Friday, July 31, 2009

Paid Da Bills

Paid da bills---water, insurance on the house and cars, and sent off our contribution to New Tribes.

The natural gas bill will come tomorrow and be due before the next pay check, so I need to keep a beady eye out for that.

Now to remember to mail them. ha

And dearest...uh, well---I'll email ya.

Heading to Lawton tomorrow. A Load to Lawton. Yessireee. In the plymouth resides the uniform called, "blues" and THE dress. The newlyweds are motoring to Lawton tonight with their little car packed to the gills with gifts. I shall bring the rest tomorrow. Then come back home. Thataway, I won't have to get a hotel room. The Holiday Inn was full up anyway, and theirs is the shampoo I like.

Rain---yesterday's was from the north, and tonight's is whomping us from the southwest. lightning. thunder. forty mile an hour wind. whew.

I can't wait to check the weather websites tomorrow===surely we broke records for rainfall in July. Surely.

The drive to Lawton is pretty. Ought to be able to tell who has received rain. Things are sure greening up here. Now to bed.

What a difference a week makes. Last week this time, we were at the rehearsal dinner. I need to get Amber's folks' address and send them a thank you card, for the food was delicious. And little Faith came through her surgery just fine, and they took bone from four ribs to help knit her skull together. She is walking and laughing. I don't think I'd be so perky if you took bone from four of my ribs!

What a contrast. Tomorrow will be one week from the wedding---and the wedding attire hangs lifeless in the van, needing a good cleaning.

Amber said she was excited---time to get settled with all their stuff. There will be plenty of time. They may have a wall of boxes for a while. Until orders. until they move to a bigger place. And then, there is the wii to play with... we never had one of those. We had Scrabble.

Loonies and Toonies

Bob and Andy said that in Canada, dollar bills are rare, and instead they have dollar coins---loonies and toonies. The one with the loon is the one dollar one, and the other one is a two dollar coin. I hope Bob brings me back one of each so I can see them. Canadians must have extra strong pockets for all the coins. Yikes. My wallet is heavy enough with just quarters and nickles and dimes!

And Andy has a Garman Newbie? or Nevie? navagational device. A GPS unit. Bob said it really helps getting through the towns. They have not named it yet because it is calm, yet mostly helpful. Surely, the voice reminds them of an actress or aunt or someone they know?

And I think I have the skype thingy fixed---if not, the directions suggest going to Tools---options---general---video===settings and making sure the webcam settings button is on. But, I need to call them to test. I can't access tools unless during a call?

And mystery solved? maybe. On one of their first days out, they asked why the flags in Indiana were at half staff. Korean Armistice Day was July 27, 2009. Thank you, Airman Mom, blogger.

I will now redirect you to Bob's much funnier blog:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday of more rain!!!

Big storms rolled through this morning. I could hear the warnings on the radio. 30,000 lost power. And supposidly, it is going to circle around back on us and hit us again tomorrow! Everything is greening up. The sides of the road, so brown now for weeks are coming back.

I went to the chiropractor. He worked me over good. I needed it.

I bought stamps. Poor lady in the line had a boy literally running laps around the island. Too bad parents can't spank anymore. Threatening to tell the boy's dad was not effective.

My friend, Mary and I went to Mexican Inn for lunch.

At 1:18 pm Amber left a message on callnotes---they were going to get on a flight an hour from then, and her sister was picking them up at the airport, then they were getting James' car, and then maybe coming over here!!!

So, at 2pm, I called and Amber answered!!! I told her I can't wait to talk to her about the wedding. She seemed to only have eyes for James, and said she could not wait to SEE him. James looked so unreadable, but Amber says...

So, they will come over tonight and maybe open presents, and eat cheesecake. I also have their wedding cake... three bags full...frozen.

Then Lauren called at 4pm. On her way to swim at Uncle Doug and Aunt Melanie's house. I am sure Kelly will be a good babysitter. I am so glad she is having a grand time. Dr. Karn had so much fun talking to Abby. And Abby recognized Mimi in pictures on the walls. Lauren will see her friends tomorrow, then travel down to see Don's folks, and maybe to Austin. I told her about the newlyweds coming here tonight, maybe, and she so wanted to be here, too! If only that beam-me-up Scotty thing worked.

The address book project is almost finished. Four pages of Ws to go. We have no friends of certain letters---like Rs, etc. But, the newly printed sheets look so much cleaner, and neater, and ready for new notes. It looks like a family tree in places to help me remember friends and family's grandchildren's names and ages.

Some cat got into our garage and tore up Sallycat. Tuffs of Sallycat's hair were so thick you could stuff a pillow. I had to sweep the garage before doing laundry. The laundry never ends with changing sheets.

I wonder how far our travellers got? I wonder if they stop and hike and stretch their legs?? I wonder if they are enjoying Canada and being together.

More later....the newlyweds are okay, and coming home, and I can't wait!

They came, they opened presents, and took pictures, and ate some cake and I managed to send all the cake home with Bridget as well as the mushroom sauce. Yeah. Now I have room in my freezer. Yeah.

I just loved the framed vows. WE all need a copy of those. And I could pencil in a few more. I don't think they were quite long enough.

I am so relieved they had a good time on Pike's Peak, and in their "stinky" cabin. Some varmit musta died under the living room portion, because they said it smelled bad in there. I am so glad the wedding presents are now all safely in their hands. Lots of good cooking---a waffle iron and a sandwich maker. Mixers, bowls, spoons, plates. They are gonna eat good. And no more toasters. That is good.

And I handed off the laundry and uniforms. James still has a bunch of shirts left in the closet, but he can get them next time.

All I have left to do, wedding wise, is return some napkins Carrabbas left at our church.

Bob and Andy tried skype-ing but the video from my direction would not work. so frustrating. I could see and hear them, but they could not see us. And it was jerky in the audio department, too. I tried shutting down the computer and restarting, so maybe it will work tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I got my haircut. And the nice professional kept talking and talking and cutting it shorter and shorter. So, I won't need another haircut for a few months. What a hoot!

Good plumber---already blogged about that.

Picked up Bob's suit---all clean and ready for the next event. Hopefully, my dad's funeral.

Defrosted the freezer at ACC. Hope no one trips on any melted ice. I hope to get there early Sunday, and close it back up.

Found a few things at Target. Ate an angus burger deluxe from McDonalds. Still on the hunt for coasters. And they only sell sheets in sets these days. Try finding one king sized flat sheet.

Still ruminating about the wedding, reception, clean-up, and the fact that the newlyweds fly home tomorrow.

I just never in a million years dreamed that two different women would be victimized by my own 64 year old pervert of a father at the wedding reception. Dang, it is a good thing we did not invite folks from our church. Why is my father drawn to beautiful, vivacious women? What a horrible Christian testimony. Since when is inappropriate flirting a Christian virtue? How exactly does whispering to my friend and prayer partner the he has had the hots for her for years glorify Christ? I wish she had slapped his sorry face. But, she did not want to make a scene at James and Amber's reception. And right in front of my mother---has my mother no spine? Does she worship at the idol of "duty" until my dad beats and kills her? Doesn't she see anything wrong in my dad asking for photos of Bob's niece when she was sixteen?

What does it take to put a dirty old man on a pervert list?

When will the real men in our family take him out? My friend said he is not worth going to jail for. But, the years of waiting for him to change, the years of listening to my relatives talk about weird and unnatural incidents with my dad....when is someone going to stop him? I hope he gets caught, but that means another victim. But, we need a victim with the spine to turn his sorry ass in to the police.

Keep your hands to yourself, old man. Control yourself.
At any and all future family gatherings, we will need a real man to shadow you and prevent you from being the predator you are. We are watching you. Be afraid. Be very afraid. The Judge is at the door.

Does my dad victimize women in the homes where he sells insurance?

Does my dad act inappropriately with women at his own church?

Would the strong women of this world stand up to the pervert?! Please!

And to my sons: never leave your wife alone around my dad. Not even to go to the bathroom.

Dear Heavenly Father, Please empower the women my dad comes into contact with to know when to scream, when to slap his face, and when to take him out. Please protect girls and women from my dad. I pray he gets caught so that no one else gets hurt. In Jesus name. Amen.

News from the North

Bob and Andy skype-ed just now---and said that the border agents asked over and over about weapons. guns? knives? They even asked if the Air Force issued a switchblade. Uh, no. Someone tried to fool the border agents, I guess. And the Subways sandwich shops in Canada have six inch and foot long sandwiches, but the chips are in metric, and the writing is in French and English on the packaging. No guacamole. Radio reception is getting slim. Government stations, and the dial spins all the way around sometimes, they said. Bob said he would formulate a blog on what not to say to the border agents. Oh, and Bob withdrew $200 in Canadian dollars. Wonder what that converts to...

Bob and Andy are entering Canada

3:30pm central time. Just got a call from Andy and Bob---they are entering Canada on their quest to Alaska...

I hope they stay alert to blog fodder.

Where did they first hear, "eh"?

What is the fast food place of good eating in Canada?

Do they seem welcoming or look down their nose at Americans?

What extra ingredients do the Subways in Canada feature?

What was the price of gas in Canada?

How are the roads?

