Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Yesterday was a busy day for me. I didn't do very much really (compared to what most people do) but for someone like me who doesn't usually have a lot of things to do, it was a busy day. The morning was dedicated to this blog. After posting it I took all the laundry back to church. Hung up the gowns and stashed the towels in the cabinet. Then on to the baptistery. I forced the remaining water down the drain and then used a towel to wipe it out. Replacing the cover was beyond my ability (too heavy) so I went looking for someone with muscle. I ran into the exterminator on my way and thought about asking him to help me but decided against it, so I led him safely through our convoluted church to the front desk. None of the guys were around to help me so I walked back into the sanctuary and tried to figure out a way to replace the cover by myself. Nothing doing. I was able to get the small piece in place with great effort but I couldn't even budge either of the two big pieces so I wasn't sure what to do. I finally said, "Lord, if You want this cover back on the baptistery, You're going to have to find me some help." Then I heard construction-type noises and followed the sound down the hall, through two doors, and into the oldest part of the church and sure enough there was Gordy. I was able to snag him to help me with the cover pieces. I guess I didn't actually help all that much. He insisted on carrying them all by himself. All I had to do was guide the pieces into place. It took me a little over an hour to get everything done, which was pretty good timing, I thought. It was the first time I'd had that responsibility and with the help of the Lord and Gordy, I got it done. I felt good.

Then I had a Lay Pastors meeting last night. We did a Bible study on the 23rd Psalm, looking at aspects of pastoral care. In this Psalm the writer talks about the Shepherd (Jesus) and what He does for us. As modern day shepherds or lay pastors, we are extensions of His care. What the Lord does for all of us, we allow Him to do through us. With our "flocks," we are literally His hands and feet and mouth. According to this Psalm, we provide personal care, abundant provisions, a sense of renewal, guidance, assurance, fellowship, blessings and more. If we make ourselves available, the Lord will use us in many ways. And that's true for every believer, not just lay pastors. Each and every one of us is God's worker and it pleases Him when we are willing to be used in any way He chooses. We are all "commissioned" to serve the Lord.

A few days ago I talked about how important our families are and how spiritual things are more valuable than computers or any other material possession. I found a quote yesterday from Charles F. Stanley I thought I'd share. He wrote: "...the best things in life cannot be purchased ... love, family, friendship, quietness, peace, tranquility, and contentment. The good things in life are not for sale. They have already been bought with a price far too great for us to pay, but not too great for God's Son. His death on the cross not only paid for our sins; it also purchased for us the right to enjoy every moment God gives." I just thought that kind of went along the lines of what I had been talking about. Family is so important as are so many things that we can't put our hands on. If we can reach out and touch something (other than another person) it should be of lesser importance to us. The Old Gulch fire could have destroyed my home and everything in it. Luckily it didn't. But I had to be willing to let it all go if that's what it came down to. Nothing ... not homes, not cars, not furnishings, not toys ... nothing material is of any real importance. And if the Lord blesses us with these things we should do what my daily verse said this morning: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all. ..." (Phil. 4:4-5) That gentleness comes when we fully understand that everything we own is a temporary blessing from God to be enjoyed but not clung to. We must always be willing to give up any or all of it. That's why spiritual possessions are to be sought after. They are eternal blessings that will transcend this life. So enjoy your material possessions and rejoice when God blesses you with them, but always seek after spiritual things and you'll have many reasons to "rejoice in the Lord always!!"

I just took a break and made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I haven't had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in years! But for some strange reason I started craving one. I'm not much of a milk drinker. I can't remember the last drink of milk I had but it was probably the last time I had a pb&j sandwich because they go so well together. I can tolerate milk only if it's ice cold so when I'm having a pb&j sandwich I always pour a small glass of milk over ice to make sure it's really cold! What in the world made me want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich???

I can see my hummingbird feeder from my computer desk and I see they've got it half empty again. But this time around it seems to be taking them a little longer to drink up the nectar which is good because I'm low on it. I'll pick up another box when we go do our shopping on Friday.

I'm running late with my blog today. Sorry. I didn't started as early as I should have and usually do. There was a live "Breaking News" report on TV about a bridge collapse and I sat and watched them extricate the truck driver from his vehicle. With my background, I'm always interested in rescues and disasters and calamities. Makes me long for the good old days.

Sorry today is kind of boring. I had something else in mind to write about but for some reason I never quite got around to it. Maybe tomorrow. I guess I will close off for today. I've got a kitchen floor that needs mopping and I promised it I would mop it today so I think I'll post this blog and get busy. Please be sure to leave me a comment if you want to do so. I love getting them. Let me know what you like and dislike about my blog. One of these days maybe I'll get some pictures up for you to see. I'll have to have my daughter-in-law come over and show me again how to do that. But even she's not sure she'll be able to figure out how to get them into my blog. She showed me how to do it into my email program and instant messenger but I've forgotten how we did it. Next time I'll write the steps down because when it's something I don't do all the time it's hard for me to remember how to do it. Anyway, hopefully someday soon I'll have pictures on my blog. I'll try to do better with tomorrow's blog; make it more interesting or try anyway. Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 30, 2007

I've Been Thinking

We had a nice weekend at my house. We didn't do anything special or go any place special. We just stayed around home and piddled. I washed my car Saturday for the 3rd week in a row and then did our laundry! So far so good on my routines I've established. But I can't help but wonder how long it will all last. I'm not known for sticking to routines. So it's just a waiting game to see how long I'll stick with them this time. But I'll tell you, it's nice to drive around in a clean car for a change. And it's nice to have my chores done each day so if anyone were to drop by, the house and I would be presentable. Not that we ever have people drop by. As I've said before, there's freedom in discipline.

