Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I finally saw James dance. He has taken almost every dance class UTA offers. He started with western. Boot scooting. Then western and eastern swing. Foxtrot. Tango. For four years, he has gone to dance class and dance studio on Friday nights and some Monday nights. He is smart. The guy to gal ratio is maybe one guy for three gals.

Today was the combination class to show their work. James’ intermediate group today did an ensemble dance where the guys wore black pants, black shirts, ties. They turned, they twirled, they flung their dance partner into the arms of the next in the circle. I could not decide whether the footwork was more interesting than the arm and elbow movement.

James puts on a serious Mr. Cool face when dancing. He told me after that some of the girls complained that he smiled too much. And in the world of dance, the guy aggressively moves in and asks the girl to dance. And after the dance, escorts her safely back to the side on his arm. None refused him. James danced every dance except for the solos of ballet and jazz.

It’s a workout, but for a guy in great shape, like James, he sweats, but is not out of breath. I have been amazed at his tenaciousness, consistent attendance to something he obviously loves. He knows all the words to the songs. And on his ipod is the widest variety of music. I am so glad we have been here to see him grow up. When he meets that special woman to share his life, he is gonna be SO ready to dance at his wedding! And at those father-daughter balls, he will outshine all the other dads.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Colossians 3 & 4

Colossians 3 & 4

If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him ---a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek, and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also you should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body, and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love you wives, and do not be embittered against them. Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart. Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that form the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality. Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven. Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving, praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned, in order that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person…

I've been listening in Sunday School. My husband, and Sunday School teacher has been teaching the book of Colossians. Hard slogging, in light of the sneaky bad guys trying to insert their heresy into the gospel. The apostle Paul is trying to nip the new age religion in the bud. Chapters 3 and 4 appeal to me because of their very practical application. And Bob emphasized on Sunday how we just can't do these things on our own power. Bob had been putting the lesson together and editing it on Saturday, and I was amazed when he kept offering to help me do things. I knew he needed to devote his time to getting the lesson ready, and anything I needed could wait. I'd much rather he get his lesson done than stay up too late on Saturday night and be groggy Sunday. When he taught this passage on Sunday, it hit me---these verses were washing over him all day Saturday, and the weeks prior, so no wonder---offering to help me with unpleasant tasks was the wonderful result of Christ working through these verses.

Let's pick it apart bit by bit, and hopefully, further imprint it on my brain.

"raised up with Christ" Wow. That means that positionally, I am forgiven, risen, and seated with Him at the Right Hand of God. What a great place to be. The victory has been won. Here are my daily marching orders until we see Him face to face:

"keep seeking the things above" Wow. It must not come naturally. This theme of seeking God and His plan, and His ways is throughout the whole Bible. It is a choice.

"set your mind on the things above" Another reminder, another choice. My life is hidden with Christ in God. Safe. Secure. And He is in control. His timing is best.

"consider the members of my earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, greed which amount to idolatry". Idolatry is a concept I often have trouble wrapping my mind around. I am not tempted to worship stones, and sometimes look down my nose at the superstitious or Old Testament barbarians who had this problem. But, idolatry is also immorality---because using others, or taking advantage of others is not obeying God. And impurity, passion--crusader arrogance, letting anger leak into speech is also idolatry, and evil desire as idolatry---it is easy to see that in the terrorists. But, what is my evil desire? What will trip me up?

"For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come.." Whoa. There will be a day of accounting. God is going to set everything right. In His perfect timing, not mine.

"put aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech, do not lie.." It is a choice. And if I see these things in my daily life, it ought to be a red flag to ask God for help in these areas.

"Since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices. and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge.." sounds like a process. A continual, growing, daily process.

"there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian,.." This is why as Christians, we are not to be bigots. In God's eyes, we are all human, flawed, and needing salvation. After we believe that Jesus is the Savior, God sees us in Christ, and as all the same no matter what color, size, age, ethnic, no matter where we live or work. We Christians are His. Purchased. Bought for a purpose of good works. And God wants us to treat each other with love, "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also you should you forgive."

"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body, and be thankful." We need reminded to be thankful. And here is calling and purpose, and doing what God designed us to do in Christ. Our lives are to ones of inner peace, love, harmony.

Now I raised my hand at the next section that talks about "teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Just what does that look like? ( Sing: "you are in trouble, you are gonna get it?!" )
The word "thanks" is embedded here over and over. What is my motivation for pointing out my fellow-Chrisian's error? "Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks ..."

This next verse if often yanked out of context and paraded in front of women trying to get them to conform. But, I do not see a paragraph break here. these next couplets need to be kept in the context of how we treat one another. These verses do NOT say allow your husband to get away with abuse, or crimes that violate God's laws. And the very fact that they are here is a signal that they don't come naturally. They have to be taught, and we have to ask God for help to DO them.

"And whatever you do in word or deed, so all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through HIm to God the Father. Wives be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be embittered against them."

See, I hid the hard to swallow in its context. Do I submit to my husband with thanks to God? Fitting? What is fitting?? Scarlet O'Hara's maid muttering, "its not fitting" comes to mind, from the movie, GWTW. It is not fitting, proper, pleasing for a wife to be stirring up trouble, gossiping, whining, plotting, moody, etc. Neither is it pretty. God was very specific when He created the first woman as a help-meet. A helper suitable. God made us very different, and then He gives us the power to love and honor and respect each other.

How do I embitter my husband?? Better ask him. Sweetie?

And please help me, Lord, to not exasperate my sons. I see a lot of eye-rolling these days, and reluctance to be with us, and my hugs and requests are becoming burdensome to them. Help me back off. I don't want my sons to lose heart. I don't want to overwhelm them with words or expectations. They are Yours, Lord. I need to give them back to You.