These and many more questions will probably be answered soon---or featured on Bob's blog with humor and spice. See

Finally---a postive plumbing experience!

With much trepidation, I put aside my grudge with Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and called them back. They sent out a card after the election bad-mouthing Joe the Plumber, so I was boycotting them. But, at least they are clean and on time.

And I got a post card in the mail from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing saying they'd waive the service call if scheduled on a Wednesday or Thursday. I just wanted them to replace the plastic seats again to help me make it through all the guests.

The lady at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing said the seats were still under warranty. So, there was no charge. Even though it was not the seats that were the problem, but the screw that works its way out. The plumber put lock tight on it. And NO charge. Did you read that Bob??! Wow. Should I have tipped him? Amazing. I explained that Benjamin Franklin Plumbing gave us an estimate on redoing the whole shower system, as the seat valves behind the handles are plastic---but this plumber says he could do it from the kitchen, so we would not have to retile. And this time, it was NOT the seats, just the screw on the hot water side.

I don't mind a hole in my kitchen wall, because then we could still use the bathroom! A kitchen hole in the wall can be patched by Bob. We need to repaint in the kitchen, anyway. It is tempting.

I wrote on the tile in permanent marker to turn gently, as the plumber told me to turn the handles gently, and I forget to warn guests. Now we are all set for more guests. And Mr. Too-Strong-Does-Not-Know-his-own-strength, the Newlymarried Lieutenant---maybe the sign on the wall will remind him.

Pictures of Rehearsal and Wedding

Dancing the night away.

Groom and Best Man brother dancing, and smiling bride and her folks--click to make larger.

Best Man Brother and his daughter, the flower girl princess.

The two Jameses and Ben. James and his cousin, my sister's son, were born the same year. Standing at the airport, I asked my sister when we were both pregnant with them what she was going to name her baby...and we have used middle names since they were little when together once a year...

Handsome groomsmen: left to right, Andy, Best Man, George, cousin, Ross, cousin, Maurico, Tim, and Ben, youngest brother

Bride and Groom at a delicious rehearsal dinner.

Rehearsing--parents seated in first row.

Rehearsal pictures on the bottom, wedding and reception near the top.
Thank you, Lauren, for taking these wonderful pictures and putting them on a disk. It was so easy to download them to facebook, too. This should hold us over until the photographer has the ones they took up and ready.

Amazing Rainy End to July!

I could not mow the back yard even if I could get the mower started. This has been day after day of rain all week! Heavy rain. Gully washers. And I wish I could send Bob a video of the low circulating right on top of us. It is literally coming up from Stephenville, and counterclockwise coming around to hit us from the north. Amazing. I do not remember ever having such a wet, wet July. Even the front yard is greening up. Yet, my friends in Ennis have gotten not a drop. Just a two hour power outage from wind.

It is obvious that the low spots on the road by the creeks have overflowed, as there are piles of branches. And our gutters are washed out with piles of leaves out in the middle of the street, and sandbars. I bought a disposable camera to take picture of our cute granddaughter, otherwise I would take pictures of all the evidence. Glorious, blessed rain.

Flash flood warnings. Lightning. Thunder. Oh, my.

Looks like the rest of the country our Alaska bound duo is traversing is relatively rain free. I wonder what temps they are encoutering. Our intellicast wunderground website is being balky about showing Canadian weather. Is there weather in Canada? Are the wheat fields being harvested? What is the fast food of choice among father and son? Have they tried McDonald's angus burger deluxe?? It is pretty tasty.

Is it a contest competition to see how long they can hold it? Guys are often all about competitions. Is someone hogging all the driving? Is there laughter as they motor along? We still have a tape from a small tape recorder somewhere of when Bob and six year old Andy drove to Montana and taped an oral letter to mom about the power poles.

I was too tired to visit much on the phone when Bob called last night. I was awake at 3am, however. Did another load of laundry, and checked out a few funny websites. When Lauren was here day before yesterday, I showed her the website, "There, I fixed it."

And do they let Emmacat wander around the car during the day? Bob said she mostly sleeps during the day and roams at night. Does she eat greenies like our Sallycat?

And has Bob spotted the early morning n. clouds?? is always featuring them.

These and many more questions coming to a website near you.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What a day this has been...

Could not sleep at 3am again. Got up and did some stuff on the computer for an hour. Went back to bed. Lauren and Abby got up and ate breakfast while I snored away. Lauren packed the night before, and loaded the car while Abby watched a Veggie Tales dvd. Maybe she did not like today's clothing choice, but she was pretty upset when she noticed Lauren going in and out for one or two more trips. But, snuggly ensconced in her carseat with the portable dvd player going, she waved bye-bye, and Lauren made it safely to Grandpa Karn's house. That is great. Grandpa Karn is going to have a great birthday tomorrow!!! And oh, what fun Abby's Mimi and Pops will have, too!

I ran some errands, and put clean sheets on the guest queen size bed. Vaccuumed, and now all is in readiness if the newlyweds want to stay there Thursday night. It is tempting to put all their presents in there, too, but I am not even sure they are coming here. I guess I can text or call closer to their flight time. I hope they have had fun in da mountains of Colorado. I wonder if they got to ride the train.

Tried skype-ing with Nance again, but this time the sound was balky, so we talked on phones, but could see each other on video. And Suzanne called. Gary sounds much better after being home after two eventful weeks in the hospital. Glad to hear he is on the mend.

Doing laundry, making lists. My coasters are about worn out. Maybe the gift shop has some. Walmart did not have any that I could find.

I got the piles of leaves picked up off the driveway. And the garbage to the street. The grass is tooooo wet to mow. I guess it was a surgical storm again last night---as Suzanne in Ennis did not get a drop. I drove by low spots in the road where the creek had overflowed and deposited branches up along the road. It was a gully washer yesterday! Good, because that means the parking lots got a bath, too! Walmart's needed it.

I have a case of canned drinks to donate to the church coke machine because I cannot find the nine big foil disposable pans at Walmart. They will have them closer to Thanksgiving, and I will try to replace the ones from the cupboard we used at the reception at church.

I am down to two pieces of grilled salamon. One more meal. And I am wondering if the butter mushroom sauce can be made into soup? Wouldn't hurt to try. I have two huge ziplock bags of it. And Carrabbas bread for toast or sandwiches.

I wonder how far the Alaskan questers got today? St. Louis to ???

Researching verses dealing with wolves

Leviticus 5 If a person sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen or learned about, he will be held responsible.
Lev. 19:17, 18 Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt. Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.
verse 28 talks about no tattoos

Proverbs 2:16 Keep away from the adultress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words.
2 Tim. 3:6 For of this sort they which creep into houses and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts.
2 Tim 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
1 Tim. 5:1, 2 Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters IN ALL PURITY.
1 Tim 5:20 Those who continue to sin, rebuke in the presence of all so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.
1 Tim. 5:24 The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment, for others their sin follows after.
2 Tim. 3 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power, avoid such men as these.
Titus 3:11, 12 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning being self-condemned.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I will not direct your attention to a much funnier blog:

Bob is blogging about his adventure with firstborn as they drive the cars to St. Louis to ship one, and Alaska to their new home.

Lots of cuteness here. The granddaughter got to see both sets of granparents together at the reception, and both her MIMI and her Grannie at lunch today. How special is that!

Good rainstorm here. Lots of lightning. One crack overhead made me jump. Skpe-ed with Great Grandparents, and The Travelers, and the firstborn sounds mighty goofy operating on little sleep. Just like his Uncle Joel!

I was so glad Mission Arlington was willing to take the five pans of pasta and meat sauce. I am now on the official salmon diet. Salmon in the morning, salmon in the evening, salmon at supper time. It heats up in the microwave just fine. I did not save the sauce for it, but I did save the whole pan of mushroom sauce that was on the chicken. And I have plenty of bread for toast.

And if Bridgette is missing a set of tablecloths on a hanger---I found it on the parking lot. Looks like they ran over it in their car, but the tire tracks are only on the plastic bag! I will save it for whoever goes that direction next! And I am so sorry I did not catch Brigette in time to send food home with her---there was no chicken left, but salmon, and mushroom butter sauce, and pasta with meat sauce aplenty.

And in case I forget to tell the bride where I hid her knives---it is in the red bag with the netting---here with the presents.

Wonderful Wedding

Wonderful Wedding dear James and Amber! It all flew by so fast---

And I think we all need a copy of the vows Pastor Robert made you repeat. Whoa. And Amber's Dad seemed so nervous, but it helped for us to take a break, and smile. Amber looked so beautiful in her gown. And the veil was so pretty, and how she did her hair for after the veil. She seemed to look with anxious eyes at her groom wanting only his approval. Wanting only to see his face.

I hope they had a wonderful time. I hope they enjoyed every fleeting minute. I can't wait to hear what they thought, and what they remember. It was so special. And I hope everyone from Amber's church felt welcome at ours. It was so good to see lots and lots of family. And serve lots and lots of raspberry lemonade. The Carrabbas food was good, and we had a lot left over. I sent some of the salmon home with Suzanne, as Gary can eat that. And some home with my folks, as they remarked how good it was.

