Monday, September 22, 2008

September 22, 2008

Well, this isn't going to be much of a post but I had a praise that I simply have to get out before my computer/monitor goes out. My son finally came to the end of himself Sunday, yesterday. Pastor was giving the sermon Sunday and someone walked right up to my pew. I glanced up and it was my son. He surprised me by coming for our Christmas Eve celebration last year but hadn't been back. I moved my legs so that he could sit down and I grabbed his hand. He is totally broken. He's never not worked. He's never been fired. He's never done anything except get rave reviews from all his employers. And these people just dump him without explaining why (they said they didn't need a reason). After a little while my daughter-in-law came into the pew from the outside aisle. They had missed about half the sermon and the last half of the sermon was just the sermon he needed. I mean, it was as if Dan had written that sermon for Ken and Ken alone. After services he asked if their was anyplace quiet where we could go. I led him and Tamara into the choir room. We set out some chairs and just sort of talked. It hurts so much to see your adult son cry. If it's never happened to you then praise God! Ken is just so hurt and so angry. He's in total shock. And he's turning to God!

Anyway we talked back in the choir room and he asked me if they could talk with the pastor. I went out and found him and sent him back there. As soon as I could get free from another person who had grabbed me, I went back to the choir room again myself. I couldn't hear most of what was being said because everyone was talking so softly. Ken mentioned a time about 2 or 3 years ago when he and my daughter-in-law attended a church in another town. He said he thought it was time for him to come back and asked what he needed to do to be baptized? MY SON!!! Baptized!! It just so happened that last night was a prearranged baptismal class so pastor invited him to come back that evening, last night. Ken did and he's going to be baptized this coming Sunday. I cannot even begin to tell you how thrilled this mother is!! I prayed for him every night but feared this would never come in my lifetime. So this is the praise. That my son confessed his sins and asked Jesus to come into his life last night during the class and he's going to be baptized in 6 days! Yea!!! And now my granddaughter wants to be baptized with her dad. I tell you, my head is just spinning. It's like I don't know what to expect next. God is good; all the time. All the time? God is good! So that is my praise.

I'm going to be really busy this week preparing for the service next weekend so I'm not sure if I will find the time to blog. I have to run down our baptismal towels. I was down at the church today searching for enough youth robes (there's going to be a total of 6 people baptized; 4 youths and 2 adults) I think I found exactly 4. But the towels were missing. We just bought three new adult robes last year so I wasn't worried about robes for adults. I just wasn't sure about the youth robes. I would much rather sit out front and watch my son get baptized but since I'm "running" the baptismal service, I'll be back behind the scenes getting everyone into their robes, and handing out handkerchiefs, and towels, etc. I will definitely watch but not from out front. So anyway. I may be silent this week while we arrange things and I get a grip on a new 6-week study our church is starting and I will be teaching. And I don't know how long my computer is going to hold out and I just wanted to get this marvelous praise out for the world to see as quickly as possible, especially not knowing how long I have on my monitor. I'm just so thrilled to be able to pass this information along to all of you. Ours is a terrific God! And I sing His praises all day long! And now you can praise God with me. Hopefully I can get to my blog right away I'm just not sure how I'm going to do this week. I have several people I need to see and catching them is iffy and a whole bunch of "clerical work" to do (copies to make, DVD to view, etc.) I'm just afraid that I won't be able to get back to you later in the week to share my praise and I wanted to do that this evening. It could be that tomorrow will work itself out for a blog but on the other hand???? Until next time...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Spiritual Shortsightedness

In any moment of weakness, we have the capabilities to, and run the risk of, making mistakes and errors with potentially disastrous effects and long-lasting consequences for ourselves and some times for others as well. Remember Esau? In a moment of physical need he sold his very birthright ... which gave him authority over his family and a double portion of the inheritance ... for a bowl of lentil stew, a measly cup of soup. His error was pure foolishness, but we've been in those situations ourselves, haven't we? Situations where good sense and spiritual commitment are totally undermined by our own frailty. A lot like termites of the soul.

We will do well building an effective defense system for ourselves if we recognize when and where our weaknesses lie. One rule to remember is that Satan usually strikes after waiting for us to reach our physical and emotional limits. He often reasons correctly that we will lack the spiritual resources to turn down the tantalizing treat he offers us, which is always tailor-made to fit our perceived need, if we are already functioning in a weakened state. Therefore, wise believers avoid the extreme limits we constantly face by avoiding what Charles Stanley calls H.A.L.T., becoming too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Letting themselves reach such extremes just opens the door for Satan's short-term, nicely disguised solutions to our problem at hand. It is much like a few other things: a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Yes, it is much like an unwise business "deal" or an unsuitable marriage partner that looks so good for the moment. We must always keep in mind that his plans for us will likely have a very high price to pay for a very long time.

Unfortunately, today many people have "sold" their spiritual birthright ... that is, God's plans and blessings for them (Jer 29:11) ... because they never stop to contemplate the long-term repercussions for a "quick-fix" solution. As believers, we should develop the good habit of questioning our decisions: What are the long-term consequences if I make this choice? How will this affect my relationship with the Lord? My boss? My family? My church? Will I be able to look myself in the face in the mirror tomorrow after making my decisions and acting on them today? If we build the habit of scrutinizing our decisions in this way, we will be less likely to succumb to Satan's tempting persuasions in our weaker moments.


I'm late getting to my blog today and I don't even have a good reason. Just that the day got away from me. Actually I think it might be more accurate to say that my day started without me. I've been behind since I got up. I probably should have gone back to bed and tried getting up all over again. But I have my bed made, errands ran, and dinner out of the freezer. So today isn't a total loss. It was just that I looked at my watch expecting to see 10:00 and it was after 12:00 with absolutely nothing to show for the time. I don't like days like this. Stacy has a really nice blog at this morning. She, her husband, and ten children moved to Liberia last year to take the light of Christ to the widows and orphans and anyone else who will listen. She has more guts and glory than I will ever have. She is just out of bed from hepatitis and Nathan (I think he's two years) is back to normal since his bout with cerebral malaria. They have really had a time of testing since moving there. But their faith is strong. I would be crying my eyes out begging to come home.

Our weather yesterday and today are very Fall-ish. Actually I guess this is the third day of Fall-ish-ness. Cool temps and the sun casting a slightly orange color to everything you look at. I think I am ready for Fall to happen. I'm tired of the heat that's for sure. But I'm not sure I am up to freezing temps either. We had almost what's called a buttermilk sky this morning when I went out on the deck for my quiet time. After I'd finished my devotionals M joined me and we just sat together out there without really talking. It was just a sweet time of togetherness. Nice.

My son came by today around noon with the news that he got fired. Poor guy. He will never find another job around here making that kind of money. They will have to sell their house and move hopefully not too far away. With the housing market the way it is, he may end up losing the house. They've had it on the market for over a year now and had only one nibble that fell through. I offered our car back to him and he sort of laughed. Like selling one car would make a dent in his mortgage. But I felt I had to offer. He may end up just having to walk away from his house. A person can do only what they can do. He made great money at the casino where he worked and it will be difficult for him to get a job and make that kind of money anywhere he looks. There's a new casino opening up in December I think over in El Dorado county and he'll of course apply there. I don't know exactly what my son did for a living, just that he's up in management and they didn't even give him a severance package. That's the pits for him. And I don't want him to move away. What will I do when I need him? What will I do if my computer goes on the blink? I don't want him to move away but I know he'll have to because there's nothing else for him in this county. But it will prove to be interesting to see what the Lord has in store for his future. This may be God calling for all I know. Please let it be God calling and please let him listen. I want him to come to the Lord so desperately. I've been praying every night for quite some time now and this just could be the answer to my prayers. We never know. But I guess it's all politics over at the casino now so he's trying to look at this as a forced retirement until he can find something else. He could use some time off anyway.