Our internet server was down for most of Saturday and was only working sporadically on Sunday. Comcast had the TV cable messed up for hours on Sunday, too. So that was a little bit of a bummer but it gave us the chance to concentrate on just being home together without too many interruptions. We've had problems with our internet server for about a week now and I'm beginning to wonder if it has anything to do with the heat. We reached a high of 108 on our deck on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday felt a bit cooler but when I checked to record the highs and lows, it was the same except for a couple .10s both days.

The sermon on Sunday was really good. It was all about how God has done it all for me. He reconciled me to Himself! All I have to do is accept the free gift of grace and allow Him to live His life through me. I must relinquish my life to Him for Him to use as he sees fit. That's the catch. That's the difficult part. To live my life all day, every day, totally submitted to His will for me goes against my grain. My "inner man" cries out, "But what about me? What about what I want to do?" And when those questions flare up in my mind, I must determine to submit my will to His will and I must do it each and every time. Do I always succeed? No, I don't. I would love to say yes, but I wouldn't be telling the truth. It's a difficult thing to do; to live in total submission at all times. But it's what I strive for: A life totally submitted to my Lord every minute of my day. Will I ever be completely successful? Not in this life. But always I try.

We had 3 baptisms after church yesterday and part of my deacon duties is to help with baptisms so I got home late from church. I had laundry duty, so the trunk of my car was filled with soaking-wet gowns and tons of wet towels. Because I knew they'd sour in the heat, I started washing them as soon as I got home yesterday afternoon. And it took me all afternoon! I was surprised it took me so long. I hung the gowns and towels up outside for about 30 minutes to take some of the moisture out of them before I put them in my dryer. (I always do that with heavy things like levis and blankets and towels. It's easier on my dryer and also saves on my energy bill.) I'll take them back after I finish this blog and wash out the baptismal pool and replace the cover so no one accidentally falls into it and breaks a leg or something. I love baptisms. It's so much fun to watch someone dedicate their life to God. They come up out of the water with a smile on their face and tears in their eyes. It's hard not to tear up myself. It's such a joy just to watch!

My daily Bible verse for today was Matt. 7:7-8. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. ..." In the Greek of the New Testament this actually reads, "Keep on asking...keep on seeking...keep on knocking..." It's not enough that we ask, seek, and knock, we must continue to ask and seek and knock. Why? Because "For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

I did a little reading about prayer yesterday while the TV cable was out (I guess it's nice to lose the cable for awhile occasionally) and came up with some thoughts I'd like to share. I thought about the reason we pray in the first place. We pray for many reasons but the primary reason is (or should be) to enter into God's reality. Sure we ask for things, but the real reason for prayer is to put us into a relationship with God and His life, His reality. And entering into that relationship where we can be intimate with our heavenly Father is one of the most rewarding parts of the Christian life. It's that association with Him that leads us into prayer. Prayer is far more than just asking for things. It's a time for communion with our Lord. Augustine wrote: "When you think of getting everything you want in life but never seeing God, the chill that you feel in your heart is your love for God Himself." As God's children we pray to know Him better. Prayer isn't really about getting more from God; it's about getting more of God. Relational prayer -- speaking with God as we would with a spouse or friend for the purpose of building our relationship -- must become central to our prayer lives, nudging aside petitionary prayer into an honored but secondary place. When we're talking with God we should have one main purpose in mind: to know Him better, to sense His presence, to enjoy his company, and to hear His voice. One thing we should strive for in our prayers is being real with God. We need to know where we are before we can try to get to where we want to be.

I have a note taped inside my Bible. I have no idea where I got it or who wrote it, but I keep it there to remind myself to be real with God when I pray. The note reads: "If you have a problem, don't hide it from God or from yourself. Tell Him about it. Don't put on a pious act and try to smooth it over. If you are angry with God, say so. If you are upset about something that He has done, tell Him so. If you are resentful, bring it out in the open and resolve it. If you are happy and glad, express your joy and praise to Him. That is what worship and prayer is all about -- the honest expression of your heart to God. If you can be honest before God -- even with all your moods, sins, failures, pain, and questioning -- you will find grace to meet all your needs."

Prayer is such an important aspect in the Christian life. I hope these thoughts have helped you with yours. Don't be afraid of prayer and don't think you have to come before Him in a certain, religious way. God just wants to talk with us. He wants us to share our lives with Him. All of our lives. Not just the good parts but the bad parts too. So the next time you feel like praying, remember you are entering into His reality in your reality. Be real with God. Get to know Him and let Him get to know you. That's what He desires and you should too.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Just Another Day

I did get my housework all done yesterday and managed to do it unto the Lord. It was as if I were cleaning His house. Things look better now and I feel better knowing it's done. I even thought to vacuum under the refrigerator. I try to do that around the 1st of every month and I decided it was close enough yesterday. If I don't vacuum regularly under there the animal hair builds up and I don't like that to happen. I know my fridge runs smoother and better if I keep those coils clean. I suppose I should pull it out from the wall and vacuum the back too but it wasn't too long ago when our waterline to the ice maker cracked and we had to pull it out to replace the plastic piping. I vacuumed the back then and I was surprised to find it wasn't all that bad considering how long it had been. So I figure if I don't do that very often it'll still be okay.