Bob had an army of good helpers after to reset the chairs for church. Ben-Ben mopped wherever the sticky lemonade had dripped. And we were home by 11pm. I have a white tablecloth that must have dropped out of Brigette's car, and the presents awaiting the bride and groom along with the groom's laundry and uniforms. It was so funny there at close to time to go to Amber's church for the ceremony---I kept getting calls from different ones needing this and that. Even the groom called needing his running shoes to take on the honeymoon. I put them in the trunk of his car myself, to be sure.

The guys seemed to really like the ties. And Ross even borrowed his Dad's shoes, and one of our off-white ironed shirts. Good thing we had an extra. The cuff on Bob's seemed tooooo tight. I wonder if it shrunk funny in the wash. Everyone looked great. But, then, our view was of the groom's side.

The way the bride and groom faced the audience. I wonder what Amber saw facing us. And I wonder what James saw, facing the bride's side.

It was so fun!

Friday, July 24, 2009

On This Their Wedding Day

First Timothy chapter two says to pray...for those in authority so that we may lead peaceful lives. Fathers, manage your family. Women be worthy of respect in how to conduct ourselves. And chapter four talks how we are to train for godliness...set and example in speech, in life, in love, in faith, in purity. The sins of some men are obvious....and the sins of other trail behind them...

On Friday, it felt like Saturday, because Bob was home. Bob helped me purchase the gallons and gallons of lemonade, limeade, raspberry lemonade, and tea at Walmart, and haul it all and ten bags of ice to the church where we stored it. Andy and Lauren and Abby missed their flight as the check in line was over an hour and a half. We picked up Lauren's brother, Tim at Love Field in Dallas, and then after a late lunch, headed back to the other airport to await Andy, Lauren and Abby on a resceduled flight through Atlanta on another airline. Air Tran just was not going to get them here in time, so they found a better one on Delta. It is a miracle they made it.

We arrived fifteen minutes late for the rehearsal, and then needed to get gas on the way to the rehearsal dinner. But, I am sure things will go smoothly tomorrow---which is already today. Abby was so cute being a typical two and a half year old at the rehearsal. She fell asleep in the car coming home. Others did not find it so cute, so we made other plans for what to do during the ceremony. No telling what she will do tomorrow. If they wanted a well-ordered flower girl, they should have hired Miss Meredith. She is a seasoned flower girl. And she knows how to stand quietly. Two and a half year olds are more into interpretive dance.

Dear Heavenly Father, There is going to be an awful lot of traveling tomorrow between the two churches. And certain silly members of my family think it is a good idea to neglect their own, and stay up late. Your Will Be Done. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Please help us respect and restore the facilities cleaner than we found them. And

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Praying First Timothy

I am so easily distracted these days. I wonder why. And find myself zoning out or going back to lists while listening or reading, so in an effort to concentrate more precisely, and pray more surgically---is this what it looks like to pray the first chapter of First Timothy?

Dear Heavenly Father,

You instructed Paul to write this personal letter to Timothy, and You preserved it now over two thousand years. That is a miracle. And it must be for us, to be read aloud, and studied, and to be known as part of Your Living Word. Paul instructs Timothy to both read, preach, teach and instruct Scripture. So often, we neglect the reading aloud of this letter as it was intended. Or, we listen with dull ears, and are so easily distracted by our lists and pressing concerns.

Paul says in First Timothy that he was commanded by Christ Jesus to write this. As an apostle, and that Jesus Christ is our Hope and Commander, Savior, and Lord. Jesus and You, Father, are the source and Giver of Grace, Mercy, Peace, and family relationships. Paul calls Timothy: my true son in the faith. And later on in the book, Paul instructs us to treat each other like family....starting now what it will be like in heaven, because we are Your Children thanks to Jesus Christ who not only saved us, but made us positionally like Him. Saving us from hell would have been enough, but Jesus did above and beyond, and restored us as sons and daughters. This is amazing. And wonderful, as we did not earn nor deserve such treatment.

Please Father, protect us and especially our church, ACC, from false doctrines, myths, and endless genealogies. Please help us do your work by faith and avoid controversies, like the multi-level marketing controversies. Do we have a wolf in our church? G.G. ? Please open his eyes to this and protect our flock from his skemes to "provide a service" and "supplement incomes" taking time away from precious children, and from what our church is about. And Paul warns Timothy to beware those who confidently affirm things they do not know, because they do not know what they are talking about. I think we are all guilty of this. We speak confidently and dare anyone to challenge us. Certain member of my family come to mind. But, guard MY lips, and keep me from speaking confidently about things I do not know and guard my ears and my heart from those who speak confidently yet are in error.

Paul tells Timothy that the law is good if one uses it properly. Please help us do that. We so conveniently set aside so much of the law as not for our age. Please correct us in this. Please help us know how to handle, or what to say to those contrary to sound doctrine: law breakers, rebels, ungodly, sinful, the unholy, irreligious, murderers, adulterers, perverts, slave traders, liars, perjurers. Please help us conform to the glorious gospel You entrusted, Blessed God and Father.

Paul at Stephen's stoning acted in ignorance and unbelief--blind to the fact that he was once a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man. Yet You, Lord, showed him mercy. You blinded him physically for three days to get his attention. You spoke to him personally. You asked him: why do you persecute Me? And You told him to wait for instructions. There are so many, Lord, in our world, just like Paul. Islam has enslaved them. They think or lie to themselves that they are doing what is right. But they are blasphemers, persecutors, violent, acting in ignorance and unbelief. Only You, Lord, can invade Mecca. Only You, Lord can set them free. Only You can get their attention in their blind condition and save them. Only You can rescue their women enshrouded and break these unhealthy customs. I have to believe that since you did this miracle to save Paul, who calls himself the worst sinner, that You will do whatever is takes to take those acting in ignorance and unbelief and rescue them. Turn them toward Your Light. You can turn a heart like Paul's. Was his heart hardened? Was he as far gone as the people in the Arab world? And are there any liberals raised in liberal homes that You can rescue also? Only You can rescue them from their wrong thinking. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Please get Paul's story to the ones enslaved in the dark, closed countries like China, North Korea, India, Germany--where the churches are cold and empty. Please display Christ Jesus' unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Jesus Christ and receive eternal life. Please continue to use Paul and the current day men like Paul.

Jesus is the King immortal, eternal, invisible, Paul writes, to Jesus be glory and honor forever. Amen. That amen means I believe it. Please forgive my doubt and empower me to believe it no matter what trials come. Help us, like Timothy, to fight the good fight: holding onto faith and a good conscience. We tremble to know that some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Especially an old grannie lady, like me, who was saved as a ten year old child, and who desires to end strong. Please help me persevere to the end. Please teach me not to blaspheme. Please teach me how to hold onto good conscience and faith in Jesus Christ---because I don't even know what blaspheming means in this age. Some of these terms we have conveniently quit using. What does "holding on" look like?

Thank You, Father for First Timothy. Thank You for this letter, this personal letter to each one of us. We marvel that You would share Your thoughts and desires with us. And in You is the only real sanity and peace. Please guard our troops. Please use them to remove the evil ones from Iraq and Afghanistan so that missionaries can share the Good News, that You Love them, and desire to spend eternity with them, and have a wonderful plan for living peaceful, purposeful, productive lives. Please help us each understand Your Word daily. I ask for Your Insight and Wisdom to be kind and gracious to my friends and relatives over the next few days as we celebrate James and Amber's wedding. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vinegar to the Rescue

Soon as Bob calls, I am off to the cleaners to pick up the freshly ironed shirts for Bob's suit---and a spare. Then to church. We have been missing the last few Wednesdays and I need that break to the week so I know what day it is. Strange motivation, I know.

Today was Merry Maids redo. I thought Maxine said they be here at 9am. So, I was ready. By 9:30am, I gave up, vacuumed myself, and was headed down the drive on errands at 11am when they pulled up. No, no, they insisted--you second house. Okay. I let them in. And their cleaning fluids made me gag. Even the ladies were sniffling. If it were not such a hot day, I would have opened windows. This team spent time in the kitchen getting the stove to shine. sorta. And spit mopped the floor with their squirt bottle and a rag. They call it washing. I call it depressing. So, I gave it the old white clean washrag test. The floor is still dirty.

Well, we did not make it to church. Bob worked late, and missed his train, so I drove downtown Dallas and picked him up. We then ate at chick-fil-a and then picked up his car at the train station. Home by 8:30pm. Eating at chick-fil-a is like a date for us. We get to observe other people's cute little kids. And eat and ice cream cone! And I observed that planes are landing to the north. Pray tell, doth a front approacheth?

The groom is safely back in the DFW area. He belongs to them now. He is with Amber and her folks. We have lost him to the bride's side. Now he belongs to the ages.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I got a phone call from my good friend and prayer partner today. She said her husband has been in the hospital for six days, and today's surgery was scheduled for 12:30pm. We visited, prayed and hung up. And I decided to suprise her by being in the waiting room with her for a while. She was so glad to see me. And I got a couple of dishrags knitted. Suzanne is the one I knit them for, as she gives them away. She has to have blanketed all of Ennis with them, so now we are starting on Waxahachie. Sure enough, I pulled three out of my purse I was getting ready to mail her, and she promptly gave them away, just like she did at the shower a few weeks ago. Too funny.