I try not to look too far ahead because I just end up worrying about something but if I stay centered on "today" I seem to do okay. Life is just such a gamble. What's behind door number one? Door number two? or Door number three??? I tell you, life sure feels like a big game sometimes, doesn't it? We never know what's going to happen from one day to the next, and that's why it is so important to stay close to the Lord. Sometimes the not knowing gets a bit difficult you know, but there's nothing we can do about it. Which is, in itself, a very good thing. Because if there were anything we could do about it, we'd probably do the wrong thing. I know I would. But Jeremiah gave us some wonderful and soothing information for times such as these: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart'" (Jer 29:11-13). Is that true? Does God really have good plans for us to give us hope and a future? Will He really be there for us when we seek Him with all our heart? We can't really answer those questions if we haven't been put through the wringer. We can't really know that God is right there alongside us, waiting for us to seek Him with all our heart, can we? All we have are His promises written to us thousands of years ago. Do we trust Him when He promises to be found if we seek Him with all our heart? When my life is a mess, these are the Scriptures I turn to because I do believe His promises. Ours is a good God, a kind God, a loving God. A God who is faithful and true. And it's comforting to know that, when everything is topsy-turvy, there really is a "plan" and a "future" for my life. Someone has everything under control. Someone with the power to bring back Jesus Christ from the dead. Someone with the might to create this universe and all the other universes. Isn't it incredible to think of the mastermind behind all this? To think that this Person wants to be found by the likes of me. Someone who cares about what's going on in my puny little life. For "when I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" (Ps 8:3-4). "O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" (Ps 8:1). It always seems like verse 1 should follow verse 4 because verses 3 and 4 need a big exclamation point and verse 1 really says it all. What is it with us that the Lord would care? Why should He be concerned about us at all? I think perhaps the real question should be: What are we to do with all this? I'm dead serious here. God has given us fantastic promises concerning our life and relationship with Him and what are we going to do with that fact? For me, it's almost a "system overload." Why would God really care about little, insignificant me? Because He loves me. Because He loves you and me! Because He enjoys sharing Himself with us. Because He so desires to spend His day with us in the Garden. The Garden that was beautifully created by God and instantly ruined by Man. Anyway you look at it, Man took what was so good and turned it into filth, and God continues to care, not so much about the universes but about little-bitty us. I don't know about you but this sort of blows my mind. It is rather incongruous that these thoughts even occur in our minds, but they do. What an awesome God!

"Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God that God should repay him? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen" (Ro 11:33-36). What an awesome God! What an awesome God!!

I need to at least make an attempt to do my chores today. I'm not even supposed to be blogging if my chores aren't done. Ah well, it goes like this... This just isn't going to be one of those days when I get all my chores done and have that good feeling you get when you do the right things because they were the right things to do. My son's dilemma sort of cut me off there at the knees. In a way I'm glad this happened and I think he is too. He was just putting in time at the casino. He hadn't enjoyed his job for years. And the stress was slowly killing him. But he was just locked into a position where his hands were tied. He didn't really want to work there anymore but didn't have whatever it was he needed to have to leave it behind him. So this just sort of took it all out of his hands. I can't believe they didn't have a severance package for him for as long as he had worked there. Well, next time they face a crisis, they won't be calling him in in the middle of the night to solve their problems. He really will be better off if he can just downsize. Downsize big time!! But a person doesn't go from a position of such wealth to a mere blip on a computer screen without going through pains. I just hate that it will, in the short-term give him even more stress. In the long-range, if we can look that far, it will free him up to do other things. But I don't like the idea of his having to move. I don't like that at all. I guess at some point in time I have to let go of my baby son. I can't hold him that tightly forever. But after Rich killed himself, Ken was all of my family I had left. It was just sort of like "you and me against the world." He was about four years old when that song was popular. I was a single parent and that was our song. Only at that time I still had two sons. It's just he and I now (I've since let M in but part of me still feels like it's just us against the world). And the world is so big and so strong and it can roll right over you in a heartbeat.

M & I were out in the garage looking through boxes still trying to locate our cribbage board and I found a stack of CDs. Really nice instrumentals most of them. I've got one playing now and this one is "Flute by the Sea," and it is very nice. But we are still missing the cribbage board.

I suppose I should finish this up and get my animals all fed. That daily chore that never gets "done." It just seems to keep coming back, day after day. But that is the price you pay for the pleasure of having animals to love and love back. In a very distant way I can catch a glimmer of what it must be like for the Lord with us. He paid an extremely costly debt just to keep us near Him, so that we could keep coming back. When you look at us, I mean really look at us, it sort of makes you scratch your head and wonder if you were worth it. God gave us huge price tags just to keep us hanging around. He established our worth by what He paid. All I can say is He must love us a whole bunch!!! Which sort of goes without saying, I guess. I'm quiet and withdrawn today, worried about my son. Afraid that he'll end up doing what my other son did if things get too stressful for him. And I will cling to my Creator even tighter than before. While we ride out this roller-coaster called life. I want the heaviness of my heart to be lifted somewhat. I know Ken was a great employee. He's talented, smart, honest, hardworking. He's the kind of employee anyone would like to hire. They'll kick themselves in the future for letting him go. Especially since it was all politics. The new CEO and his girlfriend. You'd think that this sort of thing wouldn't go on in today's business world, that people wouldn't play politics with other people's lives. But Ken butted heads with the girlfriend and the girlfriend won. I can promise you: they will regret it. They already did a similar version of this about 8 months ago when they did away with his position and he had to step down to a lower level, only to have them call him in the middle of the night to correct a problem that no one else could figure out how to fix. They sort of reestablished his position and gave him his old job back at that time. You'd think they would learn. I'm not sure exactly what it is that he does at the casino; I just know that he makes multimillion dollar decisions there all the time. The biggest problem the casino has is lack of experience. The casino went from a bingo parlor to a multimillion dollar corporation almost overnight. They went from being a mom and pop venture to being the top employer and chief taxpayer in the county. The corporation grew but their minds never did. They've essentially created their own monster.

Well, as you can see, I've got a lot weighing me down today so I think I'll just say that's it for now. Hopefully the old monitor will continue to function but if I ever just up and quit blogging, it will be because my monitor went out completely. That's another thing I hadn't even thought about. What are we going to do when we have computer problems after he ends up moving away? We know he has to move. It's simply impossible for him to stay in this area. Hopefully he'll get hired on at the new casino in a couple months when it opens but he'll still be moving away. I won't be able to call him up and say ... "Help!" and have the luxury of a quick computer fix. So I guess I'm really looking at a change in my life too. I can replace the monitor after we get the car registered but if the computer goes on the blink, I just may not be blogging anymore. What will I do with all my time if I'm not using the computer? Maybe it will be time to dig out the old knitting needles again. Aw well, we take life as it comes at us. I never asked for a computer to start with so I guess I can learn to do without one again. Lots of food for thought today. Stay close to the Lord and I'll keep blogging until something dies on it. Until then...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Nature of Strength

The very moment a man, woman, or child receives Christ as Savior, they enter a battle. The Enemy ... Satan ... is determined to ruin the believer's testimony. But in His grace and goodness God has supplied a mighty weapon to those who serve Him ... Christ's very strength flowing through their lives.

