my son-in-law a birthday card.  They were closed and moving into their new store on 11th street. That's highway 166. They will open there on Friday.

Lunch was fine and we finished up the casserole and the apple brown betty too. I went out to the Family Dollar store and bought a couple of birthday cards. The new Dollar General store will not be open until Friday. I want to get some boxed birthday cards to send out to the congregation.

I laid down with Missy after that and took a short nap. I turned on the TV and the green light for the Bose system came back on. So the Bose system is working fine now.

Bob came over shortly after 5:00 to watch the news. he left at 6:30 and I took my bath and got ready to lie back down with Missy and watch TV until bedtime.  I went on to bed shortly after 9:00.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sunday's Sermon

Find Life
September 3, 2017
Matthew 16:21-28
21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

27 “For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Let Us Explore the Scripture

We are challenged to set aside our knowledge of the “rest of the story” and to understand what knowledge the people in this scripture passage had at that moment. To understand this text we will need to grasp the image of Jesus which Peter had claimed. For Peter, the Messiah was one who would be triumphant militarily as well as politically. 

Most likely Peter imagined that triumph was coming because of might and force. However, this was not what Jesus had taught and represented, but rather a Messiah that Peter had created in his own mind.

Peter may have imagined himself as one who would reap some of the benefits of victory by following this Messiah he had created. 

However, the words “suffering” and “death” did not have a victory ring and did not fit his understanding of the Messiah. With this idea of the Messiah, we can understand why Peter pulled Jesus aside and chastised him for using language of defeat and surrender. Peter must have been frustrated and confused about why the one leading them on the path to victory was declaring defeat amid the journey. He may have also been concerned about his own self-preservation. If he was following and supporting the cause of one who would suffer and die, what might that mean for him? 

In retrospect, it is easy for us to be critical of Peter’s misunderstanding and the possible motives in his life which helped create this misunderstanding.  But under similar circumstances, what would we have done? 

In a culture where there was an apocalyptic or “end time” expectation of God’s interference, we might even understand why Peter felt as he did.  According to our gospel writers there was even an expectation that end time might be at any moment ..even before the end of their present generation. 

But what about our understanding of Jesus and the motives in our lives which have helped shape our understanding? No doubt Peter’s agenda and his worldview contributed to the Jesus he wanted to follow. At times, our confident claims about Jesus and his mission may be more reflective of our agendas and wishes than the true mission of Jesus. On the other hand, we might consider and reflect on how our own agendas and our worldviews shape the Jesus we follow.

Are we still looking for an end time at any time? Do we expect God’s Kingdom to be apparent in our day? After all, Jesus declared time and again that God’s kingdom was already on the earth.  Can we see any vestiges of that kingdom? 

Jesus chastised Peter and told him he was setting his mind on human and not divine matters. In this scripture, Jesus rejects the path that would not require pain or suffering. We know the human tendency is to avoid pain. Jesus was not on a mission seeking pain; however, fulfilling his mission upset the status quo, a status quo which was oppressing the common people. Those who disrupt things, as did Jesus, may suffer from challenging the status quo. 

We may be tempted to opt for an easier path, one without suffering and appearing much safer. 

We should instead be challenged to think about God’s mission for Jesus and the paths we are traveling in that mission. Do we even understand what might be expected of us in our particular culture? 

After Jesus chastised Peter he said that those who want to follow him must deny themselves and take up their cross. In our day, that cross may be severe criticism. To deny ourselves may be to be willing to spend our resources on improving the lives of others. 

Jesus’ suffering came because of his deep vulnerability to those who were broken, excluded, and hurting. One mark of faithful discipleship is the capacity to deny personal biases that shield one from being vulnerable to the needless suffering in the world. 

We, like Peter, may be unaware of how our agendas and biases contribute to our understanding of the mission of Jesus and the mission to which we are called.

We too are called to examine our understanding of the Jesus we claim to follow. Those who engage in his mission are often vulnerable. The path of the disciple will not always be free of suffering. Sometimes our own biases are the most difficult to deny.
So, let us ask ourselves how we would view a Jesus in today’s world. If Jesus was walking our streets today…he would be considered homeless. He might not have had a bath in days. He might only have the clothes on his back. He might not smell as clean as we would like. He would be still preaching his Sermon on the Mount. How would we react? Would we be willing to accept him and his message? Would our own cultural view interfere with our decision?

What experiences in our lives have contributed to our understanding of what God is like? Do we believe that suffering is a necessary part of the mission of Jesus or is suffering something we should all expect to go through at some point of our lives? 

Would we feel that suffering is even still necessary in today’s world? Or is it simply a fact of life?