Please pray for Suzanne's husband, Gary. He has diabetes, high blood pressure, and a staph infection in his foot. Gary is why James and Amber met, as Amber used to work where Gary works. Amber called later---she got my email, and dropped by the hospital, too. I know they were glad to see her.

I kidded Suzanne about how some are going to great lengths to cancel out on us. Suzanne asked if Gary had won the prize. Yes. Two cancelled for their father's 93rd birthday party, and some may be delayed by a funeral. But, a six day hospital stay---that trumphs them all. And what is it about small town hospitals? Wow. Everyone was SO friendly. Suzanne said HI to everyone, and half knew her, and even folks walking by our waiting room would say hello. I never. You just do not get that here in the big city. Eye contact and waves and greetings are a small town custom. And a nice one at that. I keep thinking our James would love living in a small town, as he has small town manners already.

And the December deployment is back on. Yikes. What a roller coaster. This Army changes their mind from week to week.

It Should Be Mother-in-Love

Why-o-why is it Mother-in-law? We are in the age of Grace. The Church Age. We are not under the Mosaic Law. Not all of them, but the Big Ten were carried over from Noah---we like those. The Ten Commandments were carried into the New Testament by Jesus Himself. He clicked and dragged them into our age. The Ten Commandments are for all ages. And they insure the preservation of a person, a marriage, a family, a nation.

But, mother-in-laws usually have a bad reputation. I read the horror stories on Spousebuzz, and they are not usually featured in a good light in movies. MIL is my acronymn for this name, and to the photographer, who asked for a company name, I am the evil mother-in-law. I should have called myself, Mother-in-Love. Because I love both my daughters-in-law. Lauren, I have known since she was a tiny baby, as her mom was my good friend at church starting in high school. Lauren's mom and I enjoyed sleepovers, each other's folks, and Lauren's grandmother even gave me a china shower, a sopapas recipe, and watched over our spiritual health.

In four days, I will be given another daughter-in-law, Amber. Fun. Fun. I am so blessed with Christian daughters-in-law. Maybe we should call them daughters-in-love, as they love my sons. And I am so glad. Warts and my sons are not perfect. But, we did our best to raise men of character.

a funny about James: James told us about getting tattled on at work. Someone walked into his major's office and said that one of his lieutenants was taking a picture of himself at his desk and sending it to his girlfriend. James' major guessed correctly the first time. What a hoot. But, maybe the major needs to give 2LT more to do. He'll be a 1LT later this year.

Amber said that someone asked James about his skills, or hobbies, and James forgot to mention his one numchuck skill: dancing. I think this will be a very useful skill in the Army. It is good exercise, and good for dodging bullets, and entertaining the Afghani children. It will be good for romancing his wife, and playing with his children someday, too. My Dad's mother and father were known for their love of dancing. So, James got a double dose from the Howe side of the family.

Rain again today?! This is a gully washer, with lightening, and the whole metroplex got some, not just a few spotty showers. Won't need to water all week. And this yard will need mowing whilst Bob is in Alaska. Oh, dear.

Maybe, one weekend...James could demonstrate to Amber his mowing man skills. James mowed one whole summer to buy his ford ranger. He was one of Mr. Washburn's best workers.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bears Repeating

This is The Wedding Week. So, marriage is on my mind. Thinking about the verse in Genesis 2:24 where God says:

For this reason
a man shall leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife
and they shall become one flesh.

For what reason? Well, back up a verse and hear Adam, the first man given a helpmeet: The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man."

As a mom, as a parent, we know you can't just say somthing once to your children. Lots of repetition is necessary. God, as our heavenly parent, repeats important things throughout the Bible. In our modern era, it is like God is clicking and dragging the important concepts of the Old Testament and highlighting them in the New. These are timeless. These apply to every dispensation. And to every generation.

God repeated it in Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:8, First Corinthians 6:16 and Ephesians 5:31.

Leave and Cleave.

Leave father and mother----wow looks like both are necessary for the proper raising and launching of a real man. Raising independent men, our goal. Men of character. Knowing God's way.

Be joined ... and they shall become one flesh: sounds like it is a process. Not a quick nor one shot thing.

Be joined to his wife. Guard your heart, eyes, and time from the distraction or anyone who would rob you of your wife. Porn, movies, co-workers, etc. The enemy knows our weakness, and marriage is under attack from the homosexual agenda, and the pleasure before responsibility crowd. The team must be guarded, nourished, kept in shape, grow. Making memories and history together. God's design.

The whole chapter of Ephesians 5 is worth a review. The Genesis verse is sandwiched in a very informative passage about how to handle a woman, and how to respect your man. Aren't you glad God gave us directions? We can love on our own. Our love is flawed. I doubt many newlyweds leave the church without breaking their vows with a frown or a glance or a sinful thought. We need God's help to appreciate the gift He has graciously given us. We need God's help to love with His perfect Love, the person He has given to enjoy life. We need God's help to restore and refresh when we are tired, fractious, worried, afraid.

And the First Corinthians chapter six is also worth a read in contest. The dangers, and the analogies--God does not waste a thing. He uses marriage to teach us about our relationship with Him. And the warning to be careful what you join yourself to. Where do you join your body, and time, and eyes? It is a choice. Daily. Hourly.

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of marriage. Please bless James and Amber, and make their wedding ceremony a time of reflection and renewal for all the marriages represented there to witness their vows. Guard our lips---may we be an encouragement and good example to James and Amber. Make us a help and not a hindrance. Make us a blessing. And please give James and Amber lots of love and laughter. Joy and Peace. Comfort in times of trouble, and prepare them and strengthen them for whatever lies ahead. Thank you for this Divine Institution that You designed to protect the human race from ourselves, and from the enemy. Marriage came before sin, and You preserved it on the other side of sin. That joining is still a mystery to me, even as Your teaching of Christ and His church is a mystery--such a complicated, multi-faceted, wonderous relationship.

For some reason, we won't need marriage in heaven. That makes some of us sad, that the one we are now joined will merely be a "friend" in heaven? That part is a mystery, too. Your Will be done. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Good Sunday School lesson. A semi-retired Wycliffe translator from Brazil gave a lesson on the Prodigal Son. I like how he pointed out that it was really a Prodigal Father--who gave his love lavishly. We can identify with the characters in the story. The wild living son versus the obedient son. But, even the obedient son was resentful, and waiting, perhaps, for Dad to die. What is our motivation? God's Grace is so special, so amazing. God's Grace cannot be earned by our good behavior nor lost by our bad.

Bob pointed out that the three parables go together, the lost coin, the lost son, and the lost sheep... and that the Pharisees did not realize they were the lost ones. I needed that. I need to remember that as I read in the book of James this week, God is the Judge standing at the door---present tense. God is watching. And God is loving, changing and restoring, too.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I agree with Debbie on Cronkite!

And Bob says his name means sickness, in German. Cronkite was evil.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday evening post Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel does a catfish fry on Friday nights. I think we have been there the last three Friday nights with Ben-Ben. We talked about whatall we will be doing next Friday night: the rehearsal dinner and then the wedding on Saturday. Whew! I bet this week flies by.

Well, the head honcho branch manager insisted on coming by and looking at my house and the poor job her workers did. I said to come ahead, and showed her the dirty washrags from the test of the floor, and frig. And I showed her my new list. And she found things I'd missed. She insisted that her workers usually do a good job. And she wants to come back on Wednesday with a different crew and redo the house. no charge.

Then the dishwasher repair guy came by with the part, and installed it like he was in a big hurry or something. $277.00 later, he was out the door, and I set a load going after his quick wash (30 minute cycle) was over. It still seems to make a grindy noise at 84 minutes, so I will need to watch it, and call him back, as the warranty is only good for 30 days for this part/labor. Warrantees are more valuable than the appliance/car/etc. We never did lay our hands on the receipt. I suspect it is hiding in the same spot at the disk for the scanner.

Almost time for bed. I had enough excitement for one day. Got up way toooooo early, and fetched breakfast biscuits, and accidentally dropped my wallet in Bob's car in the dark. Found it at after noon after the repairman left---when I discovered it was missing. I am so thankful I found it, and need to be much more careful in zipping up my purse. I called Bob to see if he had spotted it on his way to the train station, but he was gone to lunch. I found it and called again with a found message before he got back from lunch. Fetched two gallons of milk and a half gallon of orange juice whilst I was out. Bob got home about 6:30. Took a later train. I got all the sheets and things washed yesterday folded. We have a honey-do list for tomorrow if we feel like it. Thankfully, it did not make it above 92 degrees today?! A nice break in the slew of 100 degree days. Wind out of the north---aw. relief.

Watching NASA tv on the web. docking. and tomorrow's space walk plan.

Stunned. I got taken.

After washing the coffee table with dawn and water, a soapy white washrag turned brown, so I was suspicious of everything else they supposidly washed. (their definition of wash is squirt with their "green" cleaning solution) I washed the frig with a new white wash rag and dawn dishwashing liquid. That white wash rag also turned brown. Yikes.

I was so tired last night and sore from re-doing the tiles, bathroom, and mugs, I waited until this morning to wash the kitchen floor. Wow. I used a white dishrag and dawn and water. I now need to bleach four dishrags and a white towel. wow. Boy, did I get taken or what?!