Christ's power, as the Son of God, is supreme. Satan, even with all his demonic forces, can't throw anything our way that can match Jesus' supernatural strength. But even so, temptations and trials expose hidden weaknesses when most of us would prefer to appear strong. That is one reason human nature rebels against hardship and tries it's best to avoid it.

God wants the Christian soldiers to be armed with the Savior's might so they might confront life's difficulties. He promises us His strength only when we put down our pride and accept the fact that we are too weak for battle of any kind (2Cor 12:9). And only then is Jesus' power available to each and every believer right this very minute as a gift from the Commander so that His followers can victoriously endure conflicts of all kinds.

The world encourages us to keep up the appearances of handling one's own problems. So the Christian's marching orders probably seem quite strange to worldly onlookers. However, arrogance does not bring blessing; rather, it causes confusion, distance from the Lord, and ultimately utter failure. If we want to be victorious, we must make it a point to not follow the worldly strategy of facing the enemy alone.

Until our life is over or Jesus Christ returns, whichever comes first, we are locked into a battle with Satan. A battle for our very souls. But we are not to despair. We must not forget that God has given us an incredibly powerful weapon. When we are totally dependent upon the Lord for His strength, we are absolutely filled with supernatural energy, skill, and endurance. All of which are not of our making. They are things God provides for us in our moment of need. And He will remain faithful and provide these skills to us for as long as we need them ... as long as we lean completely upon the Lord we will never be put to shame.


So far the old monitor is doing what it's supposed to do. Eventually it will give up and give out and I'll have to deal with it. My car registration is due so I'm stashing away all extra money to cover that cost in November. Luckily for me I still have a couple months and can stick away a little at a time. Getting paid just once a month limits the amount I can put aside at any one time. But if I put half away at the start of October and then the final half at the first of November, I will be able to pay for the tags by the end of that month. Getting paid monthly is difficult. You can't just spend all the money at once. You have to pace yourself and remember to leave money to live on for the rest of the month. I need to continuously remind myself that I have been called to a life of poverty. And you know there is some comfort in that. We don't have money to worry about. The stock market can go up or down. It has no effect on me at all. I have no retirement to worry about either. The most difficult part in my life of poverty is learning NOT to spend money. I think we're all born with the "need" to spend. We see something, we desire something, we buy something. That's usually the way things work out for most people. But for me I have to stop the progression at the desire point. Learning to say no to everything you desire all month long, only to repeat the process the next month, is the key to contentment. You know the apostle Paul said he had learned to be content in everything he did. The key word there is "learned." It was a process, something he had to learn, and we all know it takes lots and lots of practice to learn to do anything. So I "practice" all month long saying No to all the things I want and concentrating instead on all the things I need. The Lord has always promised to supply for my needs and He is faithful in His promises. He does supply. Oh, it would be nice to have a little something left over at the end of the month but that seems rarely the case. More often than not, I am in as big a want at the end of the month as I was at the first of the month. But my needs are always met. He is faithful; He does provide. I have learned there is great patience in waiting. It's simply the process of denying myself, and denying myself creates in me the life of Christ. I can't say Yes to the desires of my flesh and at the same time say Yes to Christ. One must always give way to the other. In my flesh there is no good thing; but in Christ everything is good. There are so many things I want but nothing that I need. God is faithful to me and takes care of all my needs. Yet I must learn to say No to all my wants.

Fall is definitely in the air today. We made a quick trip into the next town (about 16 miles one way) this morning and bought 10 cans of tomato juice. M loves tomato juice and Longs had tomato juice at 10 cans for $10. It's normally around $1.79 a can so we saved close to $8. It was well worth the expense of the trip to stock up. We've been waiting for months for someone to have it on sale and it finally happened this week. I had the horrible feeling that we'd drive all the way into town only to find out that they were sold out of the juice. That's usually how our luck runs. But all the way there and back you just couldn't miss the feeling of Fall. The leaves are starting to drop and the sun just has that Fall color to it. I don't look forward to having to rake all the leaves out of the yard when the time comes but I am definitely looking toward our first rain of the season. Those in the know are saying that we may get some rain this weekend in the mountains but probably not down here in the foothills. But it would be so nice to have a rain wash all the dust and dirt away for a change.

Well, today is my day to mop and wax the floors but I think I'm going to need to put that off until I'm feeling a little better. My low back is not in the best shape this morning. I'll try to squeeze it in tomorrow but I'll let it go a full week if I have to. I just don't think my back is up to the effort of mopping and waxing. I'll get the rest of my chores done today though so that will be the only thing I let slide.

I was in the living room yesterday afternoon and I heard a big crash come from the back of the house. I started down the hall and M called me. Took me a few minutes to actually find him. He was calling me by that time and I thought he said he was in the bathroom. I checked both bathrooms and couldn't find him. Then I finally heard him in the darkened bedroom. He had been asleep on the bed and was trying to get up when his hand slipped and he fell out of bed. Today he's sporting a nice shiner. He hit his cheek on the corner of the bedside table and was a mess when I finally got him up. He had a gouge out of his arm, a goose egg under his eye and another gouge out of his cheek all of them bleeding. It took two bandages on his face and one on his arm. As the goose egg went down the bruise spread to be a black eye all under his eye and then down his cheek. I'm just grateful he wasn't hurt worse that he was. But that added at little excitement to our day yesterday. Makes me wonder what he would have done if I'd been gone. Anyway I think that's when I pulled my back a little, helping him up. I tell you for sure, this old age stuff is for the birds. When it gets to where you can't get up when you fall or you put your back out helping someone else get up it's old age just leaving his calling card, I guess.

M and I played several games of Cribbage last night (he skunked me twice!) and I can't believe how lucky he was. Almost every single hand was worth 14 points. He just kept getting double runs and double double runs while I was lucky to get a pair! It just wasn't fair! But it was a lot of fun. I'm so glad I bought that cheap cribbage board when we did our shopping. Playing cribbage is much better than watching old reruns of COPS or Most Daring Police Chases or I Can't Believe the Crook Was That Stupid or whatever silly thing they usually have on Court TV. Oh wait, it's no longer Court TV. It's now True TV. It's garbage is what it is! How we end up there is beyond me. And why we stay there once we get there is way beyond me!

Not much to this blog today but I need to get busy. I still have a few chores to do so I better get with it. I'm not in the mood to do any housework at all today but I'll be glad I did them come tomorrow. Tomorrow I have to scour the bathrooms and I will try to squeeze in the mop and wax job (unless I feel better after while and I get the floors done today like I'm supposed to). But I'm not going to get anything done if I don't get busy. Hopefully my computer monitor continues to work. I wish I knew someone who had an old monitor they wanted to get rid of. I'd take it off their hands. I'm hoping for a flat screen when I replace this one. Problem is, I don't even have an idea about the cost of a new monitor and I can't start saving up to buy one until the car is registered and then it will be Christmas! The time is going to fast anymore. Oh well, I'm that much closer to heaven.

