See my post for today of Fowl and Feline Accountability
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
I would ask Dad a question and instead of giving me an answer that he thought was right, he would give me a list of references and I could read them and perhaps find my answer there. That was the same way he preached his sermons basically. He gave some clues and you had to solve the puzzle yourself.
My paternal grandmother would sing in her kitchen about Jesus. Her voice was a precious sound I loved. She was always busy and she was almost always doing something for someone else. And, of course, she and grandpa were always taking us to church.
Working in Tulsa,OK in my adult years lead me to a community in The Bible Belt that is a place like I have never seen. Surrounded by evangelical universities and, at the same time, harboring a very large Jewish community, I saw and met interesting people of both faiths on a daily basis.
As a Christian, it was hard for me to deal with the Christians of that area. Strangers would ask me if I was "saved" or if I was "born again". You could not disagree with them on anything because they were doing God's will. One person wanted us to cash a personal out-of-state check and I explained we would have to place a 10 day hold on the check until it cleared the bank it was drawn on. This person raged and announced it was money from God. I responded that it would have to go further and probably should even have a longer hold on it then. He did not think that was as funny as I did.
Oh but my customers and dear friends among the Jewish community. They came into the bank to deal as customers of the bank and not in search of converts to Judaism. I knew of people from this community who anonymously gave to causes throughout our part of the state and city and did not brandish their gifts as badges of greatness. I made friends in this group of people and we never discussed our religious differences but we tried to live examples of our faith.
We are all odd ducks and every religious community has its kooks but lump me with the ones who want to search their faith and not have it crammed down their throats. Let me set an example by being a good person and not believing I'm a perfect person.
I see so much more of Jesus' Jewish heritage in his teaching as he walks humbly living his faith by example. Thankfully many of us Christians have learned to follow the path without storming the gates but we can easily be lost in the crowd. My one greatest hope is that I am leaving my grandchildren a good example.
I must add this tidbit I just heard at Olive's: Maya Angelou says when people say to her, "I'm a Christian." She responds, "Already? How have you managed that?"
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
How are you inspired by a blank page? Every time I start a new writing project or an art project, I must have a blank page. If there is already a word or a single mark on the paper, that paper must be rejected. How can I influence a single page that is already tainted with some incomplete inspiration?
I am attempting to do my Christmas decorating for company that will be here on Saturday. Before I put up the decorations, my efforts are being geared toward a clean slate. I am putting away the normal room decorations and dusting and cleaning before I bring in the tinsel and lights.
This process has yielded some trash piles and some keep piles. The "keep" pile consists primarily of old pads of paper, both legal pads and sketch pads. These pads have been well used but each still contains numerous blank sheets and I cannot discard them for fear they await some masterpiece. These blank sheets seem to be taking me over and I wonder if I will run out of storage room someday.
Am I alone in my OCD over blank pages?
We met in person a couple of times. He was nice to me and definitely had an aura of charisma as did his wife Evelyn.
It was also my joy to know a couple of his children, many of his grandchildren, two of his siblings, several of his nieces and nephews as well as grand nieces and nephews and tons of those who worked for him, for his ministry and for the University.
Today I see those faces and I know that suddenly this controversial, larger-than-life television evangelist and world-wide minister is simply dad, grandpa, uncle, friend. He was loved and will be missed. My thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy go out to them.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Anyway, here is a story too good not to share.
People learn where the preacher lives and you experience many unexpected knocks on the door. Strangers show up at all hours of the day or night for services, help or handouts.
This particular warm summer evening the knock at the door yielded a young couple wanting a preacher to marry them. Dad had a bit of counseling he would do before agreeing to unite the couple and, once satisfied they knew what they were doing, he would get mother to be his witness and the show would go on.
Mother must have been watching a John Wayne movie because she refused to leave the den to participate and suggested he pick one of the girls to be his witness this time.
My sister and I were teenagers. Elenore was a Senior in high school and I a freshman. Of course he picked the oldest, my sister. Of course I had my usual hissy fit of "Why does she always get picked?" so he said he would have two witnesses this time.
We were doomed from the moment we entered our formal living room. The couple looked like twins. The could have been the human versions of cartoon characters Porky and Petunia Pig! Elenore and I began to softly emit muffled giggle sounds. Dad began to sense his error in bringing us both into the room but it was too late.
We had a picture in our living room that had to always remain on the mantle there because it was some church member's donation and you never moved donations. (We had some very odd furnishings in most of our parsonages.) Dad stood in front of this ugly antique portrait, the couple facing him and Elenore and I on the sofa behind them looking straight at Dad.
I swear to this day that it was Elenore's fault for whispering all the pig noises and adding little comments to the couple's vows that pertained to swine. I tried not to laugh but more than that, I watched to see if Dad was going to maintain his dignity. Suddenly I realized Dad could not hear Elenore's remarks but he could see his devilish daughters up to no good and for some reason it tickled him. He was guarding against a smirk that was forming in the corner of his mouth.