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord..." Even cleaning toilets, even vacuuming, and dusting..."It is the Lord Christ whom you serve."

"Devote yourselves to prayer...Keeping alert with an attitude of thanksgiving..." And my Sunday School teacher pointed out that the Apostle Paul did not ask them to pray for his freedom, but for opportunities to share the gospel. wow. When my tests come, when I am in prison or in the hospital or at a graveside, will I be praying for opportunities to share the gospel? Wow. Please season my words with salt and grace. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.

Comfort Food

One of my favorite comfort foods is baked beans with onions and garlic. I get hungry for it every once in a while, so yesterday I procured the onion and garlic cloves. This morning, while middle son and I watched the President's press conference in the Rose Garden, James was eating his pancakes, and I buttered the cassarole dish and started chopping the onion and peeling the garlic. James watched, but did not ask what I was making nor would he be offered any. Maybe he was making a mental note---eat out for lunch today. He always has the excuse of class or study group or lab. When I asked him later, as he walked out the door to class, what the plan was for today, he mentioned taking his uniform in to get the new patch attached to the shoulder, and picking up name tabs.

I forgot to add the brown sugar. Oh, well, it will need taste tested in a while, so I can add it then if it needs it. A squirt of mustard, a shower of Mrs. Dash...those I remembered. This dish was one my Mother used to take to church picnics and pot luck dinners. It is so simple, and tastes great with hot dogs or brats. But, my days of digesting hot dogs and brats are long gone. Ha. And my husband may notice increased flatulence---but then his blog is named, "The Lost Fart..." My brothers favorite comfort food is probably still Grandma's noodles or Grandma's chicken cassarole. Cracker Barrel eating establishments are one big comfort food source. And middle son loves their steaks eighty percent of the time. He gets a steak every time we go, but maybe one out of ten are not good or not tasty, or too grisley or something. Most times, he eats them just fine. And I am so glad where he is headed this summer has a Cracker Barrel at each Army post town. Whew. He will not starve.

What is your favorite comfort food??

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Last Time Ever I ......(song)

There is a smoky, old romantic song about the first time ever I saw your face...and googling says its Roberta Flak, but while I was shopping for middle son's deodorant at Wal-mart today, I sang it as: "The last time ever I buy your deodorant, and unless you want it for birthday presents or Christmas...La La la la---aaaahah..."

I had him write down whatall was on the label so I got the right kind, but High Endurance had branched out into clear and solid. No more "stick". (not that it ever resembled a stick, in my opinion) So, I bought both.

At the juice section, I was restocking on all kinds of fruit juices---grape, orange, grapefruit, apple, and would soon venture down another aisle for gatorade, when a lady pondered aloud, "how can you afford these prices?" I blurted out that my son was only home for two more weeks... and headed for the milk department. Call me Mrs. Insensitive. But, I had to quit singing my song because it was making my eyes leak.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Last Allowance

As we all know, we come into marriage with baggage from our family of origin. And as a couple we decide how to raise our kids, and specifically, how to do "the allowance" each week. When our firstborn was old enough to understand about money, and buying stuff, my dear husband tried to teach the concept of saving. Each week, Bob would give the boys an allowance. It was free spending money to do with whatever they pleased, but he used to pay them interest at the end of the quarter for whatever they still had on hand.

I asked Bob early on for this transaction to be his deal with the boys, because when I was growing up, allowances were spotty, and for chores. Bob was able to be much more objective about these things, and so I tried to stay out of it. It became a lesson of grace. I used to call it paying them for breathing, because, in essence, all they had to do to earn or deserve their allowance was to breathe. And on Saturdays, my question was, "has Dad paid you for breathing yet," or to Bob, "have you paid the boys for breathing?? "

A guy needs spending money. Discretionary funds. I'll never forget the time when Andy was probably five years old, and I think the weekly allowance was a quarter. Bob was short of actual cold, hard change that week, and tried giving Andy a paper dollar. But, in this exchange, Andy had to give back three quarters, and to a five year old, the exchange did not seem right somehow. Bob thought the transaction was done, but I could see Andy tearing up, and asked, "did Daddy cheat you?" "Uh, huh" he said, because to Andy at that tender age, more coins meant more money. Bob traded back, and kept it simple until Andy could count and do math. I wonder if Andy remembers the actual event, or the re-telling? It became an oft-told family story.

As the boys grew older, Bob would increase their allowance by percentages that made may head swim. And having the correct, exact change for everyone on Saturday was a challenge. I did not mind helping, and when Andy went to college, we would send his allowance by check. One month, the check never made it, so we drove to Oklahoma to an "away" football game where Andy was marching in the band to give him his allowance. That was our excuse, anyway.

The boys were pretty good about saving. Andy bought his own bike one time, and James had kept himself in CDs and DVDs.

Today marked the last allowance. Allowance and lunch money. I wrote a check, as James was already flush with cash, and that was the way he wanted it. The end of an era. Another last thing. For twenty years now we have doled out the cash. And as we can afford it, we will try to help each of our sons out with expenses. And its fun to buy them what they need. But, theirs' is a too practical mom. They have heard me say it a hundred times, that I'd rather buy them what they need, or what they pick out to wear, so that I know they will wear it.

We did not pay the boys for grades, nor chores, except maybe for mowing. Mowing in the south can be a hot, dangerous job. And they have all worked for the neighborhood landscaper mowing in the summer earning extra money.

Did Daddy cheat you?

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Perfect Pancake

Middle son loves pancakes. He eats them very plain. No butter. No syrup. No honey.

