Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Best thing on TV when I was growing up; he was on lots of specials, variety shows, etc. I remember he sang "Camelot" on some special--Lerner and Lowe's Broadway something or other...hey! I was young, but I'll always remember his voice.
The rain may never fall till after sundown
By eight the morning fog must disappear
In short, there's simply not a more congenial spot
For happy ever-aftering than here in Camelot
Here's to Bob Goulet's happy ever-aftering.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I appreciate the transparency of my blog buddies. I know they struggled with posting some of those posts...presenting themselves naked to the cyber world that their faith isn't "perfect." We all struggle with transparency--and I know a few of you think I can be very transparent, but, really...it's very hard for me.
Anyway....doubting....I feel sorry for Thomas. He doesn't get much in the way of praise from anyone, he even has a gnostic gospel that people like to point fingers at to prove he was one of the lesser disciples. He was a tad sarcastic, "Sure, let's ALL go with Jesus so we can be killed, too!" Geez. I can almost hear myself say that, can't you? I find him very real, and I appreciate this honesty in scriptures--proof to me that these stories are real.
All the disciples suffered from doubt from time to time, and Jesus got more than a little frustrated with them. The disciples aren't really any different from us, are they? They represent all of us, and I think we can pick out one that we identify with in particular. One night I awoke saying, "I am Peter." And, I was.
So, back to doubting. I've had some pretty cool experiences, and so have most of you--and yet we still have those moments of doubt. Mainstream Christianity would have us believe that we're not supposed to have doubts...heck, the Bible would have us believe that, and isn't that great...more guilt to heap upon ourselves. But, there in the black and white are the disciples, who WERE THERE with Jesus. The Man is right in front of them, and still they have their moments of doubt. He does one thing after another, and they still have the occasional moment. They freak out when He walks on water to them. How would they feed all those hungry mouths waiting to hear Jesus? They disappeared after his death and burial. They acted....well...human.
So, 2000 plus years later, we chide ourselves for not believing, for doubting, for questioning, and we haven't had the opportunity to walk side by side with the physical Man.
Maybe it's all the peripheral stuff that gets in our way. We have little church rules and regulations, and lots of godly books and articles to read, and ways to pray, and how to talk and encourage, and all of the stuff that we humans have to dream up in order to "control" every freakin' part of our existence. We have to have organizations; meetings; brochures; and protocol in just about every thing we do. Maybe some these things are a distraction and the cause of the check in the spirit that we get that things aren't quite "right."
What if we just clear the table and picture ourselves walking with Jesus every day? What if we went about our busyness as if He were right here with us? What if we took the opportunity, like Jesus, to be interrupted by whomever was in need--and we did whatever we could at that moment to fill those needs, right there, right then? It certainly wouldn't be easy, but I think we'd be spending a lot less time doubting, and a whole lot more time . . .doing.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Family is coming here from Nebraska for a couple of days. For some reason, I find myself in charge of entertainment. We have my dad, his wife, my brother. . .and somehow I, the youngest and, in their opinion, the most challenged mentally, have become the brains behind the event. I realize that I am now the functioning matriarch of the family.
My dad has always called me a control freak. If that's not mirroring, I'm not sure what it is. This bout of lupus has been, actually, a blessing. . .unfortunately, it usually is. I wonder if God is letting this happen to slow me down and get a grip on me. I've slowed down, I'm still working, but more intelligently, and have had the time to sit and sift through stuff and throw things out. That makes me very happy. I've had more time to sit and read, and am enjoying that so much. I've learned more about what makes me tick, and also who I am in Christ. It's been a good lesson time.
Normally, I'd be in a panic about cleaning, cooking, and "putting on a show" because my cousin who is coming is my mom's cousin. Both of these women would make Martha Stewart look lame. I'm not kidding. My mom was June Cleaver with an attitude. However, because of her loving heart, my mom was never judgmental about my housekeeping skills (except as a teen) but then, she never taught me about such things. I wasn't allowed in the kitchen to cook, and my only skill was ironing shirts and sheets. I could win the Shirt and Sheet Iron Woman Olympics hands down. Other than that, I had to learn all about cooking and cleaning after I moved out. So, momma was a bit of a control freak, and dad was the king of control and still remains so, snooping into and advising upon my life and family. Any attempts on my part to take charge at the age of 50 are considered control-freakish. Now that I see that in writing, I see the absurdity.