I woke up earlier than usual and thought to water my bushes out front. It's too hot around that area for much of anything to grow but we do have some junipers and a couple other super hardy bushes. I've tried planting flowers out there but they just end up dying in the heat of summer. We hit 105 on our deck again yesterday. It wasn't that hot down in our yard under the tree. But we don't live down in the yard under the tree. The 105 degree temp is what slams against our house from the vacant lot next door. It's also 105 when you open our front door. So I usually go by the temp reading on the deck. The sensor stays in the shade at all times so it gives us a fairly righteous reading of what we live with. But it got pretty cool last night so I slept well, thank goodness.

There's not much happening around here today. I have no plans to go anywhere or do anything. Michael needs to drive to the next town and pick up a prescription this afternoon but I decided not to go with him because of the heat. There are few things I hate worse than sweating and since our air conditioner isn't working in our car, sweat just comes with the territory. So I'll stay home and enjoy the quiet. Besides, Pepper gets lonely when we both go away. He's very attached to us.

My Bible verse this morning was Isa. 40:8. "The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of our God stands forever." I never seem to be content with the time I spend in Scripture. I always want more and yet it takes discipline. I've been going through the book of Revelation for the past 6 months or so. But the heavy symbolism takes its toll on me and so I only get a little done and then I find I have to take a break from it. I puzzle over Revelation. It had to have made some sense to the first century Christians. And very little of it makes sense to me. By far, most of it is way over my head. I don't want to go through it using any kinds of aids or commentaries. I want the Holy Spirit to teach me this time. I've been through it before using study aids. But this time I thought I'd like to do it with just the Spirit and me. No other voices. So far I'm mostly just trying to figure out who's talking and then jotting that into the margin. I'll go back through again and pay more attention to the writing itself. I guess there is no easy way to study Revelation. But I try to find some time to get into the Word every day, even if it's just for a few verses, because I know God speaks to me through Scripture. That's one of the ways He reveals Himself to me. I know that in this ever-changing world, the Word stands forever. When I first became a Christian I poured over Scripture for hours at a time, day after day. It seemed there were endless things to learn and I was so curious about everything. I've read the New Testament probably 20 times since then and every time I go through it I learn something more. But in recent years what I learn aren't just facts and names and places. There's a more casual sense of deeper understanding. I am much better now at taking Scripture and applying it to my life. It's in the application where we find fulfillment and understanding. Everything else in life is perishable, but the Word of God stands forever. So I try to discipline myself to open it every day. Sometimes I get busy and forget. Sometimes I remember. But always I try.

Two months I had my hairstylist cut my hair really short and I just love it. I'd always worn longer hair to hide my hearing aids since I started wearing them. But a couple months ago I just decided that people could stare at my aids if they wanted to but, by golly, I was going to wear it short again. It's so much easier to take care of now and everyone tells me I look younger in short hair. (That alone is enough to get me to keep it short, LOL!) I'm still two weeks away from a cut and the back is getting too long for me so I'm thinking about having her use the shears (clippers) in the back around the bottom next time. To go even shorter. On Sundays I blow it dry and style it with a round brush. But during the week I just wash it, goop it, and finger style it. Then when it's dry, I comb it, fluff it, and spray it. It's wonderful!!! I wish I had the nerve to get it cut in a long-ish butch because I've seen women wearing their hair that way and they look surprisingly good. But so far I haven't mustarded up that kind of bravery. But I may some day. Who knows?!

Just stepped outside to clear my head and, ugh!, it's going to be hot again. A rain would be nice. We haven't had a measurable rain in a long time. That's one thing about our summers here, they're usually quite dry. I'd love to have a storm once in awhile. But then we'd have to worry about lightning in the high country starting a forest fire so I guess it's good that we don't get the rain. One nice thing about living in the Colorado Rocky mountains was it rained just about every afternoon. I used to love that. We always woke up to a gloriously clear day, but then in the afternoons it would cloud up and rain for about an hour and then clear up again. It was wonderful. It kept the temperatures down and the dust washed off all the trees and bushes. I loved it. Of course we had a bolt of lightning strike the mountain above our house and it peppered our deck with rocks and sticks, but it was so exciting. What an adventure we had, moving to Colorado for a couple years. The moves were difficult but the adventure was great.

Tomorrow is Saturday. That means it's almost time to wash the car again. Washing the car every Saturday is another new discipline I've added to my life. I finally decided it wasn't going to wash itself and if I wanted it clean, then I was going to have to wash it every week myself. It would be nice to just run it through the carwash every week but we don't have a carwash here in town and I wouldn't spend the money to have it washed anyway. With Michael on Social Security and me on Disability we have to be careful what we spend our money on. It's really been hard the last year or two because the cost of everything has gone up so sharply but our income level hasn't changed. Oh well, being poor keeps me humble. It opens my eyes to see the difference between "wants" and "needs." The Lord will supply me with all my needs. He didn't say anything about my wants. Paul said, "I have learned to be content in all things..." The operative word there is "learned." Yes, it's a learning process and I'm learning, I'm learning! LOL

Well, it's noon and I don't have this blog posted yet so I need to do that. I don't know for sure but I probably won't blog on weekends. I'll tell you all about my weekends on Mondays. Probably. Have a terrific end of your week and stay close to the Lord.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Little of This, a Little of That

My morning chores are done and I'm free to blog. I noticed yesterday I forgot to put a title on my blog but I had fewer typos so I don't feel too bad. I tried to use the spell checker but I couldn't quite figure it out. Once it stopped on a misspelled word and I fixed it, I couldn't get it to continue. But, have no fear, I will keep working at it until I figure it all out. I don't have a spell checker on my email program so I'm not used to working with one. [Note: I just successfully used the spell checker. Yea! I didn't have any misspelled words either. But then that's not usually my problem. My problem is I quite often use the wrong word!]