Amazing. Time to bad mouth Merry Maids to everyone I know. How has this company survived? Do people actually pay for this poor service? And never check, never complain? wow.

What a waste of money. I feel so stupid.

Merry Maids needs to be reported to the Better Business Bureau.

I am sure I will get some excuse about liability and how they are not allowed to use bleach or caustic cleaning solutions. This is just too sad.

Merry Maids is just a small company owned by a much bigger conglomerate. What a joke. And the joke is on me.

I did it. I reported them online. Hope it saves someone else from getting taken. My new routine: scrub a little, bleach a little, move things off one section of the counter, wash, let dry, take a break under the fan. Blog a little. read blogs. Listen to NASA tv online, WBAP. Then when I am cooled off. Scrub some more. Once I have mopped the kitchen floor with Dawn and a capful of bleach, then it will be clean. Or I could do just straight vinegar. I gotta wait for the dishwasher repair man to bring the part and install.

I love vinegar. It is the best for cleaning. Maybe it will take away this sickening odor, the "green" cleaning solution the Merry Maids sprayed everywhere.

RAIN. spittin' rain, but dark clouds promise more. And it dropped below eighty degrees. Wow. And it is not suppose to get above 100 for maybe five days. We usually do not see a break like this in the summer. We usually sit and bake under a high until late August. wonderful.

I woke up super early this morning. And fetched sausage biscuits for our breakfast. I am sure Bob was amazed to see me upstanding before he left for work. I read somewhere on the web that elevating the head of your bed is good for what ails you. snoring. hair loss. ingrown toenails. circulation. infertility. The web page even sited the Egyptians and how they slept at a certain angle. So, I asked Bob to shove a two by four under the front wheels at the head of our bed. So far, so good.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Maybe I am just picky...

Merry Maids just push the dirt around. They showed up promptly at 9am, smoke billowing from their car. They hauled in tons of equipment, and clean looking rags, and cleaning solution.

It ought to be a clue when you don't hear water running much. They depend on their minty glass cleaner to "wash" the items listed to be "washed" and dust everything else. They start with a broom handled rag to get the cobwebs, and they like Orek vacuums because they are light weight. I don't think they work that well. And of course, they did not have a tool for corners. They worked for an hour and a half, then asked what I thought. Well, it smelled sorta clean, and while I was appauled watching their technics, I merely observed, made mental notes, and started a list...after they left ...when I ran my hand inside the tub and coated my hand with white powder. Comet? After all the talk about getting the bathroom two year old proof?? I emphasized this with the sales rep and the workers.

When I called their office as the instructions say, and started listing my concerns, Faith insisted on sending them back. I knew that was not going to work. And sure enough, they still did not have the right baseboard tool, so I pulled my vacuum out for them to use. Jovita insisted the soap scum on the shower ceiling was "glue" but Dana made her scrub it. I provided the plastic scrubber. Jovita left it--a wet scrubber in the towel cupboard. yuck. why?

Their "green" solution was squirted on the fan blades, and vaccumed along the edges of the carpet. And fussed at each other for not "seeing" the pile of leaves the first time. Dana confused my coffee mugs with knick knacks that needed dusting---and it grossed me out to see her wiping them inside and out with the same cloth she used to wipe the shelves. I think they took some dirt away. But, after they left, I test scrubbed the frig, and blackened my white dishrag. Same with the coffee table. It was filthy.

And the soap scum on the tiles above the tub---they insisted that I purchase some caustic product as their cleaning materials could not get it off. I took a butt wipe---Pampers wet wipe, sensitive flavor, and wiped the soap scum off the tiles myself. Buffed with a dry towel, and they shine again. Merry Maids left my tile cloudy. I am cancelling the service. What a joke. I got tired getting ready for them--carefully blowing leaves off the front walk so they did not track more in, and cleaning up after them. And restoring things to their proper place. What a waste of time and money. I have to do it myself if I want it done right. Or impose on Bob to give me a hand.

And tomorrow I get to wait around for the dishwasher repairman. Oh, joy.

Maybe I am just picky... Yeah, that is it.

Thorough Cleaning Day

They call it "a spring clean." I contacted a maid service, called Merry Maids, to come get the house ready for the wedding guests. And remove the residue of any dangerous chemicals before the granddaughter uses the bathroom and tub. The lady that came by for a 'consult' said to spray clorox on the grout, and mold two days before they come. And take all the pictures off the frig. We have this huge black behemouth of a frig, and I had completely covered it in magnetic picture frames of our family. There is even a picture of my mom with a great smile. Now the frig is ready for a good scrub. Bob noticed the pictures gone from the frig, and asked. And I confessed that cleaners were coming. I did not get the window service, as that is another 150 bucks. It was tempting because they do inside and outside the windows, remove the screens and do the tracks. Oh, well.

I swept the drive this morning. Blew it off, first with the shop vac, as this time of year, small brown leave fall off the trees, and we are tracking them inside. And my feet must be tender, but I like walking barefoot to the washer and dryer in the garage.

It is sad in a way, that I felt the need to hire heavy-duty cleaners. I am so out of shape. And cleaning up after the plumber was just too much. This will free Bob up to clean up the yard Saturday, if he so desires. He will probably need to mow the back, but the front is dried and brown. I need to pick up leaves in the side yard. And sweep, and check the yard for fire ants.

And I think Bob said something about spraying out the AC. It is something he does once a year to clean the little fins so that the AC works more efficiently. It is a tough job.

This will be the final weekend before the wedding. I'll be talking to the caterer this morning at 10am. Estimating 140 guests. We may get stuck with ten extra meals, but I'd rather have too many than not enough. And I want enough to feed our workers---

Okay, I am not sweating anymore, so time to shower and change. Then I will be blogging about having a cleaning crew of two come in. I hope to watch and see if I can learn anything. I am embarrasses that the kitchen floor is so torn up in one corner, and the house needs painting here in the main room we live in---kitchen and family space. But, maybe before Ben's wedding, when he turns thirty (like Uncle Jay did) we will have painted this room, and fixed the floor, and gotten the carpet cleaned. It is SO tempting to get the carpet steam cleaned. But, if they came Monday, would it be dry and good for Thursday when James comes home ?? And can we afford it?

I had a wonderful time yesterday with my future daughter-in-law! We "did" lunch. I love to "do" lunch like regular ladies. My friend, Mary, and I try to "do" lunch at least every other week. And Mary and I then visit our yarn and craft stores, too. Amber and I hit every Men's Warehouse we could find in order to get enough ties for the guys. Amber called her Dad and he was willing to wear pink for her special day, so we found some beautiful shiny, silk champaign pink ties. We visited and chatted away as we visited the NE mall Men's Warehouse, the south Arlington one, and the Hulen one south of Fort Worth. Wow. It was fun. They were on SALE, too! What a hoot. The salesman at south Arlington recognized me from Monday when I was there with Ben-Ben. I warned Amber to run if he started pulling more stuff out.

Wow---it was first time to shop with just Amber. And she is so fun! And she loves my son, James. And she knows she is getting Mr. Random and Mr. Movies. She is going to be so good for James. I hope she fattens him up. He has lost weight cooking for himself. Today, she drives up with her nieces to attend a Hail and Farewell--and take a load of stuff to James' apartment. I am sure she will get him organized. I forgot to pull out the diploma and talk about getting matching frames. Maybe if she is not tired of Hobby Lobby after the wedding sometime, we can do it then. Matching frames of their diplomas might look really good on their living room walls.

Andy has decided to ship one of the cars, and so Bob will be helping to drive the one...once they get to St. Louis. I wonder if Lauren is having second thoughts about riding with Andy. I hope we are not coming between them by "helping". Abby so loves having her parents together. But, it is not my business. This is Bob and Andy's deal. If Lauren would rather ride with, and make it a mini-vacation-geology trip as a family, I hope she speaks up. Bob would probably be mad if I even ask her.

It is the forty year anniversary since the Moon Landing. I am so used to seeing these pictures they are showing on NASA with choirs singing behind them as on the movie, THE DISH. The best movie, ever. Time to watch it again.

More later....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wow: It only takes 73 hours and 24 minutes to read the whole Bible aloud.

The other day, my son Ben was riding along with me to get the car inspected. He knew this cool place that was quick. Ben pointed out that my car stereo thingy has mp3 capabilities. I have no idea what an mp3 thingy is. But, I think it would be so cool to have the whole Bible on an mp3 or disk or something so that when riding around in the car, I can listen to the Bible.

I noticed on the Bible Gateway site that you can buy the whole Bible on mp3, and that it contains 73 hours and 24 minutes of listening pleasure. That means it took this guy 73 hours and 24 minutes to read the whole Bible. I am not saying he did it in one sitting. But, you could listen to the whole Bible in just 73 hours and 24 minutes. Wow. I am just blown away by that statistic. That is just so cool.

I wish someone would put the Bible to song, then it would be easier to learn, eh?

