I have attended three funerals in less than a week. That is more than enough for now. None of the deceased were a part of my life so these losses are not large in my world. I knew their families and went to support my friends who were grieving. Funerals, especially when they come in such rapid succession, do make you stop and reflect on life. All of us will die. Life here on earth is a temporary thing. God said that we should live life abundantly, have fun, enjoy the moment. Life is precious. Don’t waste it on worry and dither. I heard some interesting stories about people this week, some funny, some sad. I wonder what stories will be told about me when I die. I want my funeral to be a party with lots of laughter and good stories. I want a brass band playing, “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In.” Sing ”When Peace Like A River,” for me. I hope lots of friends are there. There should be lots of food and drink. Have it all catered so no one has to do any work. And I do hope that my funeral is a whole lot of years away. I am having way too much fun to be in hurry to leave.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Yesterday Krispy Kreme, the company known for its glazed doughnuts, introduced a whole-wheat doughnut. It is glazed with a caramel flavor. The company calls the new doughnut an alternative for health-conscious consumers. The original glazed doughnut has 200 calories, while this new healthy doughnut has only 180 calories. According the company this new healthy doughnut delivers the delicious taste that Kispy Kreme lovers have come to expect. I can hardly wait to enjoy this wonderful new health food.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
I have never seen a minister so completely upstaged, as ours was this morning. Our resident church bat is usually very quiet and sleeps through most events, but during this morning’s sermon the bat decided it was exercise time. The bat started circling up near the ceiling at first, and then started swooping and diving down near the pews. The congregants gave their complete attention to the bat, with several shrieks as bat swooped dangerously close. The minister suggested some appropriate music might make batty go into hiding. The organist played “All Creatures Great and Small.” The bat kept swooping. Then several folks stared trying to catch the critter. Coats were thrown into the air and people were jumping and running after the flying rodent. Bat finally flew into a small hallway behind the pulpit and the minister whipped off his clerical robe and blocked it in the hall while another man finally captured our bat with his coat. Bat was released outside into the falling snow. The sermon was forgotten. We did have a baptism immediately after the bat capture. I have been to bat mitzvahs before, but this was the first bat baptism.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Last year I celebrated Ash Wednesday among a circle of women friends. It was a memorable evening that greatly helped me to understand the true meaning of Lent. One of the women had been through a difficult divorce. After her husband left she found she was unable to enjoy lighting a fire in her fireplace because it reminded her of times that had seemed happier. The fireplace became a symbol to her of the bitterness she felt toward her ex and the pain that weighed heavy on her heart. One February evening she sat staring at the cold fireplace when she felt the presence of God beside her. God was telling her that it was time to let go of the bitterness and move on into the land of joy. She built a big, beautiful fire that evening. She threw into those flames the hurt, the bitterness and the anger that had been weighing her down. The fire consumed those painful emotions and she felt a great release. The next morning she collected the ashes in a plastic bag and saved them. They were ashes of joy. On Ash Wednesday, as we sat around a cheerful fire, she told us that for Lent she had burned up her bitterness. She brought the ashes of joy for us to share. As we put these ashes of joy on one another’s foreheads we were filled with a sense of the joy that comes when God is present among His people.
“Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalms 30:5
Sunday, February 18, 2007
One evening during our snow party at AM’s house we discussed several recent articles that said drinking a glass of wine everyday was good for you. The articles said a daily glass of wine would extend your life by several years. I enjoy living, so anything that might extend my life sounds like a gook idea. I grew up in a house where alcohol was never served. I rarely drink and don’t know anything about wine. I made the comment that I might try drinking a glass of wine, but I didn’t have any of those special glasses and didn’t know what kind of wine to buy. My loving and helpful daughters heard my problem, and they have tried to help their dad and me. This weekend to celebrate dad’s 69th birthday they gave him a set of wine glasses and six bottles of wine. There are three different varieties of wine glasses. The label says one kind is for burgundy, one for chardonnay, and another for Bordeaux. Then I looked at the wine. AM gave us white merlot, red Beaujolais, pinot noir, white zinfandel, blackberry wine, and one call Frutezia. None of those matches the kinds the glasses suggested. What kind of wine do I pour in which glass? Is there a school for wine drinkers? Maybe I should just drink it straight from the bottle. Do you have any helpful suggestions to make this all less confusing?
Friday, February 16, 2007
Today is my beloved’s birthday. On his twenty-seventh birthday I gave him the best gift I have ever given him for a birthday. I presented him with a beautiful baby girl, our second daughter. There is a special bond between those two. I don’t know if it is because they share a birthday, but they do form a mutual admiration society. When she was little, AM wanted a green birthday cake. Dad wanted a banana cake. It was easy to spread green icing over a banana cake and keep every one happy. They are still easy to please.
Happy Birthday to two of my reasons for living. I love you both enormously!
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
Yesterday morning after making a few remarks the minister sat back down on the chair he sits on every Sunday. Only yesterday the chair seat gave out from under him. There was a loud crash. His feet were on the floor, his knees were over the frame of the chair, and his behind and the chair cushion were on the floor. His face first registered shock and surprise, then he started smiling and then laughing. He was obviously unhurt, but he looked totally ridiculous. The congregation started laughing. We laughed for several minutes as he sat there in a very awkward position. No one came forward to help him up, we were all laughing too hard. Poor guy. He finally hoisted himself up and very gingerly sat down on another chair. It was a little hard to again find a spirit of worship.
In the afternoon I watched Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” It was a thought-provoking movie. I highly recommend that you watch it. Global warming is a problem that needs to be confronted.
I watched part of the Grammies last night. I was pleased to see the Dixie Chicks win best song of the year for, “Not Ready to Make Nice.” That song touches a chord in all of us. There are times when we are just not quite ready to be nice to people who have mistreated us. Forgiveness is a hard thing to do.
Friday, February 09, 2007
I was looking over the lesson for my Sunday school class (I teach second graders). The memory verse for Sunday is, “Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you.” This is a hard teaching. I really don’t currently consider anyone my enemy, but I can remember times when I felt very persecuted. Loving my persecutors was difficult.
Are you able to love your enemies? What helps you to be able love people who are mean to you or, worse, people who are mean to your children?
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Today is our third grandchild’s sixteenth birthday. S is bright and beautiful and still likes to hang out with her gramma. She, along with our other grandkids, is one of the greatest joys in our life. Grandchildren are, without a doubt, the best part of getting older.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon in the dentist’s chair. One of my teeth had broken in two. It didn’t hurt but it did leave a large hole that was most annoying. The dentist said there was no decay, but as we get older cracks appear in the teeth from years of wear and tear. The small cracks eventually cause the teeth to break. I now have a nice new tooth and the knowledge that my teeth are wearing out. I hate knowing that my teeth are getting old. I hope other body parts don’t start falling off any time soon.
Friday, February 02, 2007
My friend J is suffering a bad case of the “Januaries.” You know the symptoms. You feel depressed and bored. The blahs seem to overwhelm you. She finds this malaise overwhelms her every winter. I pointed out to her that it was now February, but she responded that a bad case of the Januaries could last all through February.
Do you have any suggestions for overcoming the Januaries?