It will be forever true that for centuries Christianity taught people that women were inferior to men and dark skinned people were inferior to light skinned people. They taught that the earth was the center of the universe; that colonization, slavery, and apartheid were justified and that kings had a divine right to rule.  They taught that irrational behavior was the result of demonic possession.  Eventually most Christians stopped teaching these things.

Of the many radical things said and done by Jesus, his unflinching emphasis on love was the most radical of all.  Love was the greatest commandment, Jesus taught. It was his newest commandment, his prime directive…love for God, for self, for neighbor, for stranger, for alien, for outsider, and even for enemy, as he himself modeled. 

The new commandment  of love meant that neither beliefs not words, neither taboos, systems, structures not labels that enshrined them mattered most.  Love decentered everything else. Love took priority over everything else. …everything.   

The other day a friend sent me a good story that has been around a long time, but it’s still as relevant as it was the first time I heard it.

The light turned yellow as he was turning right. He saw pedestrians in the crosswalk, so he stopped. The woman behind him was furious, so she leaned on her horn, flipped him the finger many times, and shouted angrily from her car.

Suddenly, a policeman was tapping at her window. He ordered her to exit and raise her arms. He cuffed her and put her in his patrol car. At the station, she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. A few hours later, a guard opened the cell door and took her to the booking desk. The officer who had arrested her was waiting with her personal belongings.

He introduced himself and said, “I’m sorry for this mistake. When I was behind your car, I saw a crazy woman doing and saying awful things. I also noticed the Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Then I noticed two decals, ‘Choose Life’ and ‘Jesus Is My Christ.’ After seeing your behavior, I figured this must be a stolen car.”

I have no idea if this really happened, but every time I hear this story, I take a self-inventory. I ask myself: Could anyone tell that I am a faith-based person by my actions? What are my prejudices? Do they control me, or do I control them? Would folks know that I am a faith-based person without me telling them?

How can my actions show my faith? The first way is to treat every human being as the most important person in the world. Second, stay calm, no matter how ugly the situation. Third, stay in control, which means not raising my voice, yelling, or talking down to others. A long time ago I learned that I can get further ahead with honey than vinegar! Fourth, listen, and then listen some more. Next, remember that negative picture I have in my mind when I lost it. It’s not nice. Don’t repeat it! Sixth, keep working every day on my patience, humility, and listening skills.

As I was writing this, I immediately thought of a campfire song: “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love.” As a Christian, that is how I would like to be known—not by my words, but by positive actions and attitude.

Have you ever heard of Fred Phelps? He was a Baptist pastor at the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. His claim to fame was his deep open hatred of the LGBTQUI community. Every third year, we’d see Fred and his fellow haters show up at the Conference of our Church in Independence, Missouri with big signs stating, “God hates fags.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, he then decided to extend his message of hate to mourning families of military service members who had given their lives in the line of duty. Un-Reverend Fred would show up at their funerals with the message that God was killing members of the US military to punish America for enabling homosexuality.

For me, “Rev.”, and I use the term loosely, Fred has used religion as an excuse to promote his intense hatred of the LGBTQUI community. Whenever I see such hatred, I have to ask myself, “Where is Fred coming from? Why would he dedicate his whole life to hating gays rather than loving humanity? Did his seminary teach him that? Did he read that hatred in his Bible?”

At the conference where our church voted to accept gay people into our congregations and our ministry, Fred was right there with his family and their signs and toxic brochures preaching their brand of hate to all who would listen. 

Let me end by asking you: Which do you think speaks louder, our words or our actions?

Finding the life that God desires for us depends on how tuned in to God we are. Do we pray and listen for God’s still small voice before we make our life’s decisions?  Because if we don’t, we will not find life at its best and happiest. 

We each have our own set of personal prejudices. I know I have. They may not be the same ones as Fred Phelps but we all have some changes to make to be able to say we are willing to take up our cross to follow Jesus. Are we ready to try to make that sort of journey? If we aren’t, then we may not be prepared to be a follower of Jesus. That may be our personal cross.

As we approach taking the sacrament this morning, let us ask ourselves if we are really ready to make personal change a commitment?


Tuesday and Hair Day

I slept until 6:30 this morning....something I have not done in years.  I feel good and rested.

I have fed Missy and myself and dressed and got ready for the day.

I now have to use the Cox remote to change channels. Somehow I goofed  up the Bose remote yesterday afternoon. I now use the Bose remote to adjust the volume and mute the TV. But if I attempt to change channels with it, the TV "source" button comes up and shows the source. But I can turn it on and off with either remote. When things settle down a bit I will call Bose and ask them to walk me through programming the new remote they sent me last month. It's such an ordeal. The last time I did that, I got an Hispanic woman and I had a terrible time understanding her and she could not transfer me to a person I could understand.