But, let us look at this number. You could read the Bible aloud in three days and three nights if you were able to do so without stopping. It would take you nine days if you'd rather read the Bible aloud at the more leisurely eight hours a day. Or, three months---that is all it would take to read the Bible aloud just ONE hour a day. But, we live in a fast society---who has time to spend ONE hour a day reading the Bible?? Can someone help me with the math? Let's say you only have time in your busy schedule to read the Bible for five minutes a day. How long would it take you to read the whole Bible, begats and all? (I just love the begats---they are my favorite part, because they speak of birth, and parenting, and love and romance!)

Do you suppose God designed the Bible that way? To be read in less than a week and rest on the Sabbath?

Looking at James

Not only can you listen to the Bible, you can read and look up passages. You can go read the book of James yourself, or enjoy my already chewed gum: (eewww) But, I want to write down the things that jumped out at me today from hearing and then reading the book of James. Go read it or hear it for yourself. I'll wait.

Ask for wisdom without doubt. Anger has no part in God's work/ways. Put it aside. Bridle your tongue. Food, clothing, shelter---these are necessary for the body. We are not to deny others these needs. Be patient about the coming of the Lord---Be patient. Be patient like a farmer waiting on his crops. He said, be patient, three times.

Persevere under trial. James 1:18 GOD CHOSE TO MAKE YOU !

James 1:20 the anger of man does not ahieve the righteousness of God.

No favoritism, no partiality.

Ask, pray for wisdom without doubting, and when God gives wisdom, in James 3 it will look like this: not bitter, no jealousy, not earthly, not natural nor demonic, no disorder. Wisdom from above is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. Righteousness and it makes peace.

Do not complain agaist one another---The Judge is standing right at the door. (present tense)

Endure as the prophets---that is why all the Old Testament stories are there---just for you! Learn from them. Note how they learned of God's compassion and mercy.

Suffering? pray

Cheerful? sing

I Know When Jesus Is Coming Back!

As many of you know, we are going to be a part of a wedding in 10 days. And it just occured to me that Jesus may come back during a wedding--and especially during a wedding reception. Remember these verses and tremble!!!

Matthew 24:37-39 (New American Standard Bible)
37"For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.
38"For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
39and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

These verses also give me such a wonderful hope---because in this day and age when marriage is attacked, and the homosexual community seeks their agenda, and Hollywood bombards us with something other than God's design and God's plan---I take such comfort knowing that God set in place His Divine Institutions of volition, marriage, family, and nationalism. And these will still be around even until He draws the curtain to a close and sets everything right.

How Cool is this? Who doesn't like to be read to?

Set a chapter or two going...when folding clothes...when knitting

when troubled

when too tired to read

to change it up. to keep it fresh

Listening to Letters from God: what a great way to start the day!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Watching a Blowout

Driving back from the store today, after a fruitless search for an Air Force bumper sticker to replace the one that wore off, I got back on Loop 820 on the east side of Fort Worth. I had just changed lanes moving over to the right when a big truck with double tires on the back blew one of the inner tires. Pieces of the debris, and tire blew against my hood and windshield. I braced myself, hitting the brakes and watched the tread come rolling toward me. I noticed my arms were so tense and locked, from the explosion or the suprise. I had no time to check behind me. And the truck continued on down Loop 820 like nothing had happened. He had to have felt it. Maybe the driver only felt a bump and thought he had hit some road debris. I wondered if this is just a little taste of what the soldiers experience when they hit IEDs. This was just a big truck tire blowing up. And the dust, and grit and gravel it kicked up, and the noise and flying tread gave me a scare. But, I got to continue on home in the comfort of an air conditioned car. Shaken, but unharmed. Glad I was a lane apart from the truck when it blew. Glad I was not traveling any closer to that tire or the tread would have spun up on my hood. I wonder when the truck driver stopped and noticed he was missing a tire. I wonder how far he scattered debris, as I could see an innertube still rotating on the hub of where that inner tire used to be.

I experienced a blow out when I was living in Houston. The buick I was driving, a huge tank of a car, had a blowout of one of the passenger tires. I remember how the car pulled and how you have to struggle to stay in your lane and come to a safe stop. Someone helped me put on the spare, and I was on my way in no time. But you never forget that sound, that pop/bang. Like a gun going off. It was dangerous.

A Get 'Er Done Day!

Lists were desimated this day. Piles were purged. And what I could not find at the store, I ordered online!

Emails responded to, calls made, condolences given, and I handled our first cancellations and welcomed a potential wedding crasher! What a day this has been...what a rare mood I'm in...why its, almost like falling in love.

Hannah, my niece, started college today. GO Hannah!

And I purchased a potty seat with handles. Our granddaughter will be going on Dora. It was either Dora or Thomas the Tank. Or the princesses. Then there was a contraption called a "tushie cushie". What will they think of next. Armed with a random list, I was about to head out the door, when Ben-Ben called. Ready for lunch. So, we went to Chipotle, and he mentioned needing dress shoes. I said I was headed to Walmart for a potty seat, so he tagged along. We could not find any dress shoes comfortable enough or in his size. So we tried Payless. Slim pickings there. So, we headed for Men's Warehouse in south Arlington. Nice store, and the salesman kept pulling stuff out. Amazing. Ben is set. Ben is ready to be da groomsman. And in shoes that will dance. As long as we can slap nametags on all his cousins at the reception, he will be fine.

Big crowds of relatives make Ben nervous. He asked me once, am I related to ALL these people?! Yep. Nervous as a cat in a rocking chair shop---Ben said all these "hot" girls and I am related to them! I guess it just does not do to "hit" on your first cousins.

I ordered the furnace filters online. two inchers are a bugger.

Washed the dishes. The dishwasher part people called again today. Wanting to know the part number again. The lady could not read the tech's handwriting. She thinks he may be able to bring it out Friday. Wow. Still hunting for purchase date. It is a mystery. Maybe if I leaf through old calendars. Five year warranty for a part, but two year warranty for something else.

Ben installed the Tarrant County license sticker on the windshield for me. And then he noted that my other inspection sticker was also due. He knew a place that was super fast. We went by there after Men's Warehouse. Got 'er done. I'd hate for Lauren to be stopped in Houston come August 1st.

So, we got stuff done that was not even on my list. I gave up looking for an Air Force bumper sticker. The Army-Navy store was out. I just ordered one online. Good old Amazon. They have a magnetic ribbon for every persuasion, and mostly hatred for President Bush and VP Cheney. Where are the pro-Palin magnets?

A little laundry. A little watering. A little cereal for supper.

Not much knitting done today. A little vacuuming. A little reading of the blogs. A little Breitbart TV. And my Dad says that I was a flower girl before I was two years old. The picture I have is a polaroid of me a week before I turned two. not much hair. white dress. a hairband of flowers. I am standing behind a 55 Buick, my Dad says. A homemade sign says, Just Married. June 29, 1958. My sister would have been born one month later. I'd post it, but my scanner won't talk to my computer. I even tried taking a digital picture of the polaroid. Came out fuzzy. Oh, well.

All this, and it was 103 degrees today. We will survive.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dangerously Hot

I should have known better. It was a beautiful post. Really it was. I pondered aloud on all the beautiful things about today, even though it is dangerously hot... and then, hit "post" and I got the "I'm not really sorry note about how it wasn't their fault they ate your post. No, there was some problem of double posting, and please report it, blah.

So I shall try again. I shall never trust blogspot again. I am so thankful my husband showed me where the word document thingy has been hiding on this new computer all this time. ha I shall compose away here, and then cut and paste. NO more lost prose. I have been burnt too many times.

It is dangerously hot outside. We are under a heat advisory until 7pm on Monday evening. Is that when the temp will drop below one hundred? How do they know? The day begins at the coolest it gets this time of year---85 degrees. Although, looking through the records, it once got down to 66 degrees. Must have had a thunderstorm that day.

This morning, Bob and I elected to go to Amber's church. We drove the route Bob worked so hard to construct on google earth and lo and behold, one of the streets had changed since December---when we last drove it. So Bob changed the maps and links. again. We will print some out, as well as have links online for incoming relatives.

We made it just fine in thirty minutes. Easy. But, we knew where we were going.

Amber's church is small. Modest. Her pastor gave an excellent message on the chapter where the Temple was built in I Kings. And compared the Temple to the first and second coming of Christ. Just like the temporary Tabernacle, covered with skins (flesh) Jesus came, and was lit from within. And the Temple represents the Second Advent, where Jesus will reign. Now, we are the Temple in order to reflect Jesus in our lives. It was a good lesson. All about how God is very into details, and gives specific instructions, dimensions and yet calls us back to relationship: observe, keep, obey in the middle of the work. The stones, for example, he said, were not to be chiseled or hewn near the site, but back at the quarry in the desert--and how in our lives, God does the rough cuts on us back at the quarry, in the dessert where it is hot and uncomfortable.

Amber's church is small, but hopefully, 140 wedding guests and wedding party can fit in there. We will pack it to the gills, and I tried to imagine Amber and her eight bridesmaids all lined up there. They have done an astonishing amount of remodeling since December. The carpet, and padded pews, and textured walls...the texturing on the walls reminded me of angels' wings. I wonder if they planned it that way? Then we will get back in our cars and travel the thirty minutes to our church--where we meet in a gym. Lots of room. Too much room almost to decorate. And our church threw us a curve ball by adding yet another "ministry" by opening the gym Friday afternoons. Lovely. When are we suppose to decorate? And when can we safely haul in the gallons of tea and lemonade and limeade?