Michael had trouble falling asleep last night so he slept in this morning. I actually woke up a little earlier than usual. I tried to create a set bedtime for me (hoping to create a set wake up time) but how do you make yourself fall asleep at a certain time? Or wake up at a certain time? I tried for two weeks and finally just gave up. I didn't have too much trouble last night. I was really tired for some reason. I have an alarm clock for the deaf that has a shaker I put under my pillow but that's such a rude way to wake up.

I did some reading yesterday and found a couple things I thought I'd share. Mart De Haan wrote in Been Thinking About, "According to Paul, knowing we are loved is as important to our well-being as it is for an oak or cedar to have a healthy root system. If we aren't well-grounded in the love of God, we are apt to be like a shallow-rooted tree that dries up in the heat or blows over in the wind." That's so true. We need to always ponder the love of God in our hearts and minds because it's the knowledge of that love that's going to get us through the rough patches in life. I mean, if we know ... really, really know ... that God loves us, we can make it through anything this world can throw at us. We can't just think that God loves us or hope that He does, we have to KNOW He loves us. And this knowing is the same type of knowing that we have when we know that He exists. We have no doubts that God lives and we must have no doubts that He loves us!

Karen Barber wrote, "Prayer is the antidote to the poison of fear and worry." I really like that, don't you? Prayer is the antidote to the poison of fear and worry. We need to think of fear and worry as things that poison our lives. I know that most of us find it impossible to rid ourselves of all fear and worry but we needn't feel helpless. There is an antidote. Prayer. Scripture says to pray constantly which means to be in an attitude of prayer at all times. Everything we say and everything we think and do can be done as if it were a prayer to our heavenly Father. That's what Brother Thomas did with in his kitchen duties. He lived his life as a prayer. Prayer is the antidote to fear and worry.

I just took a break and stepped out onto the deck to survey the day. It's a beautiful day here. There's just a slight haze between us and Hogback mountain. It's not quite a clear day, but it's really close. Traffic is quite heavy on our little cul-de-sac this morning. They're grading the hillside at the end of our street in preparation for some more duplexes. Most of the time we don't hear the bulldozers but today they seem extra loud for some reason. But I have the door open this morning so that's probably why I can hear them so well today. The water truck and workers keep going back and forth past the house. It will be interesting to see how busy our little street gets once those duplexes are built and rented. I have my fingers crossed that it won't be too, too bad.

I hope we're not as hot today. We got to 105 in the shade on our deck yesterday. It was quite uncomfortable yesterday afternoon. It's late morning now and we're still in the 80s out there so maybe it won't get as hot today. I don't particularly like summer. The heat and I don't agree with each other. I enjoy winter and love spring and fall. But I know all the crops that are grown here in California need the hot summers to be productive so it's really a blessing from God. Michael and I are weather freaks. We love weather and have our little weather station. I record the high and low on the calendar everyday. A couple of our electronic sensors have died on us recently so we're down to just temperatures and humidity and rain gauge now though. We'd love to have a full weather station with wind speed and everything. We would have made great storm chasers in our younger days. I love everything about weather. Storms are so much fun for me. They're exciting! We've seen some amazing lightning. While driving through Steamboats Springs we saw a bolt strike the mountainside and turn into flaming balls that rolled and bounced their way down the mountain and disappeared. Then a few years ago we saw a lightning bolt simply dissolve into something like dust that just twinkled down to the ground. I'm not making this up. We stood on our front porch and watched that bolt turn into "twinkle dust" and fall to the ground like a 4th of July firework display. It was absolutely amazing!!

I went to the Post Office yesterday. We don't have delivery in our town so we have a Post Office box and have to drive to get our mail. I usually do that on Wednesdays and Fridays. On my way back, I stopped at the little "Stop and Go" (or whatever it's called), and when I walked in the door the clerks called out, "The Sugar Daddy Lady!" I confess, I'm known all over town as the Sugar Daddy Lady. I have a weakness, what can I say? But in my defense I have to tell you that I don't particularly like chocolate and just about every other kind of candy has chocolate on it. So I eat Sugar Daddies. I think it's funny. Imagine someone my age liking Sugar Daddies! But they are soooooooo good!

Punkie, our orange tabby, is upside down on the footstool with her arms (I know they're really legs but I call the front ones arms) up in the air like bloated roadkill. Isn't it amazing how cats can always look comfortable? Even when they're upside down with their arms up in the air. And sometimes they'll sleep with just their heads upside down. I don't know how they do that. I just wish sometimes I could feel as comfortable as they always look. I've never seen a cat look uncomfortable. Never.