My hair does appear to be growing back in (does hair grow "in" or does it grow "out"?) but it sure is taking it's time and it doesn't look like it's going to grow in any thicker either. I had hoped that maybe it would grow in thicker with lots of body and it could even be gray if it wanted to be but looks like I'm striking out on all of those. Everything was really good there for a week or so all the sores were gone and my scalp was nice and normal. Then night before last, I think it was, I found a couple more sores on my scalp so this is not over by any means. At any given time it could repeat what it did the first time around. You watch, I'll just get my hair all grown out and back to normal and it'll all end up falling out all over again. Now that's something to look forward to, huh? Did I ever mention that I can be a bit pessimistic? Ha! Stay in the arms of the Lord and until next time...

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Just a quick one here to let you know that my monitor is dying on me. If my blogs suddenly stop coming, you'll know why. And I will be out for awhile but I will be coming back, just as soon as I pick up another monitor that I can afford. Tomorrow is small group so not sure if I'll have time to blog tomorrow but those are my plans as of now. But a lot will be up to this monitor, sad to say. We will be going down to Stocton for our shopping around the first and I will do some looking at prices, etc., while down there. I'm just not sure what they cost as I've never bought one. Ken built my computer out of spare parts he had lying around. Anyway, if I suddenly disappear, you'll know why. And Debra, I thought you were in your twenties. Don't know where I got that idea but I just had you pictured as a very young person! You're still younger than me by a lot, though. And I love the fact that your son still lives at home. I wish mine did. He just left here headed for home across town (I could see his house from my deck except there's a tree in the way). He came over and got my computer to boot up. That's why I'm writing tonight because he was here. If he hadn't come over I'd still be out of commission. We've know this monitor was in the process of dying. Now we know we're just about out of time with it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Strength Beyond Self

"Into every life a little rain must fall" is a familiar saying about the inevitability of trials, struggles, and hardships. But some times it feels like a little rain turned into a torrential downpour. This can be a challenge in life that will require strength that is beyond our human limits. What will we do then? What is possible? In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul describes just such an ordeal. He wrote of an apparent affliction that weighed so heavily on his heart, mind, and body that he didn't expect to survive the situation.

We do well to pay attention here because Paul's approach to the problem still works today: "We would not trust in ourselves," he wrote, "but in God who raises the dead ... and will deliver us" (2Cor 1:9-10). The strength we need to make it through tough times is available through Jesus Christ, whose supernatural energy flows through every believer's mind, body, and spirit.

This happens when someone receives Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and His Spirit comes to live inside the new believer (John 14:17). As a result of this "indwelling," the power that Christ demonstrated while He was on earth and the power of the One that brought back Jesus from the dead, prevails in those of us who call upon Him for aid during difficulties. However, for us to access His supernatural strength and the very power of God, we must trust His promise to supply to us what we need and when we need it (Phil 4:19). As long as we struggle to muddle our way through using our own abilities and strengths, we will prevent His Spirit from unleashing His divine help in our lives.

Jesus Christ's power is released into our lives when we acknowledge our own helplessness. The effect is immediate. Just as soon as we surrender to Christ, His might begins working inside of us so we can endure various struggles and hardships while maintaining our joy and peace.


I am toying with the idea of posting on Tuesdays only, or every five days. To be bluntly honest, I'm not sure I can go that long between posts. I don't know if I can go that long without "talking." But there are many reasons for thinking about the change. My first concern is that I give my readers plenty of time to access my site and read my post. Publishing every Mon, Weds, and Fri, I imagine it's easy to get behind. All you have to do is get occupied or busy for a day or so and you're automatically behind in reading my blog. Once a week doesn't sound like enough so I'm leaning more heavily toward every five days. That would give you more time to read my posts and it would give me more time to write the actual post itself. I know in our hectic and frantic lives these days it's next to impossible to check and read posts every single day. That was one of the reasons I went to the MWF routine from my original daily concept I had when I first started blogging over a year ago. I wanted to give everyone time enough to read my posts. And my posts seem to have become longer lately so you might need more time to read them. I'm not sure what I'm going to do but I just want to provide a blog in which you can easily read and keep current. Would it be easier for you if you knew you have five days to check out my blog? If you knew you had a minimum of five days between posts, would that make it easier for you? I really need some feedback here so I'm going to leave today's post up for five days and just see what happens. If you don't like the every five days concept, please take the time to write a comment and left me know your feelings on the matter. Or if you think of a way to improve by blog, again, please tell me. The only problem I can see with doing it every five days is that occasionally it may come due on a day I simply don't have time to write. For instance posting today makes it due again on Monday and our small group is starting up again next Monday. Would I have the time to go to small group in the morning, get my chores done in the afternoon and still have time to blog? Well what I can do is just delay it one day if I need to on that post and pick up again on the every five days plan the next time. So occasionally it might be six days between posts. And I can see where it could conceivably be best to post an early blog say at four days. I just want to give you plenty of time to read my posts so that you won't get behind so fast and end up frustrated over the whole thing. Maybe you don't need a schedule. You'll get to my post when you get to my post. That's fine with me. But the thing is I need a schedule. I need to hold myself to account every so many days. So I'm not going to post on Friday as I normally would and aim for Monday and we'll just see how things go. I know how hard it is to suddenly discover that you've gotten behind and so you have to sit there and read and read to get caught up. We'll see if this helps. But I really need your comments. So please, comment on this post.

I have felt a good, strong presence of the Lord this week, well, actually since I got my car but I don't think getting the car has much to do with it. I've just felt closer to Him. I feel his presence in my chores in that I do all things for His glory. I really feel like I am cleaning His house. And that's good, because it is. I long to turn everything I have over to the Lord in a very conscious act; not just as an aside, "oh and by the way, everything I have is the Lord's," but rather as a lived statement of faith. I want to be consciously aware of the fact that what I have belongs to him. I find that I clean a little better when I remind myself that it is God's house I'm cleaning.

I have an Executive Board meeting tonight at 7:30 and I'm not looking forward to it. I'm just not a "meeting" kind of person. And, because of my hearing problems, I don't follow along with the conversation very well. It's easy for me to miss something said and have to scurry around and see if I can determine what was said by what is said next. That doesn't always always work as you might imagine. But I try. My biggest problem isn't so much that I don't hear well as it is that people have formed the irritating habit of talking very, very fast these days. And when people talk fast there's just no way for me to catch up because by the time I either have it figured out or have decided to let it go, I'm a minimum of two sentences behind in the conversation. But I have a report to make tonight and I'm not prepared at all. So I need to get that sorted out and taken care of.

I went to three different thrift store yesterday looking for chair cushions. I didn't find any cushions but I managed to find myself a couple dresses and a couple skirts. I bought only one top. Tops are hard to find because it's difficult to find a top that doesn't have a stain down the front. What does that say about society? I guess that we're all messy people. But I have enough stained tops of my own. I don't need to buy those from other people. And I need to get in and organize my closets because I can't ever seem to find anything to wear and I end up alternating between the same three outfits week after week. I've got three closets so I think I'm going to hang all my dresses in one, skirts in another, and tops in the final closet. Either that or put all my good clothes (my "church" clothes) in one closet and my day to day wear in the others. No, I like my first idea better. Anyway I have things I need to do today so I think I will go and get busy.