I will pick up Bob at 8:20 and we will go to Independence so I can get my hair done. Also, I had asked Leslie to make a copy of the DVD the Pittsburg, Kansas TV station had sent to Scott and me last Christmastime with the interview the TV station had with Bob and Paul and Carol Fairbank back in 2001 about their experience with their Red Cross deployment to New York after 9/11.  I saw Carol at the beauty shop last week and she told me she and Paul had never seen it. I told her I would ask Leslie to make her a copy and I would bring it to her today. I want to take it over to them while we are in Independence this morning.

After that, Bob and I will eat lunch at Great China.

More later...

After I got my hair done we took Bob's jeans over to the laundry and then went out to Paul and Carol's to deliver that DVD. She was so thrilled! I texted Leslie about it. Then we went and looked around at Goody's to kill some time until the Great China opened.

We also went to Walmart to get some small Kleenex for the pews at church and some small paper cups for the coffee.  

Then we ate at Great China. I $1.50 was short of cash for my lunch so I gave Bob the $6.81 I had and he paid the rest of my lunch.

We stopped by the church to put away what we had bought for the church and then I took him home and came home myself.  I need to go by the bank and get some more money before Thursday when I go to lunch with Gay at Cherryvale.  Thursday Bob has an appointment at Toyota in Independence to have his oil changed and also pick up his jeans at the laundry so he will be on his own for lunch on Thursday .

More later...

Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday and Exercises

I slept well until 3:00AM, when I got up to go to the bathroom. Then my sinus's starting draining and I could not get back to sleep. Finally at 4:00, I just got up. No sense just lying there drowning in my own juices.

Today I will go to exercise class and since Kay lost her husband on Thursday, I will be leading it. I really don't like doing that but I was asked to do it so I told Delores, I would.  Karan is still in her physical therapy for her knee surgery and may be for several more weeks..depending on her progress.  She would ordinarily do the leading.

Today we will have a hamburger dish for lunch. I will have garlic toast with it since it is pasta and also green beans and Bob's salad. I still have Apple Brown Betty for dessert.  It should be an easy lunch.

Today my Blue Cross/Blue Shield supplement comes out of the bank. Also the Cox Cable bill comes out. That will leave me short for the rent as my social security doesn't come in until the 13th this month. The boys may save me from having to raid my savings again. In September I hope to get my passport. That will be $ least.

More later....

I paid my cable bill on the phone but it hasn't shown up  in my bank account yet. It may be tomorrow before it does.

More even later....Bob is here. He brought Denise, his daughter, with him. She had evidently been visiting with him when I called and told him lunch was ready.

I started a new book after they left. It's "The Great Spiritual Migration" by Brian McClaren.  Interesting....

Then Missy and I took a nap.

Bob stayed until 6:00 and watched the news. When he left I took my bath and laid down on the sofa with Missy and we watched "You've Got Mail", one of my favorite chick flicks.  I've seen it several times but always enjoy it. I had taken an antihistamine  earlier in the day to combat my drowning in my own juices and sneezing.  Then since I had taken a nap and I decided to stay up later to see if I would sleep better. 

Missy and I went to bed at 10:00.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday and Church

I slept well last night and did not need anything. I lay that to reading a real book before bedtime...they do not have the blue light that TV, computers and cell phones have that disturb sleep.

I got up at my usual time and fed Missy and myself before starting my coffeecake for the Church School class.

I left to pick up Bob and Phyllis at 8:50. After Church School class, we had church. I am not too impressed with out speaker but we did have a good attendance. My neighbors did come again. I think that it has been over a month that they have attended regularly now.

Afterward Rick and Carmen went on to his office to work and the rest of the congregation went to a Mexican restaurant in Independence for lunch. Phyllis and Bob and myself went to "Just Us" in Cherryvale. I am not wild about Mexican food. "Just Us" has regular home cooked style food. ...and pie and ice cream. All that for just $10.00.

When I got home I did my newsletters for the congregation and got them out on the mailbox for the mailman tomorrow. And after that I sliced and cored six apples for my Apple Brown Betty for this evening's Living the Questions group here. I will serve vanilla ice cream with it.  It's out of the oven and cooling now.

More later...Now I have to prepare the bulletin for next Sunday.

I got the bulletin done and Bob came and we watched part of 60 Minutes before I went to pick up Gary for the group meeting.

Six came and that was fine. We had a good discussion and then we had our dessert. They all seemed to enjoy that. They all left by 8:45.  Mona and Richard took Gary home. After they left I took my bath and Missy and I will watch some TV before I go on to bed. I need to wind down.