I know it will all work out. Bob asked if we can invite folks from our church to just the reception. I don't think it is right to invite a few and not everyone. Someone's feelings might get hurt. And how would we get an accurate headcount for the caterers? Our family counts fifty--and some of them understand and are willing to just come to the reception as it will be easier on their little kids. Now to find someone to keep the church gym open from 2-6pm, and greet the caterers, and receptionees, and hopefully help with the music and cleanup. After the reception, Bob will haul out the 200 chairs from their storage rooms and set up for church the next day. Bob has been on chair crews for years, and can do it in an hour with four helpers who know what they are doing. So it is doable.

I just hope and pray Amber and James look back with fond memories and laughter. No matter what happens. We look back at our wedding an laugh. And we selfishly think the way we did it was the best. I'd keep it to just immediate family, though, if I had it to do over again, as my folks pulled a fast one with distant relations I had never met nor rubbed elbows with on a regular basis. My folks were trying to pad the numbers, as they knew Bob's family was big.

So, I don't want to invite anyone James and Amber do not approve of inviting. I think folks at our church understand. Ivan maybe, and LaVern. But, if others got wind that they got to come, and others didn't, I don't think that would go over very well. Mary K. She is my friend. Not really James'. She has volunteered to help babysit the facilities during the wedding if I can't find someone from our church or family to do it.

It will be fun. Fun to see everyone. A family reunion of sorts, like weddings can be. Almost all of Bob's siblings are coming. I think. The last time we were all together was at his sister's thirtieth in Albuquerque a year ago June. And a year before that, it was Bart's 50th birthday surprise. And Aunt Mary's funeral. Bob's siblings are pretty spread out now---but some are very faithful about weddings. I don't think Joel and Mona have every missed one. Then, making them officiate helped.

A wedding is a joining of two families. Amber's family from California and Arizona are all coming. And her family that lives in the area, of course. It will be fun. I hope Amber's family and friends feel welcome in our big old barn of a gym/church.

Caught Before Their Professional Shoot

This is a test. Only a test. I love comic sans because the "a" is drawn correctly as if we are drawing it by hand. Let's see how blogspot grabs it.

Wow. Here I had the microsoft word document all the time. Whenever I have to write a letter, I have been just doing it in email format, emailing it to myself, and then printing. This is much better.

And we will see how it transfers to blogspot. Now I can work on updating my messy address book. I want to do a page for each family. This will give me lots of room to flesh out kids names, and grandkids birthdays. And I need to add a section on appliances. Who knew we'd need copies of the receipts, and dates of purchase in order to prove warranty viability. And keeping these events on a calendar is not working. I guess I could look back through my blogs to figure out when we purchased the dishwasher.

Amazingly, we have lived in this house for almost thirty years, and the sink disposal works just fine. I keep thinking it will be the next thing to go out. Ha. Always something with a house.

Bob will be gone from July 26 to August 12th, so I will have plenty of time for projects---getting the carpet cleaned project, getting the address book updated, cleaning the garage, paint, getting the kitchen floor worked on. Eighteen days of which, some, Lauren and Abby will be here, and James and Amber will be coming back through, and Ben-Ben will be coming and going from his vacation, and maybe Mel, and at times this will be like Grand Central Station. And at other times, quiet and hot and dry as the Sahara.

Eighteen days to get started on the newsletter, announcing a new daughter, and where all the guys are. Eighteen days to blog about Bob's Alaska adventures. fun. fun.

Trebuchet will have to do. It did not grab Comic Sans. Oh, well. Still learning.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gang Problem in Anchorage, who knew?

I have been following a blog of a couple traveling through Alaska. Sad to hear that Anchorage has a gang problem after dark. Yikes.

Today we bought Bob a suit. Picked a black one off the rack at Men's Warehouse and they "fit" you and then you go pick it up in nine or ten days. Men do stuff strange. Women buy something that fits and take it home for heaven's sake. Our clothing comes all hemmed thank you very much. And we don't get to add anything to the crotch, either. But, then I think men's suits are a joke. They look hot. And yet, Bob is respected better in front of the Sunday School class when suited. Polo-ed, he gets a lot of lip.

We had the last supper with James. The last time ever we will eat steak with just him. Once he is married, any eating out will be with THEM. as it should be. In two weeks he will be a married man. Wow. The last time with just James...just James...just James....just James...j u s t James. (just like the song) Bob pointed out that it won't be Just James. It will be James and Amber. Amber and James. Lieutenant and Mrs. James Williamson. Captain and Mrs. Andy Williamson.

The yard did not get mowed. The front yard is needed a trim, too. But, best to spend this time with just James.

And our church has thrown us another curve ball. They are opening the gym on Friday afternoons. How lovely. When exactly are we suppose to decorate for the reception? If only we were using the fellowship hall. Oh, well.

Bob spent hours and hours and hours today getting the google maps ready to help people navagate between the churches. We hope to have some maps on hand for those among the friends and relatives that did not bother to look it up before leaving home. And some one the list either did not get an invitation or they were lost in the mail because of moves. I think Martin was coming back from Iraq, and Doug and Lisa were moving to their new house. But, hopefully, they can come to the reception and see Andy and Lauren and Abby before they head to Alaska.

James' laundry is almost done. The last time...well, next to last time, ever I do his laundry.... and towels, jock straps and sheets, and velcrow rich uniforms. There you go, James. Aren't you glad I posted today!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday, repairman day. oh joy. not

At least today's repairman is targeted between 2 and 4pm. Wow. Dare I venture out to get more milk? Am I truly free? On Tuesday, the plumber from hell was suppose to call first and that never happened. He just showed three hours later than they estimated I'd get a call.

What is with all the earthquakes in our area? Clebourne. Is natural gas drilling causing the quakes? Today's was a 2. Big whoop. But, earthquakes in Texas are rare.

107 predicted for today. Yikes.

Best get out and get 'er done. Post office to drop off bills, Braums to pick up milk, and maybe swing through McDonalds for an angus burger. They are tasty. And I like to know the breed of my cow. I am afraid to ask what kind of beef the other burgers are---dried up milk cows? male jerseys?

We are getting low on greenies. And Sallycat will start yowling if we run out. I wish Walmart carried them. I will have to go to the huge Pet place. Yuck. Lotsa walking for packets of greenies to placate our silly cat. One cat, cat for sale, she is going cheap, only seven guineas...that or thereabouts. If I could say she wasn't very greedy, I couldn't for I'd be telling you a tale. One cat. Cat for sale. (can you guess the musical?)

May I wax about photographers? What is the ediquette for asking photographers if they need therapy? What happened in their childhood to make them want to take pictures of my dear children besides trash, sadly painted walls, and teal colored air conditioner units? When will the trend turn back toward better backgrounds? I did not know I had such a viseral reaction to pictures with chain link fences. Bob says it is because it reminds me of the sad, sad, sad little faces waiting behind the fences at daycare. Little ones in prison. Maybe I am the one that needs therapy.

There is an old country and western song: lyrics go something like this: I gonna hire a wine-o to decorate our home, so you'll feel more at ease here, and you won't need to roam...we'll take out the dining room table, and put a bar along that wall... Well, I think we need to set up a special corner in the gym for the photographer at James' wedding so that she will feel comfortable. We can position some trash cans, some boxes, corregated steel, and drape material that looks like chipped painted walls. That way, the photographer will feel comfortable at the reception, and not make us stand outside by the rustic fence or air conditioner units. Bob said he is afraid the photographer will make us stand in the dumpsters. And our church has THREE. One dumpster for trash, and two for paper recycling. And it is just too hot outside for pictures, in my opinion. snark

More later...

Murphy's Law---they showed at 1pm when I was not home. Who knew? I had a plumber that was three hours late, and a repairman one hour early. Well, I am back on the list. They have another call in a city nearby, so we will see if they make it back this way. Oh, well. I am getting good at washing dishes. Waiting around for repairmen, not so good.

Okay, the Bosch needs a new "board" which will take a week to get, and they need a proof of purchase date/receipt because if the dishwasher is less than 2 years old, the "board" is covered under warranty. But, older--I'd need to pay for the service call and/or item, but less than five years old, which I am pretty sure it is. Isn't that interesting---the fine print. ha.

And Air Force son called today. There is something called a Captain's School. Where they send you to learn how to be a captain. Firstborn has been promoted, and is a newly minted Captain. But, in a year or two or even three--he will be sent to a school to learn HOW to be a captain. Who knew? wow. I am impressed. This schooling is back in the lower 48, so maybe we will get to visit him or them. It is an accompanied tour/school, so as long as his wife is not teaching a class at college---we might see all of them sometime. Cool, huh? And here I thought it would be three years before I saw them again once they head north to Alaska. I am always learning something as the mom of an Air Force son! Whoot!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ban the Burka

I tried to embed this, but failed. so please go to the link. He has the reasons I agree with. The burka is a dangerous death shroud. Their babies are born with rickets because of lack of vitamin D through lack of sunlight !! That is reason enough.