Pilbury quick bread mix and three eggs, and one-third cup of olive oil, and one cup milk and old fashioned oats ground in the coffee grinder, and voila !

I am doing a double batch this morning. Reading the internet between pancake flips. Folding clothes, loading and unloading the washer and dishwasher between pancake flipping.

Stacks of three big pancakes per baggie in the freezer. James can eat pancakes every morning now for a week. But, he is a disciplined man, and will alternate with bowls of cereal.

The iron skillet is hot. The batter thin, but not too thin. Pumpkin pancakes. And Banana-blueberry. Twenty days and my pancake flipping days will be done. Darn. I was just getting good at it. I live dangerously. I listen for the popping sound of the hot condensed water hitting the fry pan sides as the moisture slides off the glass lid. High popping means time to flip.

Maybe I can figure out how to make a batch, and pack them in dry, James will do just fine learning how to make his own. He will find just the right combination of ingredients he likes.

He will do fine.

But, I will miss him.

Sing For Joy

Psalm 56:8 "Thou hast taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Thy bottle;
Are they not in Thy book?

Psalm 59:8, 9 Awake my glory, Awake harp and lyre. I will awake the dawn.

(music plus thanks plus singing is how to start the day?)

Psalm 59:16 Joyfully sing of Thy lovingkindness in the morning...

Psalm 63:7, 8 For Thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of Thy Wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to The, Thy right hand up holds me.

Do you suppose Psalm 67 inspired the writer of "O Beautiful"? Nations are to praise God !

I cry easily. To an ad, to a sad story, to a moving piece of music... and sometimes I get this urge or need to cry. Its as if I need to look for something that I know will make me cry to relieve the stress or something. Tears in God's bottle. Wow. Does He catch those teeny-tiny ones that spot my glasses? Does He get the ones that dot my blouse? Or the ones that leak into my ears?

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of tears and the gift of laughter. Please put in my heart Your song, and on my lips, a joyful song of praise. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Bad

I am so embarrassed. I have been spelling Ben Stein's name, Stine. Whoops. Sorry. Please accept my apologies, dear Mr. Stein.

Storm of the Week

We are experiencing weekly storms with tornadoes, wind, hail, and rain of Biblical proportions. Last night's excitement included more than the usual lightening. And of course, middle son had waited until the last minute to get his haircut. I worked as fast as I could with the clippers, but I could not help but smile to think he might have to sport a mohawk to class this morning if the power went out again. The lights blinked once, but I got the job done, and left a little on top for color. Today is their last day to troop through the local park playing Army games (training). Middle son had so much fun playing the "enemy" last week that he dressed up again as a member of the press. Jeans, straw cowboy hat, and a very small spiral for the dress shirt pocket. Like no reporter I have ever seen on the news, but a fearsome enemy no doubt to his lower ROTC classmates.

Anyone? Anyone??

The silence is deafening. Anyone? Anyone?? Ben Stine's documentary is now up to $3.4 million and is 26th in all documentaries. And the press says nothing. If it weren't for the Beatles Broad suing for using under 25 seconds of her husband's song, the MSM would not even admit the movie is out there. Amazing. A conspiracy of silence. Cowards.

And the irony---Yoko Ono is suing a free speech movie. A hippy suing over free speech. Rich.

EXPELLED, Ben Stine's movie not only rattled their cages, but proved his point that the media IS in on the darwinlovers conspiracy to shut out debate. WOW.

I salute you, Ben Stine. May God protect you and bless you, and I hope I get to shake your hand and say, "thank you" without blubbering.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ben Stine's documentary, EXPELLED, finished in the top ten opening weekend !

Where is the press?? Why the conspiracy of silence? They are just proving what Ben Stine was talking about in his movie.

EXPELLED made $3.2 million this weekend. Opening weekend!
We went twice. I heard the music the second time around.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Adventures in Scrabble

UNHALTERING is a word. "Where is your grandpa?" "Oh, he is in the barn unhaltering the pony."

Great way to begin a Scrabble game as it reached the triple from the middle ! To keep my mind engaged, my dear husband lets me have more tiles. He bingoes away each game with his seven, so don't feel sorry for him. And if I find a word in the Scrabble dictionary, its fair game. And if in a hurry to check out a big word, I find it on the internet in multiple articles, I can usually get away with it.

I am constantly amazed how that every time we play, it is an almost completely different board. Soon, we may join the ranks of taking pictures of our "art" and recording for posterity (history sitting down?) our amazing boards. (almost an oxymoron)


I accidentally hit a mystery button and it posted an empty post. I don't know how I did it. Oh well, its a mystery. Might as well post somethin'.

I know, I will list the vitamins and supplements on my computer table here and y'all will think I am some kinda health nut:

Ginger Root capsules (good for tummy upsets, and I read recently, pms/menopause)
Crystalized Ginger (yummy, and see Ginger Root)
Vitamin C (guard against colds, and 'cause I don't eat enough fruit)
Alive multi-vitamin
Kroger slow release iron
B-50 Super B-complex
E complex
Cranberry capsules (prevents urinary tract infections)
Metamucil plus calcium capsules (no way can I choke down the powdered stuff)
Cod Liver Oil (mom recommended)
Cinnamon (good for blood sugar regulating AND a Great burp)

I don't take them all every day. I can usually skip a day two or three times a week. And if I don't "get-er-done" in the morning, I either regret trying to force them down in the afternoon or defer until the next morning.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I Got to Hold a New Born Baby This Morning !

How sweet to hold a newborn baby...
And feel the pride and joy he gives...