I need to buckle down and do some housework this afternoon. My carpets need to be vacuumed and the baths need scouring and I want to bleach my counters in the kitchen. We drink a lot of iced tea in this house and if we spill any on the counters, it stains them. So I have to get in there and bleach them fairly often or they just look horrible. Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to do housework? If it would just clean itself? I don't know about you, but I think I would still find something to complain about. What was I saying about Brother Thomas? Whether I enjoy it or not I will vacuum my floors and clean my baths unto the Lord! My life is a prayer. Now if I could just remember that. LOL

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I woke up to the wonderful smell of hot cinnamon this morning! Michael had one of his famous cinnamon/pecan coffee cakes in the oven and boy! did my mouth water. I am blessed with a man who likes to cook and I thank God for him every day. It was delicious and a wonderful way to start my morning. And I managed to stay with just one piece, too. That was hard because it was so good.

Yesterday I commented that I thought my blogging was going to need to be regulated and I laid in bed last night thinking about that. So what I have decided is that I can't start my blog until I have my morning chores done. It was interesting that Franci (http://skatemama.blogspot.com) talked about discipline this morning in her blog because that was one of the things I thought I wanted to write about. Because I don't work I have no real schedule and I had gotten into the bad habit of just "going with the flow" every day. Not really doing anything during the day except sit on the couch and watch a lot of TV (which I don't even like). So about 2 months ago I decided things had to change. I established evening chores for myself. Just a short list of things I must do every night before going to bed, without fail. Then I added a short list of morning chores too. So far things have been working great. But then I started to blog. Yeah. My morning chores got pushed off until sometime in the afternoon and I wasn't happy. So last night I decided that I couldn't work on my blog until all my morning chores were done. This is the first morning I've done that and it worked out fine. I'm sitting here not feeling guilty because I don't have my bed made, not dressed, kitchen a mess, etc., etc. It's a wonderful feeling having everything done and knowing it while I blog. There is freedom in discipline. We don't tend to think of discipline like that but it is a positive thing, not a negative one. When discipline comes around we need to open our arms wide and accept it as something constructive even though it is sometimes painful. And anytime discipline shapes our lives into honoring God it is a joy to experience. As Paul wrote, "Consider it all joy..."

I will usually be writing my blog in the late mornings so you might want to check me out sometime in the afternoon. I'm a late-ish sleeper so by the time I get all my chores done and I'm free to blog, it's going to be late morning, I can guarantee it. Please feel free to share my blogspot with anyone you think would enjoy reading it. I know it's sometimes going to be boring but I will do my best to keep that at a minimum. Like today. I have the feeling today will be boring. But then my life is sometimes boring just like everyone else's. Life isn't just about all the fun and interesting things we do. Most of the time it's just about getting through the daily bumps and grinds and the occasional speed bumps God puts up to keep our eyes focused on Him. God wants us to have life in abundance and as strange as it may sound, bumps and grinds and discipline are all part of the abundant life He promises us in John 10:10.

Well, Ken's computer did crash after all, or that's the last word I've heard on it. He was able to get up and online last night but I guess he lost everything. Major tragedy in that household. It's like a death in the family. I wish there weren't disappointments in life but as long as we live in a fallen world we're going to have problems and trials of every kind. Tamara came over and taught me a lot of stuff on the computer yesterday (I think she needed to get out of the house atmosphere for a little while LOL) and we discovered that I do have the capability on my computer to do photos. So one of these days I will have Michael scan some pictures into his computer and send them to me so I can put them in my blog. But that will be awhile because I'll have to take a few pictures first. I haven't used my camera in years! I always enjoyed photography but for some reason I let is slip by the wayside. Why do we do things like that? I don't have a clue, do you?

My Bible verse this morning was 1Th. 5:21-22. "Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." Boy! is that ever good advice! "Test everything..." I test everything against what I know the Bible says. What do I test? Everything. And that gets me right back to discipline. Everything about my life should be God-honoring and that includes my morning and evening chores. This may sound dumb but it's the way things are in my life as a Christian. I want to honor God in my thinking, my actions, my speech, yes, my entire life. Everything about my life should honor God. And that is what I strive for. I don't always reach that level but it's what I shoot for all the time. And then there are those times when I do/say/think something that isn't God-honoring and I know it isn't but I do it anyway!! That's when I fall back onto Jesus and say, "I'm sorry. Thank you for your life. Please live through me." Discipline. It's all about discipline.

Well I see the hummers have finished off the nectar in their feeder. That's something akin to an emergency so I'm going to go take care of that right now. Be right back. There, that didn't take long. (For some reason my delete button just stopped working. If it isn't one things it's a dozen others!) I noticed the feeder was low yesterday. When I cleaned the feeder I found a tiny little feather stuck to one of the flowers. I hadn't thought about how small their feathers are. Put that feather against one from a red-tailed hawk. What a difference!! Wow, nature just blows me away sometimes. You know back in '89 we had a forest fire come our way when we were living in Arnold and we had to evacuate our home in record time. I think they gave us something like an hour to get packed up and out of there. But I can remember checking to make sure the hummingbird feeders were full before we left. Funny thing to think of, huh? Here I was, leaving with no idea if we were going to have a house to come home to and I'm worried about the hummers. We didn't lose our home. Some neighbors down the Hwy lost their's but our little group of homes was spared. We had lots of burned sticks and branches on our deck and heavy ash everywhere, but we had a home. Which, by the way, we lost a year or so down the line but that's another story for another time.