As the ceremony was coming to a close and it appeared we might all escape this without offending the loving couple, I heard "Hey Ann, you wanna go bowling?" and my friend Doug was standing on our front porch at the open door (remember I said it was a warm night) not realizing we had a solemn ceremony taking place.
I burst out laughing.
My sister burst out laughing.
My DAD burst out laughing!
Mother looked up from her movie later and ask how the wedding went. My dad only said, "It's best if we don't let the girls witness together again."
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The persons depicted as Liberals in this book by Ayn Rand, are the most despicable of the despicable. The persons portrayed as Conservatives are the most despicable of the despicable. The ordinary humans simply wanting to get by in the world are barely mentioned at all in the huge fray of demented politics and varying beliefs of who should triumph and why.
Supposedly Hollywood is going to make a movie of ATLAS SHRUGGED. My first inclination is how could they but then I realized something. Hollywood does have plenty of villains.
Ayn Rand's writing is like turning on the commentators on FOX, CNN or MSNBC. If we're not careful we're going to find ourselves in the dark while all the greedy of both political parties run off and leave us. Hum, maybe that would not be such a bad idea. Wow, I got something out of the book after all.
By the way this book was written in 1957 and the arguments are the same arguments we're having today.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I wrote the following poem in 1975 when my first marriage ended in divorce. My children were three and four at the time.
They run out the door
suitcases in hand.
Silent, I watch
from where I stand.
How can we pull
our children so?
They cannot decide
which way to go.
Such little children
having to face
a life's remnants
of which no trace
is left except
Given no choice,
driven by our insistence.
I am here, he is there,
they are between
A life that won't
again be seen.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
It is a time that many of us are torn between posting on our blogs or on Facebook.
Facebook requires and invitation and once you have mutually accepted, you can push open the screen door and walk in without knocking.
Blogs are like giant billboards. As you drive life’s highway one catches your eye and you check further into the subject only to become a fan. (Or not).
Facebook is perfect for keeping up with family because you catch a glimpse and know that all is well with them for that day.
A problem arises when you begin to find yourself thinking of blog readers as friends and/or family. If and when they disappear you can only imagine where they went but if you never knew their real name you simply will not hear from them again. Ouch!
This year in March, I lost a blog friend to death. I knew she died but her family first blocked who could view her past posts then deleted the blog later. So with the click of someone’s mouse the face of Beverly Finely of BEVERLY BITES was yanked away. No one close to her knew I had followed her blog and corresponded with her and that I felt the loss. I could not go back and view her posts that made me laugh or made me cry and I will never know how her sister Dolly is doing, how her sons and grandchildren are getting along, how her dear friend Bruce is and what about her big dog Cletus, the Red Hats and what is going on at the Tavern?. Well, she really wasn’t my friend or family……..was she?
The next to go this year was Linda G who also signed in as she-of-little-brain. Her posts on ONE ACRE WOOD were right up my alley and we had a grand time reading each other’s posts. On the day in May, 2009, she left blog world after she commented very nicely about me and my blogging and then, poof, she was gone. Her blogs are still there SPEAKING OUT ON FREEDOM and
Sammy of I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN… is a huge shocker to lose. She told us in September how busy she was and she told us she was having a difficult time juggling work and family. She said she would probably slow down posting. Instead she disappeared, blog and all. We wonder to ourselves if something happened to her or her spouse or their beautiful son and we can only offer a prayer of concern.
Then there is the paranoia that comes with the possible fact I am the only person they have excluded and perhaps that is intentional. Maybe
Maybe these are the very reasons that Facebook is less painful. You know that the people you follow are real. You know where you can find them if they stop posting. But you never get the benefit of their profound essays on life like you do on the blogs.
P.S. If you are planning to stop blogging, email me first would you or post a final entry that says “I’m outta here but I’m okay.”
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Addendum for my Living Will:
I do not want a crown on my head or flowers pinned to my robe. Do not sprinkle me with glitter to cover up the food I spilled on myself. Do not string lights on my wheelchair. If I cannot pick up something pretty and choose to attach it to myself, then don't assume I want that crap stuck all over me. My life has been spent as a fairly dignified person, so don't take that away when I cannot speak for myself. I know my sister will not be able to resist the urge to put lipstick on me, so that gets a pass because she can't help herself where cosmetics are involved.
Friday, December 04, 2009
My title "Just Say Merry Christmas" was directed at those who may feel PC'd to death on what is proper and acceptable. I am NOT saying everyone should say "Merry Christmas". I am only saying if you feel like a big ole exuberant MERRY CHRISTMAS then go for it and don't worry about political correctness. I love the sights and sounds and beautiful tradition of Christmas and hope it is merry for all who celebrate. I hope you view and appreciate my personal adaptation of the heading above for the season. Of course the clip art is borrowed but the photo shopping of my own artistic rendering of Christ is original.