This morning at church, I got to hold a week old baby. They sat near us last week when he was just days old, and we oooo-ed and ah-ed over him. And volunteered last week to give the new mom and dad a rest. This morning they took us up on it ! Wow. To be handed a tiny sleeping baby. He has dark, long silky hair. My babies we all blonde baldies. So cute. So sweet. It was THE best gift. I can die happy now.

A month ago, I got to briefly hold a new baby girl. And a month and a half ago, we got to hold and play with our 14 month old granddaughter.

I just don't think you can hold babies too much. It was wonderful. They make little bird noises, they snuggle, they start. They are used to being all curled up in a ball. What a miracle, little babies. And they grow up too fast. My real baby turns 21 this year. And my oldest baby, 27. And that middle baby raises his right hand and swears to support and defend the Constitution of the United States in less than three weeks.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Adventures in Vacuuming

Our old "Princess" vacuum quit. It was a canister barrel shaped appliance with a power head---but the suction got weaker and weaker. It got to where I was discouraged to even try vacuuming, and our carpet became embarrasingly covered with lint and crumbs and cat hair.

I broke down and purchased a Bissell at Walmart. Wow. Let me do a Bissell commercial. For $65 I have a strong, strong vacuum and no bags, no filters. The first time I used it, I had to dump the reservoir three times on just the front hall. It picked up a gallon of dirt the same color as the front yard. Very impressive. And my husband figured out how to take it apart and clean the foam filter. Everything is washable. It is great. And we are not longer walking on filth. Ha.

One of these days I will tackle the cobwebs in the corners, too.

One of the first bloggers I started reading years ago, LaShawna Barber, at used to frustrate me because she rarely mentioned national news and current events. But, now, I noticed that my blog rarely comments on the world outside. My blog is more a personal daily journal.

Amazing What Imprints a Memory

Four years ago, or was it five---we were researching sending our middle son to the local college. We had had the fun experience of our oldest son being accepted and attending a college three hours away. But, we had a perfectly good college right here in town. To save money, and enjoy this son as long as he'd let us, we hoped he would choose the local university.

Middle son also graduated early from high school, and his actual graduation service was held at the university because it was the biggest venew centrally located for all the early grads from the local high schools. And we were familiar with the campus from all city boys choir concerts and high school band competitions.

When we first met with the early entrance lady at the college, her office was in the same building as ROTC and we watched men and women in their physical training outfit---ARMY t-shirt, and shiny black trunks also emblazzened with ARMY--run by to class. It imprinted on me as something we might see a lot in the future. But, now after four years of ROTC, our middle son rarely wears this physical training uniform to class except in April. He wears it for the PT test and swim test. This morning, he also had a test, so he wore it to the test in chemistry.

Seeing him take off in his Army t-shirt and shorts took me back to when we were registering him for college, and looking at our options. And now we are about to see him graduate. For four years I have washed and folded his uniforms, and jeans and t-shirts, dress pants and dress shirts. And in one month, his laundry will no longer be mixed with ours. The end of an era.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Have NEVER...

I have never been to a Dallas Cowboy football game. And I don't feel deprived. Going when Tom Landry was alive would have been nice, but we could not afford it. Too late now.

I have never been to a hockey game. And I don't feel deprived. I like listening to hockey on WBAP 'cause the commentators are funny, and it helps me fall asleep. I might be talked into going to a game. Maybe.. Someday. But, only if we are given tickets, and there is nothing else to do.

I have never been to Boston in the fall. (Veggie Tales song) No desire, either.

I have never eaten sushi. No thanks. You could not pay me enough to even contemplate it.

I have never been to Alaska. I have never been on a cruise. I have never been to Europe and turned down a free trip offered to me my senior year in high school. I never thought I needed a trip abroad to feel finished nor sophisticated nor all grown up.

I have never been to Maine nor Prince Edward Island, nor Iceland nor Greenland.

Some things will just be better in a resurrection body that can fly. I can wait. I am fine. Just fine, thank you.

What have you never done that you are proud of??

What have you never done that you'd kinda, sorta, maybe someday like to do...when the time is right, and the expenses are covered??

Adventures in Roofing

Well, the hailstorm did a job on our roof. The insurance guys came and climbed upon the roof and circled hits with chalk, and took pictures, and told us it is time to replace the twenty-year old shingles. The hail pounded the plastic top off the attic fan so we had this big gapping hole for critters, rain, and ventilation.

I have started calling roofers. Looking for estimates. Dear husband will want to do it right, which means he will want to do it himself. But, I'd like to know what he is saving us so that I can appreciate my hero he-man.

I have a confession to make. I sleep with my Sunday School teacher, my lawn mower man, my handy-man, my tree trimmer, and my me a slut, but they are all the same MAN. Dear husband wears many hats, and its my job to nag him not to forget that hat or he'll get a sunburn on his head. He swears I scorched his hair off kissing it, and he lets me be his barber---so you could say that Bob sleeps with his barberess. (and his cook and laundress and housekeeper)

Jobs begat jobs. While the roof needs replaced, we might as well re-wire, install new insulation, and replace rotten drip edge wood...and that "we" is really Mr. Handyman's job. I will fetch the gatorade, fetch the food, wash the sweaty, dirty construction clothing, and even fetch an occassional tool---if he knows where it is in the garage, and which shape describes it so that I can understand.

When Bob installed the present roof, I found out I was pregnant with Ben, and conveyed that happy news to the handyman/husband on the roof. A visiting "consultant" (friend not good with tools) blessed Bob with, "way to go, stud!" That helps us remember how old the shingles are, and while Bob took out a dormer and re-shingled a section when Ben was in third or fourth grade, we can date that section, too.

Always something with a house. Always something to repair, that is !