I like to have a plan, but I'm flexible. I like spontaneity. In fact, if you were to call me up this minute and say you were in town, let's get coffee, I'd would drop everything and run to you. If things don't go my way I don't have a cow. The only thing I get controllish about is my work. It has to be perfect. Other than that, let the chips fall.
So, I made a basic plan for the visit that is flexible and easy. First, I got a little miffed thinking...hey, having a flare here! Help me out! Then, I decided to suck it up and deal. I heard my mom saying, "Just Hollywood up the place!" That was her term for "make it look good and forget the small stuff." As I said, she never judged me because she knew I was a working mom. "When do you have time to do all this??" She would ask, and always offered to take the boys so I could get things done.
My house is a bit cluttered, but it's clean. I hate dirt, and I'm the Queen of Washing. I wash pillow cases, rugs, covers for the sofa and chairs, constantly. I love fresh smelling everything. But that stack of books in the corner makes me happy because it represents possibilities and growth. That art project over there...well, it just tickles me to think about it.
I'm making 3 kinds of lasagna to conform to 3 kinds of diets. The dog will be washed and smelling like a rose, the yard will be (is) gorgeous because I mulched and mummed it up (I love Fall) and I will enjoy the process and be grateful that I am able to do these things for my family. I will also delegate jobs out to people who are fully capable (and whom I HAVE taught well! :-) )
But everytime someone tries to stick that matriarch hat on my head, I swear I'm tossing it into the hedges!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Well, tag you, and let me know if you do this.
10 years ago I was preparing myself for the death of my beloved mother and best friend, Joan. The only thing that kept me sane through the whole process was the intervention of our Lord Jesus into my life. He was my ROCK then and remains so now and forever. I asked Him to take her quickly if He didn't intend on healing her. He was faithful. The doctors said she could live quite a while. She passed away a month later, November 15th, 1997. Praise the Lord, her suffering was over.
20 years ago I had a 4 month old baby, Kyle, a light in my life. I couldn't believe that I could love another human being like that. . .then 4 years later, Grant came along. How could the human heart hold such love? Incredible blessings.
30 years ago I was 20 years old; at Iowa State University and thinking about moving down to Texas to join my family who had moved earlier in the year. I made the choice, must have been a good one because I wouldn't be where I am (which I kinda like) without it!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
It took asking 4 people, members of the mega-church that J belongs to, to get any kind of an answer. The "Healing" person that I emailed blew me off. She didn't understand what I meant by congregational care. 1 member didn't think that they had anything like that. Another member, with whom I have had a working relationship for over 15 years knew exactly the way to go. Another had to search for me.
Churches need to have congregational care at the forefront. They are supposed to be places for the wounded to go, for comfort and strength. Ministering to members makes strong members who are then able to take it outside, elsewhere. I'm not impressed with a church that brags on its outreach but drops the ball when it comes to tending its members.
The church where I was ordained "divided" the congregation among the elders. We were responsible for checking on members. Dividing such a small church was kind of silly, though. I could cover all bases and check on folks in a day's time.
I posed this question in this post earlier. What does your church have in place for the tending of the flock?
Update: I'm working on designs for my next project, and the bed is beckoning me! I really don't want to get into the nap trap.
The critters evidently didn't get the email about momma not feeling well. At 5:30 am (okay, yeah, my usual "up" time) Lizzie was knocking over the stack of books that live by my bedside; Lucy was jumping on me, hitting every trigger point with her lil' 10 lb. body, and Gracie was ringing the back door bells to be let out.
I loved it.
I feel much better, wish it wasn't so on the prednisone and of my own body's choosing, but grateful for relief. No pain on breathing, nor coughing. I believe the inflammation had centered somewhat on my lungs. I've lost 7 pounds since I got the shot on Wednesday, some fluid, no doubt, but I put myself on a Lupus diet...actually eating more than usual, but just fruit, veggies, chicken and fish.
