Friday, February 27, 2009

How do you pray for the increase of God's love?

May God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus make it possible for us to come to you very soon. And may the Lord make your love grow and overflow to each other and to everyone else, just as our love overflows toward you. As a result, Christ will make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy when you stand before God our Father on that day when our Lord Jesus comes with all those who belong to him.

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 NLT

A prayer for love

When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, his love and concern for them were apparent in every word. When he prayed for them, he asked the Lord to make their love for one another overflow. Paul prayed that the Thessalonian church might become a loving, supporting community of faith. The strong, silent, loner Christian didn't fit into Paul's understanding of how God works among his people.

Each of us needs each other. God uses other believers to strengthen us and make us holy. As you pray for strength to be faithful to God, you should expect his answer to come through those believers who worship every Sunday with you. Likewise, you should earnestly pray that God might use you to strengthen other believers.

Prayer for today:

O God, help my love to grow and overflow to other believers…

from The One Year Book of Bible Prayers edited by Bruce Barton, Tyndale House Publishers (2000), entry for February 12

It's raining.. I knew it before I rolled out of bed. Charlie's chickens were waiting for me and I knew I had to get up and moving. Ugh.. it's wet and smelly in the chicken coup.. I took some newspaper out to lay on the floor so my feet wouldn't get mucky. I'm amazed that the layer boxes are dry. Wednesday I collected 16 eggs and marveled over it. Yesterday I collected a bucket full of eggs.. 35 of them! I took them inside Charlie's place and scrubbed them and placed them carefully in egg boxes and directly into the refrigerator.
I'm hoping to make it till Charlie gets home Saturday. I'm allergic to molds, fungus, etc.. and the chicken coop is loaded I'm certain, judging from my asthma exacerbation. Today I'm wheezing.

Inspection on our car fell due this month. We took the car to have the sticker applied, and were shocked to find that our 'struts' were virtually non-existant, the 'sway bars' (never heard of that) were both damaged beyond recognition, and I needed front brakes, as they were worn nearly to metal. The car is 8 yr old and has nearly 90,000 miles on it. We have the original everything. Never needed brakes replaced or anything else. We have bought tires for it every 2 years, and changed the oil and filters.. but no other maintenence in all that time. We were due to be hit. I was just hoping it wouldn't be THIS inspection. The bill was astronomical when one considers our meager income.. might as well be the national debt. Next Monday they will cash the check when my pension is deposited. I'm so thankful for that pension. They were kind enough to let me take the car home last night.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Who is "the least" in your life?

I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it for me!

Matthew 25:40 NLT

Loving the Least

I remember a poster on a dorm-room wall during my days in college. The poster was a picture of a homeless man lying in a dirty gutter holding a bottle in a paper bag by his side. The inscription on the bottom was a quote from Mother Teresa. It read, "You love Jesus only as much as the person you love the least."

For all we don't understand about the life of Jesus and the true nature of God, there is one truth that he made completely clear. The Christian faith is about service and humility. It's about helping those who can't help themselves. It's about loving others more than we love ourselves—even the most unlovable among us.

What is the sign of true followers? Is it the amount of knowledge that we have? Is it the money we give to missions? the degrees we've earned? the number of people we've preached to? the hours we've spent worshiping in church? the books we've read or written?

According to Jesus, the sign of the saved is their love for the least.

It is said that when Francis of Assisi left his wealth behind to seek God, he stripped naked and walked out of the city. The first person he encountered on his journey was a leper on the side of the road. He first passed him, then turned back. He embraced the leper in his arms before continuing his journey. A few steps down the road he turned and saw that the leper was gone. Until his dying day, Francis of Assisi was convinced that the leper was Jesus. Even if he was wrong, he was right.

adapted from Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins and Frank M. Martin,, Tyndale House Publishers (2004), p 3

start and stop

4 degrees.. brrrrrr! that's cold! But that's the temperature right now. Maybe the groundhog...nah, he was wrong. Today is forecast at 30 and tomorrow at 45.. we are going up.
Today is office day.. remember to pray for us.. patients as well as me. We rely on you.
Nothing much happening here.. just another quiet day hopefully..

Monday, February 23, 2009

another round of winter

What's this? Yet another advisory.. Yesterday we got approximately 3 1/2" of snow, but today we are forecast to have 3-6" .. and the advisory is lifted at 1pm.. that means we are in for another round of winter and it's gonna hit hard and heavy and now.. I better go look outside...back in a moment....