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lauren !!!

Happy Birthday to YOU,
Happy Birthday to YOU,
Happy Birthday dear Lauren,
Happy Birthday to YOU !

Walk Down Memory Lane

I asked my husband, Bob, to show me how to add a picture to my page. For twenty-five years now I have taken a picture of the boys on the first day of school just like that old Kodak commercial. I used to count seven rocks to the same spot to stand and try and capture the often reluctant-to-cooperate. A few of those pictures show the little guys in or by the double stroller. And at the end, the older one has flown the nest. Then youngest got his own place. Middle son graduates from college on Mother's Day this year. What a fitting day?! Our last month tied to a school or college schedule. We are weaning ourselves off of having to travel only when school is out. For twenty-five years we have had to know when is spring break. For twenty-five years we have been sensitive to exam days and lunch time schedules. Soon we will be free !

Friday, April 11, 2008

Yes, the Second Storm Was a Doozy

At 3am Thursday morning, the wind picked up and we listened to radio warnings one after another as the storm approached the DFW metroplex area. Like a wall as wide as the thirty miles between Dallas and Fort Worth, the storm advanced from the west with 75 mph winds and tornadoes that would tear down trees, rip roofs, and take down power lines especially in North Richland Hills, and Allen.

We did not even hear the tree in the front yard crack in half in the high wind and lashing rain.

We have eleven huge oaks on our lot, and the three that grow close together like a trio are so tall that their branches give shade to our street. One of the three lost a top branch in a storm last week, and Bob had to lasso it to bring it down and chop it up. A woodpecker couple still established a home in the top of what is left of that one. We saw them busily pushing sawdust out of their hollowed out nest yesterday. The second of the trio cracked in half in the storm and the top lay in a precarious forty-five degree angle like southern belle with her huge skirt of branches and leaves brushing the ground. Bob pulled it down and sawed it into manageable logs. Clear duct tape is not as effective as twig binding as the slate gray duct tape.

We found an old, abandoned woodpecker hollowed out nest in the downed trunk. Found above the crack, I am not so sure the woodpecker contributed to the weakening of the tree.

A few dead branches adorn the top of the third remaining trio member. I wonder when it comes down. And are the three metaphors or analogous to our three sons?? One sports a family, one broke off as a surprise and one left at home...for a few more weeks...until the next storm/wind/orders.

Yesterday at 10am I heard a transformer boom, and then silence as we lost power until 4pm. My neighbors one street over had been without power since the 3am storm, and its sorta embarrassing when your husband works for the power company and you have power and neighbors do not. It looks like we get special privileges or something.

NO power means no internet, no blogging, no blog reading, no NASA coverage, no C-span, no AC, no dishwasher, no laundry washing nor drying.

No power means that sweating doing yard work appreciates a breeze to cool the sweaty brow but not liking the biting horseflies that draw blood despite OFF bug spray.

No power means folding clothes, and washing dishes, and knitting. No power means transferring perishables into a cooler with ice just in case the outage lasts for days. No power means I was so glad I did not stock the frig nor freezer.

No power means the Mystic Monk whole beans could not be ground. But, we tried them this morning, and it tastes great. Thanks, Anchoress. Hope you get the credit as I ordered through your site.

No power means a day of solitude...but not having a clue how to DO solitude. I bet it takes practice. No power means the lights do not work no matter how many times you forget and flip that switch in the dark garage (nor the garage door---and the car trapped inside) but I did have the power to think, and listen, and talk on the phone. And I had the power to be thankful for coolish spring days not the hell that is August in Texas. Thank You, Lord, for the power of Thankfulness.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cleaning the Chairs on the Titanic

A severe hail storm blew through our area last night. I thought the hailstones were going to break our east windows. My husband had just dropped off to sleep and was starting to snore softly, and the pounding began. We will need a new roof. And there are dings on the cars. Bob got up and grabbed a hailstone to show me---big as a golf ball.

Once it was light enough to see this morning, we saw yard, walks, drive, and cars covered with leaves and broken branches. All our oaks had leafed out at different rates, so some of the leaves were full size, some just beginning. I picked up two huge trash bags full in time for the garbage man. But, I felt like I was cleaning the chairs on the Titanic because more storms are due this evening, and the radio weather folks are using the tornado word.

Our neighbor had huge herons come back and nest in the tops of their trees this year. Two pairs, and one without a mate. There must have been seven herons, because two lay dead in the yard. And two sets of herons on two sets of nests seem intact.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Tantalizing Task of Tackling Paul's letter to the Colossians

Guess who these verses are REALLY talking about:

Lam. 1:12-16 “Is it nothing to all you who pass this way? Look and see if there is any pain like my pain which was severely dealt out to me, which the Lord inflicted on the day of His fierce anger. From on high He sent fire into my bones, and it prevailed over them; He has made me desolate, faint all day long. The yoke of my transgressions is bound; by His hand they are knit together; they have come upon my neck; He has made my strength fail; the Lord has given me into the hands of those against whom I am not able to stand. The Lord has rejected all my strong men in my midst, He has called an appointed time against me to crush my young men…My children are desolate because the enemy has prevailed.”

That is what it looked like from the cross. Jesus was sinless, and our transgressions were bound and put on His neck. But, it only appeared that the enemy had prevailed. Three days later HE AROSE. And the enemy realized and would never had put Him on the cross if the enemy had realized before.

And now we can have God’s thoughts?? God’s wisdom? My Sunday School Teacher, who is also my husband is plowing through Colossians, insists we can have God’s wisdom, not just know stuff about God. (Wasn’t that carrot dangled in front of Eve? To be as smart as God?)