My dog, Pepper, has adopted the empty chair lately. He's an overweight Chihuahua (did I spell that right? I can never remember if its "ua, ua" or "au, au" but it looks right), white with black spots and spoiled absolutely rotten. But he gives us so much joy. He's such a fun dog to have. I mean, we really have fun with him! He does so many cute things. But he doesn't like other people so we usually have to put him in the bedroom when people come over. He's a pill about that. He's really such a good dog but nobody else gets to see that. All they see and hear is the snarling part.

Okay, I told you about my dog, let me tell you about my cats. I have 7, that's right, 7. Five inside and two outside. And they are all spayed and neutered. The outside cats are Moody and Mama. The inside cats are Mario, a black and white Italian cat; Mulder, our tall 25-pound cougar (not really, he just looks like one); Hissy, Mulder's sister who happens to be a bit squirrelly and lives primarily in our bedroom by choice; Pretty, my black cat with turquoise eyes; and Punkie, our orange tabby. We love our animals. They're our babies since we don't have any children living at home. They add so much goodness to our lives. I think most people can identify with that.

I think that's about it for my blog today. Thanks for taking the time to read it. Be sure to add your comments at the end. I'd love to hear from you. If I get boring let me know because I won't know if you don't tell me. Just take a second and let me know what you think. Bye!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Day Two

I will get more creative with my titles I promise. Blogging is new to me and I'm not used to thinking creatively. LOL. I was lying in bed last night trying to go to sleep and thinking about blogging of all things. And I'm still wondering if I have enough to say to be a successful blogger. I guess you'll be the judge of that for me. But I thought of Watchman Nee. Anyone familiar with him? He's an old Christian writer. I can't remember exactly when he was writing but it seems like it was back in the '20s. But I could be wrong. Anyway, he wrote that the characters used to translate Holy Spirit into Chinese are literally "Resident Boss." Isn't that great! Yeah, He's our Comforter and Teacher, but He's also our resident boss and we need to listen to Him and let Him take us through our day. I just thought I'd share that with you because I think it's so neat.

We had a really warm night last night. Our low was 71.8 degrees! That's hot for us! I think that's why I had trouble falling asleep. Our temperatures here during the day are usually just a few degrees higher than what Sacramento has but we usually cool down to a lower low than they have at night. We love the cool nights. I sleep so much better when it's cool. In fact the colder the better. We keep our bedroom window wide open year around. It gets pretty cold in there in the winter but I sleep better and better the colder it gets. I just shove those covers up around my neck and breathe all that wonderful fresh cold air. We also keep fans in our bedroom window that's right over my head. We can set them to exhaust (we use this when a skunk's in the neighborhood!) or to intake. And at night they're always on intake. It's still warm today even though we have overcast skies. And it's humid so we just have our swamp cooler set on air instead of adding more moisture to the air. I'd die if I lived somewhere where it got humid all the time. It just sucks the breath right out of me. I never cease to be thankful for where I live!

Let me tell you a little about myself. I done a lot of things in my life. The low point in my life was when I was sewing belt loops on Penney's levis. Talk about your sweat shops! I've also been a proofreader/editor at a textbook publishing house, a paramedic in Colorado, an EMT here in California, a newpaper reporter, a sherrif's 9-1-1 operator, and various other things. My favorite job was working on an ambulance. Oh, my gosh, it was so much fun! It was sad too, but the fun really outweighed any sadness. One Halloween we rode through the steets with out lights out, making howling noises over the PA system. Just dumb stuff. But it can be a lot of fun to do dumb things. We drove by a man urinating behind his car once in Colorado. I reached over and picked up the mic and said, "If that's all I had, I'd hide behind a car too!" Gary, my driver, couldn't believe I actually said that. But, hey, I couldn't believe I actually said it either. But you know I think we did all that clowning around because we had to because our work was really serious stuff. We handled everything from car wrecks, to electrocutions, to gunshot wounds, to overdoses, to hangings. You have to be very professional when you're handling stuff like that and play relieves the tension. I don't think I could have done that without the fun parts. We developed "gallow's humor" to get us through our job. I got beat up in the back of my ambulance once. That wasn't much fun. But it kind of comes with the territory, especially when you have people who have been drinking as that guy had been. But I have to say it was, by far, the most rewarding and fun job I've ever had.

Well, Tamara, my daughter-in-law, hasn't made it over yet. She got so busy yesterday that the day got away from her. So her email this morning said she'd be over about 11:00ish today but she called and my son's computer had crashed (which is like the end of the world to him) and they'd had a really bad morning. So now she'll be over this afternoon. I'm just so computer illiterate! I don't know how to do anything. Thank goodness I have someone willing to share her knowledge with me. Oh, and Ken's (my son) computer is back up now so I guess everything's okay over there. But it truly is like the end of the world when anything happens to his computer. It breaks my heart to see that. Nothing we have should be that important to us except for our family. Everything in this life is temporary and tenuous and we can enjoy it while we have it but we need to always be ready to let it go at the same time. I know what I'm saying is hard to take and difficult to do. But I've lost so much in my life I've had to learn the hard way to take things as they come and never get too attached to something I can put my hands on. It's the love of God and family that are the important things. In this life, family is everything. Or it should be.

I'm sorry if today has been boring. Looking back over what I've written it looks boring to me. I will do better (I think!) At least I will try to do better. My Bible verse for today was 2Tim. 2:15 about doing my best to present myself to God as one approved. Good advice. If I live my life in such a way that I'm always standing before God approved, I can't go wrong. And I can do that because Jesus Christ is approved and He is my life. Scripture says that, "it is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me." So if I allow Christ to live and love through me, I will always be approved before God. Does that make sense? I hope so because it's the truth. He is my life and therefore I am no longer condemned as a guilty sinner. That's why the gospel is such "Good News." God reconciled us to Himself through Christ. He did it all!