Hundred years ago or so, other cultures had stupid customs and the UK put their foot down and said, no, you may not throw the widow on the funeral pire anymore. Time to put our foot down and ban the burka, too. If it is a religious symbol, then wear it at church, you fools, even as the Catholics keep their veils and head coverings at church.

And where are the feminists on this subject? Hiding from genital mutilation, too, eh?? Cowards. If we lined up and shot anyone performing genital mutilation, I think they'd quit. But, feminists are in bed with the abortionists.

update: on the radio today, there was a story of terrorists who escaped by wearing burkas. The Marines did not have any female Marines with them to check the "women". Another reason to ban the stupid burkas.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Next Time I call a Plumber...

Next Time I call a Plumber,
This is what I'll say:

Hey, Mr. Plumber man,
please send out to me
a dirty guy
a big beefy guy
and make sure he hasn't changed
foul clothes that make me cry.

And just let him show
any old time
no need to call ahead
don't even promise a call to me
come three hours late instead.

And after he has mucked about
And made a royal mess
Just let me know how much to pay
and take your tools and guess
that I will scrub and clean the cess
pool and grit and grime you left

Armed with bleach
I will curse you, where I cannot reach
wet wipes will and blog and tell all my friends
don't use that plumber, don't be a fool.

The Plumber from Hell

I had asked my son for a good plumber. He recommended a company his company uses. I called them on Monday, and it took until noon for them to call me back. I was in no hurry. It was a job that I just wanted done before guests...before the wedding. Our middle bathroom potty rocked. The flange is old cast iron that is rotted away, and the bolt was not holding on one side anymore. Hence, the potty shifts and if you lean over when upon it, it leans with you. I could just imagine dire things happening with guests. The dang thing clogs easily as it is.

The plumbing company head honcho promised he knew exactly what to do. And promptly passed the job off to someone who called about 2 hours later and said they would be by today, and call at 8am before arriving at 8:30am to do the job. I knew Bob was wanting to empty the potty and get it out of the way to save them time. And so, Monday night, Bob did the hard part. I should have let him heft it into the garage and hide it. Oh, such regrets...

Because when the "plumber" finally showed at 11am after no calls at all, he was dirty, and had obviously been busy at a feed lot somewhere and by the time he finished installing a new flange, he left more work and a bigger mess than the original job. The grit and grime and waxy smudges were not to be believed. $160. 00 for one hours work. I even found dirty smudges on the front door latch from one of his many trips in and out. And the black powder ground into the tiles took scrubbing and bleaching. I scrubbed, and scrubbed that floor. I wiped smudges off the walls, and potty and floor. I dumped bleach upon the tile and grout after vacuuming. And opened the window and set up the fan to send the fumes outside.

Whoa. If the guy had done a descent job, we might have asked for an estimate on the bathtub repairs needed next. But, no way now. The potty lid is all scratched and ruined. I guess he set a tool box on it or something. I should have waited until Bob could be home to supervise. No telling what kind of flange he installed. Probably plastic. And it will be all for nothing if Bob pulls the potty for remodeling and the thing comes off.

What a day. What a nightmare. I was literally mopping the floor on my hands and knees balling my eyes out at the awful mess. It looked like a bomb had gone off in there. And all I could think of was trying to get it clean and sterile for our granddaughter to use in a few weeks. Good grief.

Bob had to get down on his hands and knees to clean behind the potty where I could not reach, and we went through a dozen wet wipes as he kept coming up with brown and filings. If only I'd let Bob hide the potty in the garage, he would have had to wrestle it back, but at least he could have seen the job and see if it was done properly, and see if we got our money's worth. And then the potty lid would not have gotten scratched. If only.

Oh, well. Always something with a house.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I have not washed dishes in years...

That's right. I have had a maytag dishwasher, and now a Bosche. It is only a few years old, but half-way through a cycle on my birthday, it started putting out a burning rubber smell. And runs---I mean, it makes the noise like it is running, even with the door open, but no water is being pumped anywhere. And the dishes had to be hand washed.

Filling a sink. Washing dishes with lots of soapy bubbles. I have not done this in years. I have depended on the dishwasher to sterilize. But, soaking my hands in dishwater finally loosened that splinter in my palm that got stuck there when I was attacking cobwebs.

Looks like I get to wash dishes until Friday. And I am sure the dishwasher will need a part, so it may be longer.

The plumber comes tomorrow to fix the rocking potty. Our house is old, and the bolt broke and the flange or brass ring thingy the potty sits on is old and descentagrated. So, if you are sitting on the potty and lean too far over, the whole potty will lean with you. I thought we'd better get it fixed before guests and the wedding. I asked Ben to recommend a plumber, as he works with them at his job all the time.

And (gross out alert---female issues to be discussed) guess what started. I went 45 days last month, and 42 days this month---so things are stretching out. I used to be SO regular. Every 25 to 28 days. Like clockwork. Then a few years I started skipping months once or twice a year. Totally confusing. And then the blood clots from hell. And gushing. So, I started taking my vitamins more regularly, and the supplements that my chiropractor suggested, and things evened out. I am so glad I did not subject myself to the gynocologists gruesome d&c and hormones. When the time between periods stretch out to 45 and 42 days, it is confusing what time of month I am---the can't get warm to save my life week? or the easily constipated week? or the back ache ? or the nightmares week? This new normal is not so predictable. Pity the poor husband. Fun. Fun.

Has anyone written a book or two about menopause? I hate that word. What exactly to men have to do with it? And the google searches are a hoot. I see primrose oil mentioned--maybe I'd better shop for that, and add it to my supplements in a preventative way.

Back to the dishes. It is usually just Bob and me. We don't generate that many dishes. I am thinking there is no hurry getting the dishwasher fixed. And I need to remember bleach for cleaning the sink of stains. And we should have bought the repair plan with our appliances. We gambled, and lost.

What is it with companies these days hiring incompetent help to answer the phones? What are they thinking? The silly woman at the mint company that refused to take my phone order, and now the appliance lady who put me on hold three times, was so easily distracted taking my address, and made me wonder about the company. If I had not had a good experience with their actual repairman, I would have moved on and tried another company. Yikes.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It is Too quiet when they all go home...

Yes, it is too quiet in this house. After lunch, we all sat around and visited for a little while. But, Ben was gettin' sleepy and headed back to his apartment, and James and Amber had plans to go hang out by her sister's pool and give James a haircut. Our days of cutting James' hair are over. I bequeathed them the clippers. I have a set for doing Bob's, a "balding" set of clippers that get him nice and close.

I want to remember this mornings good sermon at church. Pastor Mark Carr, our pastor at Arlington Community Church has been working his way through the tricky book of Acts. And today was chapter nine, on Paul's conversion. I had read ahead, knowing what was coming, but how come you can read the Bible all day, and miss 99 percent of whatall is there? What is up with that? Some conspiracy on God's part to get us to assemble and encourage one another?? Oh, yeah. I get it. God is smart!

But, humor me whilst we look at chapter nine in the book of Acts:

1Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,
2and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;
4and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
5And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,
6but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do."
7The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.
8Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.
9And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
10Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord."
11And the Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying,
12and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight."
13But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem;
14and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name."
15But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;
16for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."
17So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
18And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;
19and he took food and was strengthened.

Don't you just love stories in the Bible, when smart men (much smarter than me) argue with God? What a hoot. And what is with Ananias? He is given specific instructions, and yet he is told to go lay hands on the Osoma bin laden of their day. That would be tough. Ananias had heard the stories of persecution, and how Stephen was killed. And yet, Ananias is given the extra information that Paul/Saul will suffer the rest of his life. I wonder if Ananias warned him? Did this information make Ananias' step lighter?

And I may be wrong (most times I am) but, God sure goes through a lot of trouble for Saul/Paul. God does what it takes to bring a zealous, religious Pharisee into the fold. And as our Pastor pointed out, when you persecute one of His, you persecute Him. When you are cruel or unfair to one belonging to Jesus, you are hurting Jesus, too.

I have to believe that God will do whatever it takes to save the lost. I have to believe that not one at the judgement seat can say they never heard. And yet, Jesus tells Paul to go to Damascus and wait for instructions, and those instructions are three days coming. Three long days and night where Paul has too much time to think, in the dark, and he does not eat or drink anything. He has time to remember Stephen's death where he stood and held the cloaks of the murderers. He starts to pray at some point. And has to face the fact that his whole life has been misdirected. wrong. a waste. And that not only did he get it all wrong, that he has pissed off the God of the Universe, the Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ. That he does not earn nor deserve rescuing. Paul later calls himself the chief sinner. And in the dark, he is given a vision of a man who will come lay hands on him, and it happens as he sees it. And the scales fall from his eyes, and God remakes his heart and gives his life new purpose and meaning. And a new job. A job he will die for.

I like how our pastor pointed out how Saul carried letters of authority to Damascus to enslave and kill Christians. Soon, Saul renamed Paul will send letters to encourage and set Christians free. Most of the New Testament books are written by Paul, right?

God chose to save Paul this way. But, what happened to Ananias? Did he go home and relate whatall happened to his family? Did he become a witness and never tire of retelling this story? Be willing, we were told. Be willing, and able, and ready. You just never know how God is going to use you. And know that if you decide to argue with God, you may get written up for eternity for all to see. And God will even turn that cursing into blessing.