Now I'm going to remind you that it will be Monday (5 days) before I blog again and in this situation, with small group starting up, I may not blog until Tuesday if I find that I don't have enough time to get it written on Monday. I know this may seem like I'm making a big deal out of nothing but I pretty much live my home life around my blog. I know that's terrible to say but it's basically true. I would say that church and blogging takes up 97% of my home life. Which leaves me just 3% to manage the house and relationships. When I put it this way it doesn't sound so good. Maybe I need to think on this. Well I am making changes with my chore lists so that 3% might actually be closer to 10%. Until next time...

Monday, September 8, 2008

When Our Faith Wavers

Scripture warns us against "wavering faith." This is the attitude of someone who goes from feeling absolutely certain that God will answer their prayers to merely hoping that He will (or becoming convinced He won't). But since we're human, we all do occasionally go through times of doubt. But the Bible warns us against a lifestyle of such spiritual vacillations. We are to have more faith than that.

Wavering can have many causes, such as one's failure to see God's hands at work in a situation. Or they might worry that trusting Christ in a particular instance conflicts with their human reasoning. While another believer may focus on the circumstances rather than on the Lord, and this may cause his feelings to overshadow his faith.

A person who is "driven and tossed by the waves" may lose their confidence in God and find his spiritual growth hindered (James 1:6). He can become a "double-minded man" that verse 8 warns us against, because even as he prays, he tends to jump on ahead of the Lord's timing and tries to manipulate a situation for his own desired outcome. When a Christian pays attention to his doubts in this way, he'll often make costly mistakes. Then after all the maneuvering, he will often end up dissatisfied with the results and bothered by a sense of his lack of peace. Even worse, his faith may even diminish.

Wavering is dangerous behavior, so believers must develop confidence in the Lord. Jesus says in Mark 11:24, "All things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you." The closest we can get to perfect faith while living on this earth is the ability to trust that what we ask in God's will is as good as done.


My faith wavered many times during all the years I prayed for a reliable car. I'm ashamed of that fact. But then I make myself feel better by telling myself that doubt isn't a sin and even Thomas, one of the chosen twelve, doubted. But here I'm warned about a lifestyle of doubt. While it is not a sin, doubting is dangerous. It weakens our faith and can depress us in our natural life. Left untreated, it can destroy our relationship with our heavenly Father. How can we have a rich, thriving relationship with our God when we doubt Him? Maybe we doubt his purposes or maybe we doubt His motives. While I had periods of doubt during my long wait for my car, it was His purposes that I doubted. I simply could not understand why God was making us wait and struggle along with a car that was totally unreliable. And while it is difficult to live without a car in the cities and other populated areas, you simply cannot survive up here in the foothills where I live without a car. There is absolutely no public transportation available. No, I take that back. There is a bus that makes a daily run through the county and into the next county but it makes just one trip a day. It would be impossible to use it to go to work and come home, or to make doctor appointments, etc. And if you have to use the bus, there's no way to do all your shopping every month. When M and I make our monthly trip across the river, we buy a car full of items. A minimum of three boxes of litter, each at 28 pounds! Two 18-pound bags of dry cat food. And much, much more. How do you manage all this on a bus that makes only one trip a day? You can't. So we really don't have public transportation at all. There are no taxis or express rail service or any other means to get around up here. And I couldn't understand why God kept me waiting. What was His purpose? He knew full well that we had to have a reliable car. Why did it take Him all those years to give us a dependable car? What was His purpose in that? Well, I learned to wait upon Him. And to be absolutely accurate the car He first gave us, the Cadillac, though wearing out and with no heater or A/C was dependable. Did we ever not make it across the river to buy our monthly supplies? No. I may have always worried that the car wouldn't make the round trip one more time, but we always made the trip. Sometimes we had to limp it home and a couple times we had to borrow a car for the trip, but God supplied the car when we needed one. During those ten years God never failed to supply. Not once. I always fretted and fumed about it, terrified we'd end up stranded alongside the road somewhere distant with a car full of groceries and supplies. But it never happened. It was a constant worry and a great source of apprehension and stress on my part but God never failed to provide for us. Not once. So His purposes were being fulfilled and my prayers were being answered during those ten years. He never failed us and He taught us to rely on Him and only on Him. He ALWAYS supplied. So His purpose was, and still is, that I grow more and more into the image of Christ. His purpose was for me to develop a strong, unyielding faith in His faithfulness. It was to keep my reliance based solely on Him. It was to prove to me that He can be counted on. It was to show me it was pure folly to put my trust in anything of this world. That nothing else deserves that kind of faith. My car may have never been considered dependable; but God was. He always was. So the years were long but as my prayers increased, so did my faith. And I learned to depend on God alone. He is my source. He is my center. And He is my anchor.

And lately I've thought about God's motives again. I don't question His motives in conjunction with my puny life. I question God's motives in creation. (Yeah, I go for the biggies, don't I?) What exactly were God's motives when He created this world. I mean Adam and Eve were created with nothing. Human race started from scratch. Think back to the primitive past and ask yourself why a loving creator would start things out in such a primitive way. They had nothing. I suppose they slept on the ground and ate off fresh fruit and vegetables. They had no home. No clothes. No fire. No heater; no air conditioning. Maybe these things weren't needed because Adam and Eve were so perfect and so was the Garden. But God didn't create us to live in that simplicity. He knew (dare I say, ordained) that Man would progress. That they'd learn to make clothing and build houses and form communities. He knew Man would progress to the heights in which we now live. So why didn't He just start everything off by presenting Adam and Eve with cities and vehicles and houses and factories to make the necessary steel to build skyscrapers and trains and giant bridges? Why didn't He just create a few billion people and put them on an earth that was already developed into the state it now is? I mean, think about it. The only running water Adam and Eve had was the river that flowed through the Garden. The only light was sunlight. Why didn't God create the whole shebang at once? He could have if He'd wanted to. Why all the progressive struggles to make the earth a better place? Why did He do things the way He did? What were His motives? I have questioned God's motives off and on for as long as I've been alive. What was His point? What was His motive?

These questions all came to me again this morning after my quiet time. (I have to trust my belief that it isn't sin to question God's motives and purposes.) And as I sat there looking in the distance at Hogback mountain, with the sky a deep, beautiful blue, hummingbirds feeding at the feeder, and a gentle breeze ruffling the air; I was given a very simplistic illustration. I will state flat out that this illustration does not answer all my questions but I'll leave those for God to answer at some other time. But this morning He brought something to my mind that sort of helps me get a grip on things. He gave me an illustration: Ant farms.

When someone decides to build him- or herself an ant farm he gathers all the necessary supplies. (I think most people send off for an ant farm "kit." And that kit comes with everything you need to build your ant farm.) You pour in the sand and dirt and put in the necessary food, etc. [To be quite honest, I don't know what all is involved in ant farming. I only know that most people send off for the kit and when it arrives, it has everything needed to start a successful ant farm.] So you set up everything according to the instructions that came with the kit and you add the little box of ants and place the cover on the case and sit back and watch them build their farms and cities with all the tunnels and caverns. That's the purpose of the ant farm. To watch those industrious little ants build their little hearts out. The Farmer is happy. And the ants are happy. You continue to make sure that they always have the necessary things like water and food but you don't dig their tunnels for them. You let them do it. I fully realize that this is a super simplistic illustration, and it doesn't mean that I have God peering into our earth, watching His little 'ants' work, it does, to some degree, give me something my mind can play with. It gives me something I can relate to instead of just all abstract thoughts which are so difficult to relate to. It lets me know that God isn't some sick, perverted Creator that got His thrills from watching people toil and struggle endlessly. But rather He is a great big loving Ant Farmer. If I were into ant farming, I would love my little ants and care for them, and it would break my heart if they didn't progress. God is kind of like that. He loves us. He gives us everything we could possibly ever need and then leaves us to develop and grow just as we have since the very first creation of Adam. But God takes it one step further. He established everything so that He could love us and we could learn to love Him. God wanted to relate with his ants. If I had an ant farm, I would love my little ants and if for some reason the entire colony died or if only just a few ants died it would sadden me. I want them to thrive and prosper. But these ants can never relate back to me. I can't build a relationship with an ant farm. I can't even attempt one with a full colony of ants. But I can develop a strong, robust relationship with my Creator. I can relate to Him and He will relate to me. If I talk to Him, He will talk to me. He always loves me but I must establish my love for Him. I must rest in His care and learn to trust Him. God is greater than the ant farmer because He has given us His book of communications, the Bible, so that we can learn all about Him and grow a solid relationship with Him.