I must confess. I used to hate Paul. I mean, who writes like this?? Who talks like this?? Paragraphs as long as your arm…and sarcasm? Please. Paul’s letters were made to be read aloud to congregations? (over and over, obviously---because I can’t get it on the first or even second pass) And while our theologians parse and dig out the nuggets, and while Paul seems to set the bar so high, it must be understandable for God gave it to us.

It is slowly dawning on me, that that which was so tantalizing to Eve, to be as smart as God, has been given to us in Christ. Colossians promises that everything is tied up and gift wrapped in Christ. We have come full circle, back to the Garden where the promise of all we need, all we lack, and where mysteries are unlocked, and all we need to know is here in Christ.

Jesus used to come to the Garden in the cool of the evening and walk with Adam and Eve. Jesus visited with them.

This side of the Cross, Jesus wants us to understand this letter, and He gives us the power to digest it and selfishly, I desire to know Him, not just things about Him. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t Paul saying that the knowledge is something you pray for, even ask for on behalf of others? If so, I ask for you:

Colossians: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colassae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel, which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it form Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit. For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience, joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, and He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities---all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church, and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross, through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which, I, Paul, was made a minister. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ. And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf, and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, this is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasurers of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument. For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and In Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority, and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us, and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—things which are a mere shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. I you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with the using)---in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is on account o these things that the wrath of God will come, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self and its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him. A renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body, and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, and with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to god. And whatever you do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Colossians chapters 1-3:16)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Clean Garage

The garage is clean. Isn't that exciting? The garage is also our laundry room, so I like to keep it clean enough to drop clean clothes and not have to wash them again. That shop vac came in handy to blow out the dust and reach cracks and crevices the broom could not. And of course, the side yard walk had to be swept and blown or we'd just track the newly clipped yard back inside the garage. I don't hear the dryer squeaking. Must be time to add a new load. I have always wanted one of those fancy dryers with the buzzer to tell you the clothes are done, and now I do---when the dryer is done squeaking. The clothes are dry. The ear-piercing squeak can be heard from two doors down.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Prophecy Fulfilled

Zechariah 11:11- ...and thus the afflicted of the flock who were watching me realized that it was the word of the Lord. And I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages, but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord.

I don’t know about you, but when I read the Old Testament and New Testament, I want to be the good example, the blessed, the content, and not some prophecy of what happens when you disobey or mess up. These verses in Zechariah sure capture the spirit of what happened with Judas Iscariot. Maybe he was sick that day during Hebrew school. And hind sight is so much easier than foresight.

Yes, we get to choose. Wanna be a Judas or a Jezebel?? I don’t hear of many naming their children Judas, or Jezebel, do you?

Psalm 69 and 109 are also quoted in the prophecy fulfilled by Judas. Psalm 69 sings with references to Jesus on the Cross. And Psalm 109 also foreshadows Jesus. I wonder if Jesus knew from these Psalms that His job was to pray. And when David wrote these words, did he know they would be a prophecy and a comfort to his future son, the Savior? Well, David knows now.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Studying Judas Iscariot

Matthew 10:4 …and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.

Matthew 13:55 “Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?” (I include this reference because it shows that Judas was a common name, and of the four or five mentioned, only one was bad.)

Matthew 26:14 (right after Jesus said of the one who perfumed his feet, “…she has done a good deed to Me.”) Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, and said, “What are you willing to give to me to deliver Him up to you?” And they weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver. And from then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Him.

Matthew 26:21-25 And as they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” And being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” And He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” And Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Surely, it is not I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said it yourself.”

Matthew 26:47-56 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up, accompanied by a great multitude with swords and clubs from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I shall kiss, He is the one, seize Him.” And immediately he went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest, and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?” At that time Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled.

Matthew 27:3 Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed, and he went away and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” And they counseled together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying: “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one whose price had been set by the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the Potter’s Field, as the Lord directed me.”

Mark 3:19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.

Mark 6:3 “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us? And they took offense at Him.

Mark 14:10 (right after Jesus said of the woman who perfumed Him: “She has done what she could, she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial…”) And Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests, in order to betry Him to them.

Mark 14:43 (same as the Matthew account)

Luke 6:16 …and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Luke 22:3 And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad and agreed to give him money. And he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the multitude.

Luke 22:47 While He was still speaking, behold, a multitude came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them, and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” And when those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And a certain one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. And Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as against a robber? While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me, but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.”

John 6:70, 71 Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
John 12:4 (third account of alabaster jar) But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denari, and given to poor people?” Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.

John 13 account

Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, and was going back to God, rose from supper, and laid aside His garments, and taking a towel, he girded Himself about…

Jesus washed Judas’ feet !

Verse 26 Jesus dipped the morsel and gave it to Judas Iscariot…Satan entered into him, and Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” Now no one of those reclining at the table know for what purpose He had said this to him. For some were supposeing because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the feast,” or else, that he should give something to the poor. And so after receiving the morsel he went out immediately, and it was night.

(after this the new commandment---love even as I have loved you..)

Love one another just as Christ loved. Don’t betray one another. And I don’t think we can do this in our own power. We need God’s help.

John 18 Judas comes with the Roman cohort, officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, with lanterns and torches weapons.

Vs4 Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth, and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” And they answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He said to them: I AM. And Judas also who was betraying Him, was standing with them. When therefore He said to them, “I AM” they drew back, and fell to the ground. (this happens three times)

Acts 1:16 Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide tot hose who arrested Jesus. “For he was counted among us, and received his portion in this ministry.” Verse20—“For it is written in the book of Psalms, “Let his homestead be made desolate, and let no man dwell in it,” and “His office let another man take.” And verse 24—And they prayed, and said, “Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two Thou hast chosen to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” (before the day of Pentecost)

Let’s review class---

Judas ate with Jesus, traveled with, observed, saw Him heal and admonish the rulers.