Oh... there's about 4 inches of new stuff.. sigh.....

Wendell took a spill this morning.. fell off the porch. He's okay. That snow is soft thankfully. He didn't hit the porch but the snow beside it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I decided to go outside to assess the snow damages for the morning. The snow is very heavy (moist).. it's hard to brush off my car. The roof of the car held 3" of new snow.. and it was coming down and covering the whole car as fast as I could brush it off... alas! I got one side cleared, but by the time I got the other side cleared, the first side had another layer of the stuff!!! Now, that's frustrating.

I'm not in church today.. I do wish spring would appear soon.. and the snow would just go away.
We got better than an inch of snow this morning.. it's still coming down..the car is encased in it. I have slept poorly.
Pretty lousy excuses when it comes right down to it.. especially since our pastor spends time preparing a message for us to feed us for the week. I always think of that when I miss church. It's only 1 hour of my week.. and shamefully, I'm not there because of my wimpiness. I don't remember my parents being like this.. they made the effort no matter what the weather.. of course, Mum didn't drive later on in her years and depended on either Charlie or us to get her to church.
But she was always dressed and ready to go on time.
How can God be in charge when some rulers are such tyrants?

The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he turns it wherever he pleases.
Proverbs 21:1 NLT

God's authority
God rules his creation. Nothing is outside his authority—not even the leaders of the nations and kingdoms of this world.
No person is placed in a position of power outside of God's will.
This can be a great comfort when we see leaders take over in various places, especially leaders with whom we do not agree.

So what does this mean for the cruel tyrants of the world?
It means that they too are under God's authority.
Satan may author their evil acts, but their wrongdoing can only occur within the boundaries God sets.
Why those boundaries are where they are for some nations is a question only God can answer.
But we can rest assured that no power is in authority outside of God's plan. God always accomplishes his will, even through the most wicked leaders. God is always the final authority.

How will you pray today for the leaders of your country, as well as for leaders around the world?

Today, Lord, may I trust that you are the sovereign authority over all that happens in my nation. May I trust you, even as I work on your behalf.

adapted from The One Year Book of Proverbs by Neil S. Wilson, Tyndale House Publishers (2002), entry for February 21
It's snowing. I just looked out and we have about an inch of new snow. UGH. This is not what I expected tonite. I do hope it'll be gone in the morning, but according to the weather report, the high will be 25 today (Sabbath). Not good.
I'll be so glad when spring arrives for sure!

Romans 8:31-39

If God is for us, who can be against us?
32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

O God, declare [my enemies] guilty. Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins, for they rebel against you.
Psalm 5:10 NLT

A refuge to rejoice
Things didn't look good for Martin Luther when he was summoned to Augsburg in late October 1518.
He was being charged with heresy.
Up to this point Frederick the Wise, elector of Saxony, had protected Luther from the church authorities, but now the prince was under pressure to withdraw his protection.
It seemed only a matter of time before he would.
In Augsburg, Luther was asked, "If the elector of Saxony abandons you, where will you find shelter?"
The Reformer responded, "Under the shelter of heaven."

In the last part of Psalm 5, we find that David, like Luther, trusted in the Lord to rescue him from his enemies.
Did the psalmist escape from the trap? We don't know, but the psalm closes with "joyful praises," because David knew that he was now surrounded by God's protection.
Like Martin Luther, he found refuge under the shelter of heaven.

Under his wings, O what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life's trials are o'er.
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me;
Resting in Jesus I'm safe evermore.

adapted from The One Year Book of Psalms by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen,, Tyndale House Publishers (1999), entry for January 8

Friday, February 20, 2009

low maintenence

I'm low maintenence.. I don't require a lot to be content. Besides the little that I spend on my make-up or now my hair color.. (I'm still wondering if I'm totally gray yet???hehehe) I don't spend a lot on myself. I do purchase certain things new, like my undies and shoes, but most of my clothes are thrift store selections that I've found now and again.. some with tags still on them. And of course, the clothes that Jane has passed on to me. I have no lack of clothes at the moment.

I was thinking about the day I asked my mother what my dad's gross income was for the year.. I say YEAR... and she said 'about $2000'... WOW! Now that was about poverty level back then, and I wasn't aware we were so poor. We always had enough food and clothes and though we didn't have the latest of every new fad, we didn't feel deprived in any way.. at least I didn't. I remember Mum taking us to Murphy's 5&10 and selecting 'shirt waist' dresses for us.. I had a lavender one and I was always so proud to wear that dress. It lasted a long time. Mum taught me how to make a simple pleated skirt with a piece of fabric, and I had several of them.