Thinking about God's motives is a lot like taking a trip. We figure out how much time we have to spend on our vacation and then we choose a destination or several destinations. We may wish that we could just futuristically "beam" ourselves to wherever we decide to go, but getting there is half the fun. I suppose God could have created the world just like it is today and placed Adam and Eve, fully developed, down in a garden somewhere in the middle of Nebraska. But what would have been the point? They would have missed all the fun of getting here. So the answer to my great question about God's motives has finally been answered. His motive was love.

These have really been stupid illustrations and part of me wants to delete these and start all over again. But I don't have time for that. I have places to go and people to see, as I always say. I need to run my errands and I'm going to go ahead and post this so that I'll get it out but I will come back and edit it so you may end up reading this before it's edited. If I haven't told you I have edited it, you will know it's the first version, the rough draft.

[Okay, for what it's worth, I have edited this. This is my creation in full. I feel like these illustrations were so silly and inadequate but they helped me get a handle on some thoughts that have plagued me for year and years. I went out and made my rounds. I just recently switched doctors and I had to go to my old one to pick up my medical records for my new doctor and I had the church cards to mail and I needed to go to the thrift store. We are in the market for some cushions for our maple chairs in the dining room. We aren't pleased with those we've seen at WalMart or K-Mart and we choked on the price tags anyway, so I thought I might find some at the thrift store that were used but in good condition. Somebody just wanted to change the look of their table or something. I lucked out there but I found an attractive jumper for me for this late fall and winter and I found a really nice vaporizer or humidifier for $5.00. I've got it running in the kitchen right now just checking it for leaks and to see how fast the water level goes down. We want something we can put in our bedroom to add moisture to the air. M gets really dry in his nose and is prone to nosebleeds and we thought maybe putting in a vaporizer or humidifier would help him in that area. And my skin is always dry. It may not make any difference and it may not even work like it's supposed to (you never know when you pick up something at the thrift store) but for $5 I felt like I couldn't go wrong. And if I'd waited until we thought about it longer or checked out the prices at WalMart, etc., it would be gone if I went back to buy it. Okay, this is enough on my blog for today. I've decided to go across the river with M in the morning and after his doctor appointment stop by my sister's house and visit with her for a little while and check out the thrift stores over there to see if I can find any seat cushions. M and I have taken up playing Cribbage again and our rears are getting sore from sitting for so long on the wooden chairs. We really need to find some cushions. Until next time...]

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Command to Honor ll

God's command to honor our parents included a promise. He commanded the Israelites to treat their parent with respect so their "days may be long" upon the land that He was giving them (Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:16 NKJV). It's curious to me to note that there's no time frame for this command. It doesn't limit it to the 'days of our youth' or anything like that. It simply says to honor your parents. I don't think that that sense of honor given to parents has an expiration date on it. I think we are to honor our parents for our entire lives, even when we disagree with them. My son and I are worlds apart, politically, but there's never been an instant in my life when he has failed to give me the honor that God says he should.

This kind of honoring means that our children respect our authority. And God promises that those who honor their parents will prosper in their relationship with their parents and their God. His promises do not necessarily guarantee survival until an old age. The two words "days" and "long" seem to imply productivity, strength, and satisfaction rather than a certain number of years of life. So honoring our parents won't necessarily give us more years to live, but our years will be better years.

God's promise still applies to us today. But sadly, our chaotic and self-filled world prizes independence over obedience and youthful opinion over the wisdom that comes from maturity. Today there is an anti-God climate prevailing in society and as a result we see children of all ages rebelling against all sorts of authority. And, what's worse, they seem to escape all forms of discipline for their attitude and conduct. This has led to two different attitudes. One says that people need not accept the responsibility for their own actions, and the other seems to permit neglecting the greater need in favor of personal appetites and desires. It's that what's-in-it-for-me attitude that disrespect for parental authority seems to foster. For an example, we need look no farther than our own roads and highways where people dangerously ignore the posted speed limits and other warnings.

To build and establish a Christ-honoring community within the culture of the world, believers must teach their children to honor authority and then discipline any acts of disobedience and lack of respect. It all begins with honoring our parents. One primary way to achieve this is by modeling honor ... it starts with the family; our families should see us treat our very own parents with respect and consideration and they should witness our own obedience to simple traffic laws. If they see us honoring their grandparents and being obedient in our civic duties, they will tend to be obedient and honoring also.

Please note one thing: Honoring our parents is not a suggestion. The Lord has placed these important people in our lives for a reason. Regardless how we may feel about the way they have served in their capacity, we are still to obey God by offering them care, respect, and honor. No where in Scripture is written that we are to honor them as long as they make us happy. Or honor them until they we turn 18 or 21. Honoring our parents in simple obedience is a command, not a suggestion.


I have had more problems blogging lately. First my computer was down. Then my blogger wouldn't allow me to post a blog for some reason. And then this morning I got in and got all my chores done early so I could blog for the rest of the day if I wanted, only to discover that my server was down. Comcast has been so bad this past month or so. Rarely a day goes by that it isn't down for a time. I have to post my blogs around their service. So I apologize for being so hit and miss lately.

We took our new car on it's first shopping trip yesterday and it performed perfectly. I got up at 6:30 and started some sausage links simmering while I got dressed to go. Then I popped some bread in the toaster and woke hubby up. We ate our toast and sausage with mustard and were on the road by 7:30. Yea. Finally we have A/C and it was too cold to use it that early in the morning. By the time we got to WalMart it was 8:00 and had warmed up. So we slipped out of our long sleeves before going in. We always split up our shopping to save time. M does the 'house' shopping as well as his personal shopping and I shop for all the animals and myself. I finished my shopping and took everything out to the car. Locked it up and then walked back in and found M so I could help him with his list. He only lacked a couple items and I was able back track and find a couple products that he hadn't been able to find. We got everything into the trunk of that little car and headed for the butcher shop. Then it was time for the A/C and it worked like a charm, just as I knew it would! We haven't had the luxury of having A/C for so many years now that it almost felt decadent. But we loved it. We finished our shopping at the supermarket and made it across the river, up out of the canyon, and were home by 10:30. I thought we did really well this month. Both of us hate to shop in the first place but going early like that isn't as bad as it is going later. It was so inefficient going in the middle of the day the way we used to do. We'd leave late, drive in the heavy traffic in the full heat of the day, shop with the crowds, and get home late afternoon. The whole day was shot. This is so much better. And I have to give my hubby all the credit for getting us out of that all-day shopping rut we were in for so long.