Judas was a thief.

Judas was left in charge of the money box.

Judas had his feet washed by Jesus.

Judas took food from Jesus’ hand.

Judas conspired, betrayed for money, making the chief priests happy.

Judas felt remorse.

Judas knew and admitted he had betrayed innocent blood.

Judas committed suicide because…_____? He was angry? He was expecting Jesus to stand up to the chief priests? He was expecting the crown before the cross?

It is kinda obvious that Judas is in hell. So, salvation has nothing to do with feeling remorse, or even realizing you betrayed innocent blood.

Judas could have turned, and said, I was the worst sinner, and turned and proclaimed that Jesus is the Son of God, our Savior. Judas could have been saved, but he had a pattern of stealing and thought he was getting away with it. Judas thought he could hide that sin from Jesus. Judas was probably ambitious. Wanted power.

The Judas story fulfilled four OT prophesies. So, either Judas did not pay attention in OT class, in Jeremiah, and David in Psalms.

Maybe a better analogy would be a gang member, to help us understand Judas’ motivation. But, lets use a father/son analogy:

Let’s imagine a little boy looks up to his Daddy. His Daddy is a big strong policeman. His Daddy stands up to criminals, rebukes the proud, and promises justice.

Every time that little boy sees his Daddy in action, his Daddy is like a superhero. And his Daddy whisks sick people to the hospital where they are miraculously healed, and performs CPR on accident victims and they come to life.

Imagine bad guys like drug dealers are mad at your Daddy, the policeman because he is cutting in on their turf. One day the drug dealers sidle up to the little boy and say, we will give you thirty pieces of silver if you will tell us where your Daddy hangs out. The little boy knows his Daddy is stronger and won’t allow the thugs to win, and he thinks that the sooner this showdown, the better. So, the little boy “betrays” his Daddy to the thugs who tie him up, beat him, and the little boy is stunned. The little guy was so sure his Daddy was stronger, and bigger, and would never allow thugs to win. Why was his Daddy allowing the bad guys to win or appear to win? Why didn’t his Daddy call ten thousand policemen to back him up, and corral this crowd? Why isn’t his Daddy using his super hero powers? The little boy knew his Daddy could heal and throw out strong demons.

The little boy is so afraid that his Daddy is going to be mad for snitching that he runs and hides, and …………

Contrast the betrayal of Peter with the betrayal of Judas Iscariot. Peter denied the Lord three times, Jesus looked him in the face when the rooster crowed. But, Jesus had warned Peter ahead of time---when…then turn and help your brothers.

With Judas Iscariot, he had been “handling” the money, and helping himself, and Jesus had never called him on it. Again, Judas either did not know Jesus could read minds and hearts or was sloppy, or was thinking they were going to be so rich and powerful when Jesus established His political kingdom, that his petty cash theft would be forgotten?

Even when Judas is sent out, the other disciples do not suspect him. They just think Jesus is sending him on an errand.

In the study of the alabaster jar, all three accounts mention the fact that this was the straw that broke Judas Iscariot’s back.

So many shadows of Satan, where God gave him enough rope to hang himself…even so with Judas…and do we look down our noses at Judas and think we’d never betray Jesus? Even though there were two or three other good men named Judas, the name is forever synonymous with all that is evil.

But, oh, how we tremble to see one who ate with, slept near, talked, listened, saw…and did not believe.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April Fools

My dearest husband's recollection is the best. And beautifully written, so I will not even try to top it. Instead, from my point of view I remember some other silly details.

Thirty years ago, Bob flew to Houston on a Tuesday before we were to be married on that Saturday. A blood test was needed before we could procure a marriage license. We went to the doctor I used and then attended church together. Bob used the hotel just blocks from my folks' house, and relatives from El Paso, and Shreveport would trickle in that week, too.

I remember attending a family dinner south of Houston at his brother, the pastor's house and ranch. And we also picked up one of the triplets attending U of H, and his great aunt from Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Because so many of my friends had complained of not enjoying their weddings which got out of hand in size and scope, we were determined to enjoy our wedding by keeping it small and limiting attendance to just family. My folks complained and expressed their concern that we would not receive many gifts, and they also took note that Bob's family was huge. My folks took "family" literally, and dug up relatives I had never met in my life---cousins from San Antonio, who I wonder if they really wanted to attend. One bitty handed me the gift of a silver butter dish, and then asked to look at it, smeared her fingerprints all over it, and said, "now you will have to polish it." Sweet lady.

I was thankful that my grandparents made the trip all the way from Illinois as they had been close keeping in touch with letters, phone calls, and visits ever since our move to Houston four years prior. And I am thankful my folks paid off our huge phone bill for all the planning.

I want to talk about my sister. I went from sharing a room for over twenty years with my sister, to sharing a room with my dear husband. My longsuffering sister had put up with my love of re-arranging furniture, and dating, and being born without a modest bone in my body. She is and was my Maid of Honor. She moved out of my parents' home a short month or two later, prompting my parents to lament that I had opened the floodgates and they had lost two daughters.

I also want to say I am so thankful for the spiritual foundation of our marriage. My folks had set the example of going to church daily for our spiritual food, even as we need physical food daily. My folks had set the example of a love of learning God's Word, and exercising their gift of hospitality which brought about Bob and I meeting---see Bob's blog. We went to a church that emphasized patriotism, love of and thankfulness for the military, even during Vietnam, and no matter who was president. I attended during my high school years and I know I received more love of history, and a clear view of economics and politics from that church than I ever received from the Houston Independent School district.