I just took a break and stepped outside for a few minutes. It is so beautiful here. From my deck I can look across town to Hogback Mountain on the other side and all the trees are green and full. A million shades of green! Housed peek out between the tree and the flag is flying at full mast today at the bank downtown. Our cloud cover is beginning to lift and beautiful blue sky is showing through. It's 90 degrees out on the deck and there's a nice breeze blowing from the north. I noticed my hummingbird feeder that hangs amidst the windchimes is getting low. They really go through that nectar fast but they are so much fun to watch feed. Once in awhile we'll have a greedy one who'll sit in the tree and chase off any other hummers he sees come near the feeder. Other times we can have 3 or 4 feeding at the same time. In Colorado I had 5 hummers feeding at one time while I was holding the feeder! The California hummers aren't quite that brave. They'll let me walk right up to within 2 feet of the feeder but they'd never feed while I held the feeder. They create quite a noise when there's 5 birds flying around your head.

Well, I have things that need to be done so I need to get off the computer. I can already see that blogging is going to need to be regulated. I can't spend all day blogging! I have other things to do. My responsibilities are God ordained and so I know I have to keep my house presentable and the laundry done, you know, those horrible jobs and chores that keep interrupting our lives? Have a terrific day and enjoy your life!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Just Had to Say Something

I'm so proud of myself, I had to come back on and post my accomplishment!!! Not only did I create my own blog today but I was able to figure out how to get back in and post a second blog (this one)! I know that doesn't sound like a big deal to anyone but it's sure a big deal to me. I can't believe I've actually accomplished something on the computer all by myself!!! Woo Hoo! I feel good! Okay, I need to get back down to earth. Let me take a few deep breaths here.

Lunch is over and my tuna sandwich hit the spot. So now I'll write a little bit about where I live. Calaveras County is located in the central foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Just up the hill from us are places like Alpine Lake and Bear Valley Ski Resort. Beautiful, beautiful country. Our elevation here is about 1200 ft. above sea level which is too low for snow in the winter. Except for last year. Last year we got snow and it was so much fun. We used to live further up the hill and had lots and lots of snow. But we got tired of it and moved to lower ground. Just got tired of shoveling snow to get to the Post Office or anywhere else for days/weeks at a time. So when we do have those rare times and actually get snow, it's fun for us. Not just a lot of work. We are located about 135 miles east of San Francisco and have easy access to camping, hiking, boating, and California's newest wine country. Most of the towns are historic, having been established during the Gold Rush era when tens of thousands of miners and others populated these hills, all looking for that pot of gold. Some made it rich. Most did not. But now I don't think we have more than 30,000 in the entire county. We're like a lot of people. We settled up here after having gone through the fast-paced life of the Bay Area and decided that there just had to be more to life than what we had.

We love living where we live. The life is just a little slower here and we're not always rushing around trying to get things done. I made the decision to leave the Bay Area when in the course of one day I was almost involved in three different wrecks on the freeways of the East Bay hills. Not fun. They were all someone else's wrecks but they almost wiped me out along with them for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We sold our house in Walnut Creek and moved up here in 1986 and opened an Art Gallery in Arnold, California. The gallery didn't last, but we did. This is home to us now and I wouldn't be comfortable any place else. My son and his family live in the same town as we do and my two sisters just live right over the Mokelumne River in Amador County. So this is home. Wish I could post pictures but I don't have that ability as I mentioned in my last blog. You'd love the area. Sometimes it can be frustrating that we don't have many choices when it comes to things like stores and fast-food businesses (we don't have any) but there are always plenty of churches to pick from. I'll say that for the '49ers, they established their churches! I attend a Covenant church and it's only two blocks from my home. Walking distance. If I walked. I used to walk. I walked up to six miles a day. Everyday. But I've since gotten lazy. I'd say old but I know of a lot of "old" people who exercise every single day. To be truthful, I don't know why I quit walking. I enjoyed it. I used the hour I walked every day to pray. It only seemed fitting to do that since I was out in God's beautiful world. It only seemed natural to spend it in communion with Him. I miss that. It was like my daily fix.

I don't work because I am legally disabled. Suffice it to say I have a lot of different physical problems, not least of which is the fact that I'm almost deaf. I wear hearing aids in both ears and still only hear at a 50% level. I lost my hearing in my 30s. Overnight. I was a totally normal hearing person when I went to bed one night and woke up the next morning deaf. And, no, we don't know for sure what caused it. I cling to the hope that one day I will go to bed deaf and wake up a totally normal hearing person. Hey, if it worked one way, maybe it'll work the other way. LOL Seriously, I've made peace with my handicap. I can't use a phone so my computer has become my method of communication. I email everyone (and now I blog!). In fact I pester people with emails! Just ask my family and friends. LOL

Well, I think this is going to be it for my second blog. I mostly just wanted to see if I knew what I was doing and I wanted to share that I'm actually figuring out some things on my computer all by myself. I don't brag often (I don't have a lot to brag about, usually) but I am proud of what I accomplished today. Just managing to face my fears was the greatest thing I did. We too often allow ourselves to be limited by our fears. I know I do. But I guess if we stand firm and face them, they're not as big and as scary as they first appear.

Thanks for reading!