Well, now I need to get down to some serious writing because I have a confession to make. I have been just heartsick the past few days. You know how it is to miss an opportunity? To wish you'd done something but it was then too late to really do anything about it? Or like the times you think you'll do a sweet favor for hubby and get him a cup of hot coffee? And you know how it feels when just as you get up to go do it, he asks if you'd please get him a cup of coffee? You have had something like that happen to you, I'm sure. You've felt that same sense of disappointment. And when that happens that opportunity to serve him on your own is missed. You still get him his cup of coffee but every thing's different. It's just not the same. (Things like this happen with me a lot because my hubby and I think so much alike.) Anyway the point is something was missed and it isn't as sweet as you'd planned it to be. Well, I'm here to tell you that I missed an incredible opportunity when I got my new car and I've been heartsick ever since. Let me explain.

I did not appreciate that car as I should have. And I didn't demonstrate that appreciation as I wish I had. For years we have limped along with a car that wasn't reliable but it was always appreciated. But a solution to our vehicle problems had been the subject of continuous prayer for years. For at least ten long years I prayed for a reliable car. I prayed God would do something ... anything ... because it was beyond us to do anything to help ourselves. Let me just say that the Cadillac had been a gift to us to start with and for awhile it had been just great. But then things started going wrong with it and with it being a Cadillac it always cost a fortune to repair anything that went wrong. It seems like everything that had to be repaired was at a minimum, $400. Early on, the Lord would have one of M's painting sell and we'd suddenly "have the money" to make the repairs. This was, we knew, God's way of taking care of us and He did that more than just a few times. We also realized that God also used different members of our family to come forward and help us out. But the Cadillac was simply wearing out and I was praying so hard for exactly what we got: a new car that would be economical for us to use and inexpensive to repair should something go wrong. Well, as I said, I prayed about this continuously. The past couple years as we watched the Cad deteriorate faster and faster, I prayed harder and harder. I prayed every single day for the answer to our problem. I whined and cried because I never knew if the car was going to be stranded somewhere. Every time I left in it I prayed that it would get me back home. (That has got to be one of the most helpless feelings to experience. To be stranded away from home with a car that does nothing when you turn the key in the ignition. And you stand there without a credit card, with a checkbook that has a single digit balance in the register, and with only the odd change in your pocket. And add to that the fact that you have no cell phone and couldn't hear on one anyway. Talk about helpless!) Well, finally (for me) but right on time (for God) he brought my son and daughter-in-law along beside us and gave me exactly what I had prayed so long and so hard for and ... this is where it hurts ... I did not pour it out as an offering to God as I should have. After all this time, after all the years and prayers I missed my greatest opportunity.

Don't get me wrong, I did thank God. But I didn't pour it out to Him. With the solemn determination in my mind and my heart, I should have, but did not, pour it out. As soon as I realized that something was too wonderful for me, that I was not worthy to receive it ... I should have poured it out before the Lord as an offering to Him. In my heart and mind I should have given it back to God to thank Him for His faithfulness. If I am forever keeping my blessings to myself and never learning to pour them out to my Lord, other people will never have their vision of God expanded through me. I held tightly to that car because I had desired it for so long. I selfishly grabbed the possession of that car. I wouldn't even let M drive it. I hogged it to myself, clutching it to my breast, calling it "my" car. I acted shamefully. And I feel so ashamed.

I missed the opportunity of a lifetime. I may never again be blessed with such a longed for blessing that I could pour out to God. That instant of time slipped past and I totally missed it. Oh, I can do it now. In fact, I have already poured it out to Him ... now. In my heart and in my mind I have poured it out as an offering to my God. But it's just not the same. It's simply not the same. I know that God has forgiven me but it's that terrible disappointment I feel in myself that tugs at my heart the last few days. I missed it and I can't go back and do it right. And this saddens me deeply. I have not progressed in my walk with my Lord nearly as far as I had thought I had. My sense of personal 'spirituality' has been shaken to the core. I'm not nearly as holy as I had thought. As I had hoped.

But, praise God, I didn't disappoint Him. He knew before He gave me that car that I wasn't going to pour it out to Him. And He gave it to me anyway. He also knew I was going to grow through my own blatant failure. He was going to drive a point of personal growth home with the impact of a new car. So I have disappointed myself and learned that I'm not nearly as holy as I thought I was. And now I have to wonder if I have truly learned my lesson. I pray that God will give me another opportunity in the future to do then what I should have done this time. I should have determined in my heart and mind that I wasn't worthy of such a gift and just poured it out to the Lord. I can't explain any better what I'm trying to say so I hope this is making sense. I hope you hear the tears of my heart. The disappointment in my words. The sorrow of my missed sacrifice. But now I can say that I have grown. I have grown in the realization that I have so far yet to grow.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Well, Rats!

I am supposed to blog today but my blogger has acted up all morning and wouldn't allow me to publish. And now I have no time to concentrate on a blog. I got up and got all my chores done right away and everything so that I would be free to blog. And now I'm basically out of time. Since I couldn't blog, I ran errands instead, and I had a lot of stops to make. One of the perils of a strip town. You start making stops at one end of town and work your way to the other end. You can't just park and walk to some of the places. I took my nail magazines to the ROP Cosmetology school here in town. They will get some use out of them and it got them out of my hair. I am a licensed manicurist but I'm not working and really never have. I didn't have to work at it very long before I realized I just wasn't strong enough to work. So I took off that hat and put on another but I still get a free subscription to Nails Magazine and I just save them up and then once in awhile I'll drop by the school and drop them off for those who are studying to be manicurists or nailTechs. That way I don't feel like they are wasted on me.

Now I must brag: I went out in the heat to run my errands knowing full well that I would be comfortable the whole time because my new car has A/C. Yea! Haven't had A/C or heater for years. Not since the compressor shut down in my old car. But now it's so nice. I tell you, you feel the heat here really fast out in a car running errands without A/C. I will miss my old car though ... a little bit. I wrote in a comment to the last post how we got the new car and if you're interested you can go there and read it but I don't want to have to go over it all again. Just let me say I have a wonderful son and daughter-in-law and a new car. Yea! I am still walking around in the clouds over it. Tomorrow is our big shopping day and we will see how it fares for that. I'm worried because it doesn't have the space or load capacity the cad had and taking the bus is out now that we have the new car with A/C. The new car is a compact Toyota Corolla. It has a large trunk for a small car but we buy a lot of big items and some of them are quite heavy. Things like boxes of cat litter (at least 3 of those) 2 16-pound bags of dry cat food, 6-8 12-pk cola boxes, 3 cases of canned cat food and one case of canned dog food. That's it for the heavy stuff. Then we have the big bulky stuff like econo-size toilet paper and paper towels. But we can fill the back seat too. In my old car we couldn't put anything in the back seat and go into another store. One of us always had to stay with the car because the locking mechanism was broken and we couldn't lock up the car. Now we can put all the heavy stuff in the trunk and all the big bulky stuff in the back seat. One way or another we'll figure it all out. But for once I am not dreading that monthly jaunt across the river. And we can even make two trips across the river if we need and still not use as much gas as one trip over and back would cost us in the cad or the bus.