I later learned how to make my own wrap around skirts when they were popular.. really nice ones.. I had a wardrobe!

I put myself through nursing school. I remember taking Mum to the old Logans Ferry A&P and telling her 'go ahead and fill the cart with whatever you want..' I had my first paycheck as a nurse in the bank, and could cover whatever she chose.

Computing taxes this week has made me very aware of how close to that poverty level we are at the moment.. and though we live from paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes the balance is less than a dollar just before the next check comes, we are keenly aware that God does provide for us. The next check comes and we are off and running again.

There is precious little extra money after bills, but we always seem to have enough for whatever things come up.. birthdays, or whatever.

Today I borrowed from my next paycheck (next week) to buy yarn.

I searched JoAnn fabric and found some lovely pink yarn that was marked $2 off /skein, and with the extra yarn I have at home, I'm making JJ the afghan she has been wishing for.. pink.

As I said, I'm low maintenence, and require little.. but I like a bargain and will buy if I find something we need.
So tonite and probably tomorrow, I'll be crocheting. It's good for my hands that have so much arthritis. I dare not leave them quiet for long. They need moved frequently.. I even purposely wash the dishes by hand instead of the dishwasher sometimes just to get the warmth to the joints that I don't seem to be able to do otherwise. I've been trying to convince Wendell to try crochet, but so far, he doesn't want to try. I think it would be good for him, and certainly there are many men who crochet.. or do other needlework.. Rosie Greer?

It's been very cold here. Tonite it's about 16 degrees.. and the wind has been blowing pretty hard.. I don't know what the wind chill factor is, but it must be about 3 degrees. At least it's not snowing.

We had a great time tonite with our little Valentine family. Pray for their safe return home tomorrow if you would. I'll miss them all. Eli gave me a wonderful hug tonite which surprised me no end, as he hasn't been making much association with me this time. He is a busy little 2 yr old.. He has unloaded and loaded our tupperware cupboard at least 30 times. It's at his level and he can't get hurt.. so it's all good. He seemed content to do it.

Isaac and Essie both told me they want me to bring my SkipBo cards with me when we go to visit mid March for Eli's birthday.

I'm tired. I need some sleep and I think I may even sleep in tomorrow. Wendell and I have been fighting sore joints and muscles the past couple of days.. it's been pretty bad. I mentioned to anyone who would listen.. it's not much fun growing old... I wish someone had warned me.. come to think of it, I think my mother mentioned that a few times. She said "I feel like a 20 year old most of the time.... and then I try to get out of my chair".. yeah.. that's me too.

Heading for bed here..

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My changes for congress..