The First Day

Guess what? I just created a blog. I'm not sure how it will work out but I thought I'd give it a try. My address, GodLover, is because I definitely am one and I want this blog to glorify Him. He's an awesome God. I don't have the access on my computer for photos so you may find just text boring. Hope not. My name is Marj and I live in the foothills of Calaveras County in California. Beautiful country. God's country! I'm married to a wonderful man who is a fine arts artist and he paints beautiful pictures of wildlife and local scenery. You may have seen some of his work.

I'm not sure what people talk about on their blogs. I only read one or two and they are terrific! But they have beautiful photos of family members to see and I won't be able to do that for you. I don't "do" a lot of things so I'm not sure how interesting people will find my blog. But I think it gives me the chance to express myself a little bit. Please be sure to let me know if you find something interesting or you have suggestions for me.

I woke up this morning, nervous. About what? I have no idea. Just sort of restless and pacing the floors. I tried to zero in and focus on Scripture but I couldn't sit still long enough to do anything worthwhile. I've been a Christian since 1988 and find it to be the most important thing in my life. So why haven't I prayed about why I'm so nervous and unsettled this morning? Good question. I guess it's because I don't always do as I should do. Ever have that problem? Of course you do. We all do and anyone who says otherwise is just fooling him/herself. But for some reason all this restlessness led me to create my own blogspot. And here I am! If you knew me you'd realize what a major accomplishment that is for me. I have very little experience with computers and to do something by myself is just unheard of. So I'm giving myself a few pats on the back for just being willing to try. I got a little help from my cousin's daughter. I guess that makes her my second cousin? Anyway she told me where to go to create this blog and I, for some brave reason, decided to give it a try. Deciding on what to call myself was the hardest part.
My daughter-in-law is coming over in a little while to help me learn a few things on my computer and she will be blown away by the fact that I got so brave. I know for most of you this is hard to understand, but I am terrified of computers. I'm terrified I'll do something that will crash my computer or totally destroy something extremely important and not have the slightest idea how to even begin to fix it.

I'm much calmer now. I guess I should have done this a lot earlier instead of pacing the floor for several hours. LOL (Lots of laughs or laughing out loud, for nonbloggers.) But I have found that if I hang onto the truth that God is on His throne and I, by His grace, am in His kingdom, I can make it through any kind of day. I don't understand how I made it through life without God for all those years. I was a member of a cult (JW's) for over 13 years and the glorious freedom of the gospel set me free indeed! Just hang onto your faith during stressful or difficult times and He will get you through it. In fact, He'll be right there to go through it with you. It's great to know I'm not alone in this great big world. What's that saying? "Misery loves company!" I guess that's true.

The sermon at my church yesterday was very good. It was about the fact that God is hidden from me in many ways, in that my ability to comprehend Him is so limited. My finite mind just can't wrap itself around His infinite-ness. Is that a word? I made it one. LOL But all that I can grasp of God is what He reveals of Himself to me. And He is eager to reveal more and more. He's just waiting for me to get in the right place (intellectually, emotionally, spiritually) before He does. It's great to know He won't reveal more of Himself than I can grasp at that moment. It would be, I think, too confusing if He did. At least for me. But God reveals himself in many ways. Creation is one of them. How can anyone look at the beauty in this world and not see God?! Mountains, oceans, deserts and sky all shout out His glorious reality if I but stop to look and to really see Him there. He reveals Himself to me in Scripture. And, believe it or not, He reveals Himself to me in the daily bumps and grinds of my life. No matter how complicated or confusing I make my life, He's always there, revealing Himself to me. My job, so to speak, is to be receptive to Him. He does speak to me. Oh, not in an audible voice, although I guess He could do that if He wanted to, but He never has as yet. It's in the "still, small voice" in my spirit where the communication takes place. And when that happens, if I keep myself tuned to His frequency, so to speak, I hear Him. The thing is, sometimes He says things I don't like to hear. Like that I behave selfishly most of the time. I tend to think of myself as more important than I am. I forget to love others with self-scarificing abandon. And on and on He talks to me. But don't think for a moment that He's always negative. He is the most glorious expression of love and enjoyment. God enjoys me. I am His child and He loves and enjoys just spending time with me. Isn't He awesome?! Just think of this amazing truth: God desires a close, personal relationship with me. And He does with you too. That's the amazing part. God loves and desires us before we love and desire Him. And He does so more abundantly!

Well, I think I'll end my blog for now. I don't know how often I will blog. I may blog several times on some days and only once or twice on other days. Who knows? I may even skip a day now and then. But I will try to blog regularly. It's after lunch time and I haven't eaten anything all day so I think I'll go make myself a tuna sandwich. I make my tuna sandwich mixture with everything but the kitchen sink. I put onions, eggs, celery, olives, shredded carrots, pickle relish and I've even thrown in grapes before. It's very good, really! You can put just about anything into tuna and it will taste good. It takes me a long time to get it all together so I usually make several cans up at a time and then we can eat on it for days. Saves time in the long run. My hubby doesn't mind sandwiches at all. We've been known to have them as our dinner (our main meal). Especially on really hot days. Who wants to heat up the kitchen when it's 105 or 108 outside? Not me. I always try to have a salad made up and in the refrigerator too. We like 3-bean, macaroni, and potato salads. And cold fruit. So on those really hot days we'll have a sandwich, salad, chips, fresh fruit, cookies and iced tea. Works for us.