I tried to backtrack why this might have happened, and see my part in it. Sun in Colorado (guys, for this vampire, it felt SOOOOOO good!) increased red meat consumption per doctor's advice with the anemia, and lots of stress.
Moving on! Walked Gracie around 2 blocks this morning, she was so very pleased! So was I! I'm making a wheat free bread per Connie at Picture the Word; not that beautiful loaf, but a soda type bread. And, I shall be designing on the computer in a short time for a big project coming up.
My brother donated his 3 wheel scooter to a fellow at the church where I am part of a connect group. Brother can't manage 3 wheels with his balance, and J has MS with better balance, so hubby, Kyle and I dropped it off last night. He was so tickled, props to my bro for sharing. Guys, I hate to be judgmental, but J's apartment was horrible. Here he is, part of a big huge church that prides itself on its outreach. . .and he is living in clutter. No one picks him up for church, either. This church is about to build a larger campus--we're talking thousands of members, police on Saturday night and Sunday mornings to direct traffic, and this guy is not being tended. Am I being too harsh? Please tell me. The ladies that pick him up for our singing group are concerned for him that no one is taking care of him. Excuse me? I don't get this. With a church that size. . . .I just don't get it. Maybe when I find out more there will be some answers, but geez. I'm going to ask him if I can at least pick up some papers and stuff for him to make a safe and clear path. I didn't want to do that last night (although I was kinda quietly) because I had two men in there with me, and I didn't want to risk embarassing another guy. Culture stuff again?
I called the fellow with MS and found that his church really isn't helping, plus it looks like his wife did a real number on him with their house, as well. He doesn't even realize this I think. He is living solely on his SS Disability. Let me ask: What do your churches have in place to help your needy members? J's church is HUUUGGGGE. Let me know if you will. I'm intrigued.
Kyle's gal from Boston was here for the week. She is a great gal, and I'm sad that they have the long-distance thing to deal with. They seem perfect for each other.
Robert update: He has been relocated to Camp Eagle in Korea; we rely on phone calls from him as he has "no address" yet. No Iraq yet. Keep Kansas Bob's son Matt in prayer, as he IS in Iraq.
Off to tend my stuff. Thank you for your support in all things. You are way up high on my list of blessings! Have an incredible week!
Saturday, October 06, 2007
I pray and believe. Doing all the right stuff. My bloodwork shows I'm in the worse Lupus flare I've ever had--with a new twist high Rheumatoid factor. The ANA was 1:1280 . That's outrageous. I've never been that bad before.
I was having problems walking in the morning, moving. It would take some time to loosen everything up. My doc figured it was the fibromyalgia because my ANA's run notoriously reasonable. Now, I've had a shot of slow and fast acting dexamethazone and he wants me to start a 2 week course of prednisone. I have to say that I think seasonal allergies play a large part in auto-immune disorders and if I were to go through my posts, I imagine that in the Spring and Fall there will be posts similar to this. It's funny how our minds mess with our bodies, and I try to remember this. I was feeling much better until I got my blood results! HA!
Tell me something icky, and plbbbblt....down she goes!
This isn't a pity post, but I'll admit I'm a tad concerned. I have a big mural job coming up and the thought of giving up the art for hire has occurred to me. Turning 50 with the usual "parts falling off slowly" stuff isn't helping my mood. Things change as we age, and we are staring mortality in the face. I think I'm worried about all the chemical intervention that might be needed to maintain. Maintaining is good, though, yes?
One of the problems with this stuff is something many of you deal with. Invisible Chronic Diseases. Barbara at Prodigal Daughter posted on something similar. We look well enough, and we start getting the "all in your head" stuff or just no real understanding. Hubby and I spent a bit of time explaining to friends why we didn't want to go dancing in Ft. Worth tonight at 8pm.
Anyway. . .I spout off about faith and trust and placing ourselves in His hands, and then I get hit with this and that flies out the window.
Well, not entirely, but the back and forth between "I'm fine" and "What'll I do?" is annoying. I'd like to be in the place to just roll with the punches and move on.
I know a lot of you can relate and we've discussed this before.
How do you handle it when the fear factor hits with tough situations?