My quiet times in the mornings have been somewhat dry lately. I guess we all go through those phases in our walks with the Lord, but I sure miss the ones that come and speak right to your heart. But it is still nice to have those cherished few minutes out on the deck with my Lord before I get busy with my day. Wish they could all be "mountain-top" experiences. But sometimes we are called to just remain faithful to our commitment to the Lord. Although I did finish the Psalms this morning. Tomorrow I will start back with Psalm 1 again. I hope someday to have Psalms 1 and 2 memorized but that desire is going slowly. I have always had such a horrible memory. Add to that the fact that our memories deteriorate with age and you can see my problem. It becomes harder and harder for us to memorize. I am in between studies right now and can't decide what I want to do next. I'd like a really good book to read. Something interesting and fulfilling. I still have Beth Moore's book on David. I've started it a couple times and I've been derailed after the first few pages. Maybe I'll give it another try. One of the books I bought a while back was a book of quotes out of the different works of Watchman Nee. I love his books although I must confess I've failed to read most of them all the way through. They tend to drag near the end. But this book isn't one that you can just sit down and get into and read until your eyes hurt. These are very rich treats of wisdom that must be read and mulled over and over in your mind and heart until their full value soaks in. I am now in Galatians in the New Living Bible and I sure wish I had one that was printed in larger type. This is like 4 or 5 point type. Very small. But at the time I bought it I thought it would be just a reference book in which to check their rendering of a certain passage. I didn't know that I was going to fall in love with it and have the desire to just sit down and read it. With the type as small as it is, I can't read for too long before my eyes start hurting. I will definitely be in the market for a book with normal size type.

I have been wondering what I will do for my quiet time once the colder weather moves in. Most mornings will be too cold and wet to go out on the deck and that's part of what makes my quiet time so special to me. I don't really have a quiet, secluded place inside to read and pray. Maybe I can put together a place either in the bedroom or the extra bedroom that was supposed to be "my" room since M already has the master bedroom as his art studio and then of course his paintings are everywhere in the house. I'm fortunate to have such beautiful art on my walls but it's like living in an art gallery because the paintings cover every square inch of the wall space. I love my hubby's art but I would like to have arranged groups of them and possibly art from other artists, perish the thought.

My house smelled so clean when I walked in after running errands. The different cleaning agents and the dribble of bleach in the cooler made it smell so good. Usually it smells like latent cigarette smoke from when Randy lived here. He always smoked in his room but he smoked so much that it still permeated the entire house. He's been gone for about a year and a half (doesn't seem like it could possibly be that long ago!) and the house still smells of the smoke. He was a very heavy smoker and I think it must be in the carpeting and paint or something. No one else seems to smell it so I don't know. I've either got a really sensitive nose for it or I'm imagining things. I love that smell though when you first walk through the door and you can still smell the cleaning products you used when you cleaned.

Michael is in taking a nap and I need to get the agenda typed up and printed out for my Deacons Meeting tonight. I do that on his computer because he has a printer. I have a printer too but it goes through the ink cartridges so quickly that it's basically useless. These last cartridges I put in dried up on me. I knew it went through the ink really fast so I reserved it for something important I wanted to print and the ink must have dried up because it wouldn't print out right. One way or another, it goes through them. It was just a small, inexpensive printer anyway. A gift from my son. But as soon as M wakes up I'll get to those agendas.

I'm considering doing a word study on the word "light." I don't usually do word studies but I read a Scripture the other day that talked about the light of and in the believers. I can't remember what verse it was but it got me to thinking and wondering just how many times the Bible uses the word light when it talks about believers. I've always thought of Christ as the light but this verse I read implied that we are light to those around us. Not just that we have the light of God but that we are His light in a dark world. It just stood out to me when I read it. That we do not have light so much but that we are light. A subtle difference there that can really make all the difference in the world when I study Scripture.

I never seem to have enough time to do all the things I want to do. I would stay immersed in Scripture if it were possible for me to do that. I can never quite get enough. Well, it's almost time to feed my beasts again. Hopefully Mulder will do more than just pick at his food. I tried to get him to eat something this morning and he wasn't interested. But I have seen him up at the dry cat food a couple times today. He's just lost so much weight and he's still a relatively young cat no more than 10 years old. He was out of the last litter we had when we lived on Summit and that was about 10 years ago. So he's not an old cat by any means. Please pray for Mulder than he would put on a little weight.

My hair is growing back in ... I think. My hubby and son both say it has grown a lot but when I look at it in the mirror all I see is a bald head. I do feel stubble when I run my hand over my head so I'm taking that to mean it's coming back but it's going to take a long, long time. The wig my daughter-in-law bought for me finally came in the mail. In fact there were two of them in the mail. And God bless her sweet little heart for wanting to do something to help me out but it's just awful. It's dark, dark brown (way, way, way darker than my natural color) and is so shaggy that it just sticks out everywhere. I wanted so much for it to work for her sake. She was so sweet to buy that wig for me but I just can't wear it. I keep putting it on and trying to style it but it just sticks out in all directions. It came in a padded envelope all the way from Hong Kong so you can imagine it was pretty flat by the time it got here. I think I might could do something with it if I had a way to putting it somewhere and actually style it with a shampoo and set but I don't have anything to put it on so I can do that. It needs a head, if you know what I mean. I wanted so much for it to work for her sake. She played around with it while she was here but she couldn't get it to do anything either. The directions just say to wash it, rinse it, and just kind of shake the water out of if and it will conform back to the style. Well as you might imagine, that doesn't work. She should have done this with me instead of wanting to surprise me. Number one, I wouldn't have gone with that color. It just makes me look pasty white under all that nearly-black mop on top. And I wouldn't have gone with this style at all. It's way too shaggy and it doesn't look like real hair. Of course it isn't real hair, but it's supposed to look like real hair! I just hope she didn't pay a lot for it and I so wish she would have consulted with me first. If I were to have decided to buy a wig I would have gone down to Lodi and bought one after I'd tried them on and made sure I looked good in them first. I just feel so bad for her and I'll have to think of something nice to do for her to show my appreciation. But to be quite truthful, I look better bald than I do with that wig on. I knew this was going to happen as soon as she handed me that sheet of paper and asked me what I thought of that hairstyle. But I was holding out hope that she hadn't already bought it. You know if you're going to buy a wig you're going to want to try on several and see how you look in them. But this was so misleading by the photograph she had printed out. It was a style I would never have picked for me. I mean, I'm not 24 years old anymore and that's what this style looked like. An old lady trying to stay 24 years old. I don't want an old granny's style either but the way we wear our hair is kind of personal, you know? Well, enough on that. Just know that she did a very wonderful thing for me and I love her so much!!

I guess I better go feed all the animals. They are beginning to swarm around me. That's right, all my animals can tell time. Sorry this wasn't much of a post but after fighting with my blogger all morning I'm just not up to a regular post. Tomorrow will be our shopping day as I've already mentioned so I won't get back with a real post until Friday. But at least I got all my chores and running around done. And if this will publish, I at least got something accomplished. I've got my fingers crossed because earlier this just came up ERROR, blogger can't do what you want it to do. Try again. Hopefully this posts. Until Friday...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

My computer was down and my compu-tech was unavailable. Lucky for me he's local, available evenings, and charges virtually nothing. (How do I get such a deal? He's also my son.) Just wanted to let everyone know that I didn't blog today because I couldn't. He left here about 45 mins ago and I'm back in business. It's so wonderful having a son who knows all ... and I mean ALL ... about computers. His rates are very reasonable. Not sure if I'll blog tomorrow or just wait until Wednesday. You'll find out tomorrow I guess.