Our church provided entertainment, and encouraged fellowship. We hosted folks in the military, and honored them at the 4th of July holidays with a flyover, and at the New Year's Eve service with the full formal dress of folks in the military serving Communion. That was an impressive sight--all the services and military academies represented. Our church encouraged love of country---something so many seem to have missed growing up in this great country. So, I feel so blessed to have experienced it. And so when I met Bob, and joined him at the end of his military service, it seemed such a natural fit. It was an exciting adventure, and we continued to listen to messages from that same church for years. Therefore, we had that same base, that same list of priorities and desire to honor God first, and each other next. I am not saying we were perfect nor faultless. I fell into the trap of taking Bob for granted, and being mean and moody and angry and Bob patiently waited for me to get over it.

Our wedding was so much fun. We laughed a lot. We enjoyed every minute. We were so thankful that our honeymoon consisted of driving back to Savannah where Bob was stationed and being together away from our respective families. I continued to write to friends and relatives in Houston and Illinois. I had been given two wedding showers---dear friends that had loaded us down with china and practical things to set up a home. Bob had purchased a queen size bed, remembering his mother's admonition about heavy-duty castors. And I want to always remember coming to this wonderful, new apartment he had found and set up with the new bed, sheets, phone, and a brand new fancy dress hanging on my side of the closet he had deemed too empty.

We had so much fun playing house. I used to load him down with a super full lunch box complete with two sandwiches, and goodies that he said his fellow soldiers would gather 'round and watch him unload. He made the mistake of trying to finish it all on the trip home, which means he was not super hungry for the feast awaiting him for supper. And I was used to cooking for large numbers coming from a family of six. It was fun. We explored the Savannah area, the historical sites and the beach, and lured by radio programs from the fancy areas of South Carolina, we ventured out to see it. On long, long weekends we even ventured as far as the farm in Illinois, where my grandparents lived, and they put us in the backseat for an even longer drive up to Wisconsin to visit my aunt and her family.

Azaleas make me think of our honeymoon as we drove from Houston to Savannah. We spent our first night together at a hotel in Beaumont---wanting to make Texas the place we, uh, what's that word??? And good thing, too, as we discovered Bob had forgotten his briefcase, so we motored back to Houston to retrieve it Sunday morning and then drove on to Savannah. No way was I gonna go to church the morning after when everyone would be looking at us and knew what we had been doing. I did have SOME modesty. Stopping in Gulfport, Mississippi is a story all in its own. Bob introduced me to french fries and McDonald cookies. My folks had been and still are healthy nuts, so I had not been eating french fries growing up. We settled into this Ramada in Gulfport, but were strafed by jets doing touch and goes in all night training next door at either a naval or Air Force base. What a hoot.

In Tallahassee we experienced a flat tire, and Bob about passed out when he got a good look at the tires on my car. A set of tires was our first big purchase as a couple in Tallahassee where we visited with friends we knew from our church in Houston. At this point in the honeymoon, I was suffering from UTI (honeymoon cystitus) but was too embarrassed to talk to my friends about it and found out from later visits that they could have helped me. The pain got severe as we approached Fort Stewart, so I asked Bob to stop at the emergency room in Jessup, Georgia. The doctor there explained the problem and gave us medication which gave me great relief. So, I was sleeping soundly with my head on Bob's lap when we pulled into Fort Stewart where Bob needed to sign in, and for the trip to our new apartment.

Until I learned to deal with bladder infections preventively, Bob and I spent many a night at the emergency room at Fort Stewart. I remember that the Army nurses had decorated their Christmas tree with balloon condoms.

It was so good to see where Bob had been living and working for almost four years. I got to meet his Army buddies, and to this day we still make the "Hulk" noise like baby Robert when we watched him entertain his parents.

By our first anniversary, we were living with Bob's widowed Dad in El Paso where Bob decided to go back to UTEP and tack an engineering degree on top of his math degree. And what a blessing to get to know Bob's family of seven brothers and sisters and their families. One triplet sister had married, and one was in Houston at college, and the other would soon be headed to physical therapy college. So, for about a year, we lived with Bob's Dad as his nest was quickly emptying. Bob worked for his Dad in his Dad's construction business when he was not studying or attending class, and I worked for a plumber as secretary as well as cooking and housekeeping. It was fun.

Bob's Dad was an early riser, and loved talk radio--something we did not understand at the time, but now, we, too enjoy talk radio so maybe its an age thing.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Rest for Your Soul and Food for Your Body

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus says the Lord: Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls...

Ezekiel 3:3 ...fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you, then I ate it and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.

Jeremiah 15:16 They Words were found and I ate them and Thy Words became for me a joy and a delight of my heart...

God leaves nothing undone nor unsaid. God cares about our souls.

Today is our 30th anniversary. I made pancakes, and Bob pulled weeds. Now we are on a quest to do something new and memorable to mark the day. I heard or read somewhere that to do something new as an adventure as a couple is bonding. And if we just go to the same place to eat as we did last year, we may not remember last year. I think we went to Carrabba's for some veal piccatta. Probably. Surely I wrote it down somewhere, or there is a receipt in some tax receipt bag for last year...

Thirty pictures taken with the thirty theme. We live close to I-30, so we can start there. Bluebonnets are blooming. We are dressed in our burnt orange matching t-shirts that I bought for Palo Duro Canyon last July. Bob is busy thinking of rhyming thirty themes, like dirty, flirty, nerdy... his blog entry will be a winner, I'm sure. Something old, something underpants, and new bra... now aren't you glad I shared?