LOL...I went over to Dave's blog immediately after writing this post. I got an answer: his blog wouldn't load up except for the title:
Giving Thanks in All Circumstances
That's awesome! Sounds like a plan! :-D
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
20 The created world was bound to fail. But that was not the result of its own choice. It was planned that way by the One who made it. God planned 21 to set the created world free. He didn't want it to rot away completely. Instead, he wanted it to have the same glorious freedom that his children have 22 We know that all that God created has been groaning. It is in pain as if it were giving birth to a child. The created world continues to groan even now. 23 And that's not all. We have the Holy Spirit as the promise of future blessing. But we also groan inside ourselves as we look forward to the time when God will adopt us as full members of his family. Then he will give us everything he has for us. He will raise our bodies and give glory to them. 24 That's the hope we had when we were saved. But hope that can be seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 We hope for what we don't have yet. So we are patient as we wait for it. 26 In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us when we are weak. We don't know what we should pray for. But the Spirit himself prays for us. He prays with groans too deep for words.
I'm not too patient, but this gives me hope and gratitude for the world. God planned everything. Every creature, all of nature. It's all up to him. Yes, this post IS about salvation. It's not up to us. It was determined by Him and accomplished on the cross.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
I saw these three deer from the deck of our cabin.
They reminded me of airplanes getting lined up for flight. Each, in its turn, stepped up to the fence and easily lept over it. In a short minute
they were running through the meadow
on the other side of the road.
We can have that attitude of overcoming if we
trust in the Lord as our strength,
enabling us to "jump the fences."
The Sovereign Lord
is my strength;
he makes my feet
like the feet of a deer,
he enables me
to go on the heights.
Monday, October 01, 2007
An anonymous poster submitted a couple of sarcastic comments, the last of which was:
"Thank you Karen, for helping us to think and to expand our minds."
I'm assuming that "anonymous" thinks that I think I'm pretty darn smart. What I am is convicted. Convicted of having had hard and harsh feelings toward homosexuals.
That's over. Who below is the worst sinner? Answer: all of them. They all fall short of the Glory of God for one reason or another--just like the rest of us. None of us measure up, but praise Him, we were redeemed at Calvary.
The Tales of Dave, Wayne, Peter, and Dan
Dave has been with his beloved for over 25 years. It’s been a difficult partnership because of his inability to remain faithful. Many times he has been kicked out and many times he has been forgiven and allowed to return. Dave is intelligent and gifted—he is an airline pilot. He loves to ride his bike and walk with his canine companion, Zoe. Dave is a believer but doesn’t attend church very often. One of his closest friends passed away suddenly last month. He now owns and drives his friend’s van as a tribute to him.
Wayne is a huge sports fan and owns a small restaurant. He is a believer, and one of his favorite things is going to baptisms. He doesn’t go to church much, though, he appreciates the celebrations that happen there. He loves jogging, and walking his dog, and has an infectious laugh. Truthfully, he's a bit of a slob. He has been with his beloved over 20 years, too, however, they have remained faithful to one another.
Peter is a pastor. He is the son of a rather famous minister. When his dad died, Peter wasn’t the heir to the corporate ministry that his father built up, but contested the will and after a few years of battling, won the corporation back from the people who were named by his father to inherit. Peter has a lot of experience in film making and producing. Peter knows his Bible, has a good sense of fun, and has a devoted congregation; it’s small, but one that has remained for several years, particularly the youth ministry. He is in his early 60's and very fit. . . appearances are very important to him. He has been with his beloved, also a pastor, for over 35 years. They are truly in love.
Dan is a skilled carpenter and a believer. He’s been with his beloved for many years. He makes beautiful cabinets, tables, and is able to fix just about anything around the house. Home Depot is his favorite place. He has a quick wit and good sense of humor. He used to be in a high-tech management job, but he has a problem with stress, so downsized his career. He is fighting a losing battle with his weight. He speaks his mind. For instance, just the other day at the store, he spied a woman parking in a handicapped place without a tag or license plate. He challenged her, and she replied she was only going in for moment. He asked her, “What if someone who is truly handicapped needs this spot?” She ignored him. Injustice bothers Dan.
Dave and his wife Anna are working very hard at reconciling. Peter remains pastor at his church and travels and speaks, often with his wife, Julie. Wayne and Dan are life partners for over 23 years.