"Rank-and-file Members of Congress currently make an annual salary of $174,000 (more than double the median household income of about $80,000 for the Washington, D.C. metro area, including wealthy suburbs). This sum doesn't include taxpayer funds used for lavish pensions, health plans, and generous allowances for travel, staff, and office expenses. Especially in light of troubled economic indicators, Congress should reject an automatic pay hike that would pad an already sizeable Congressional compensation package." That raise is in the amount of $4700/yr.
I think that it is too lucretive a business being in politics.. here's my plan:
1. Every congressman/woman receives $20,000/yr salary provided they are present when congress is in session with 3 days off as personal/sick days.
For every day missed after that, the employee will forfeit $100 until $1000/mo is met.
2. You may vacation when congress is not in session. That's it.. go where you want with the money you've saved like the rest of us. Taxpayers will not pay for your vacation. We will not pay for private jets. You will have to use other than 1st class and use the same airlines as the rest of us. You may travel 12 times a year at taxpayer expense, no more, and only as necessary.
3. Phones.. the government will foot the bill up to $500/mo. /congressman. You pay the rest. These will be business related expenses- the rest will be YOUR bill for personal calls. Your bills will be monitored if necessary.
4.Office? We the people will give you $500/mo for rental space. If you need more.. take it out of your own pocket. There may need to be an office building built to house all of you. Your office space won't be large.
5.Secretary? You will be alloted 1 secretary @ $850/mo
1 computer will be provided @$2400. If you need something better, buy it yourself. Other office equipment will be provided, but the amounts spent will be Under $2000 total. Paper? 4 reams/month... Printer/fax upkeep will be $200/month and receipts will be required for reimbursement for every purchase - be careful not to be wasteful. Other office expenses will be at $150/month with the same directives using receipts for reimbursements. New equipment will be provided every 3 years. The old equipment will be given to school students.
6. Expense account? You will be alloted $300/month on a special card that will not pay for call girls or alcohol. We don't want dead beats or drunken congressmen in our employ, especially during working hours.
7.Need a car? Used cars are wonderful. You may be alloted 1 vehicle for your personal use and a log book that goes with it. You pay for your own fuel.. and upkeep.. be frugal. New cars are much too expensive. You may use your own car if you wish. Don't expect the taxpayers to pay for it's upkeep.
8.There will be NO increases in your pay until the taxpayers vote on it in general elections.
9.I would suggest that an efficiency apartment be built locally to Washington DC to accommodate our congressmen. No charge to live there.. one bed, one dresser, one table and 4 chairs and a sofa and chair to be provided, along with a small stove and refrigerator. You buy your own food. Efficiency type apartments would be perfect with one bedroom. You provide your own phone/service, and other general furnishings- ie tv, radio, toaster, and other small appliances. You supply your own dishes and flatware, pots/pans.
10. There will be a general laundry on each floor of the apartment building with 10 washers/10 dryers provided at a cost of $2/washer and $2/dryer.
You do your own laundry. The taxpayers will not pay for laundry services for you.
11. The present pension system will be neutralized and put into the Social Security account where you will put your own money like the rest of the public. You will fall under the SS system totally. You owe it to the people for creating it in the first place and then robbing the public blind.
Your pension will not be secured after serving for one year as it is now. After 2 terms, you will be retired from office and not able to be reelected.
All persons in office at the present may finish their term.
12. You will buy your own health care as we do. If we have Socialized health care as you are planning, YOU will also share in that and nothing more.
Well, that's for starters.. I just did our taxes and realized that we are living on extremely meager wages, but we are doing okay. The amounts listed here are generous.. and will clear the riff-raff from the playing field called congress. I wonder how many would really stay faced with these guidelines? I daresay, only the serious and really patriotic.
What do you think? How would you change things?
Well... finally! I just got to my email and found an emergency note from the National Weather Service sent out at noon today telling me what I already know. By 8am, I had 2" of snow on my car and roads were more than treacherous. I had my cell phone in my hand and was going to turn around and go home if Rt 8 was anywhere close to what I'd experienced on the 2ndary roads. ICE, SNOW, and WIND. I saw numerous cars in ditches..and I never made a stop at any stopsign.. not my choice, the car had a mind of it's own. I nearly slid into a bus going 2mph.. while trying to stop. Tow trucks were pulling people out of ditches along the main drag.. not a good morning to be on the roads. The snow came down hard and never let up till there was a good 2".
Coming home 4 hours later, I have found that the wind has caused some major drifting across the roads and some of them are only one lane. UGH
On the happier side, all of the patients made it safely for their infusions, and all did very well.. and so did I. Thanks for praying for us.
Pray this way for kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity.
1 Timothy 2:2 NLT

I just looked outside- it's snowing and in the past half hour we have about a half inch. It's quite beautiful out there.. 31 degrees.
Pray the roads are safe for buses and my patients and me too.

Pray for Caleb who is in basic training and having a hard time with the depravity around him.

Pray for sovereignty of all 50 states. United we stand, divided, we fall. For brave conservative leaders to be placed in our midst- godly men of character and humility, strong and patriotic. And pray for revival in our country and in the world.

For the Lord is a great God, the great King above all gods.
Psalm 95:3 NLT

When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan. A just king gives stability to his nation…
Proverbs 29:2,4 NLT

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Getting ready for bed here.. just wanted to remind anyone who is reading the blog that tomorrow is office day.. I covet your prayers for me and for my patients. Remember us if you would. Thank you.

It's been 16 days since that groundhog tried to scare us out of our wits with a threat of 6 more weeks of winter.. He's been wrong so far.. seems like as soon as the prediction was made, the weather changed to more spring like and it's wonderful!!!

It's been a very long day here.. it was supposed to be our 'pool day', but I decided we'd better get started on our taxes.. and so I did. I started at around 8am and at 4pm I had about figured out the Federal taxes, and the PA taxes had me in total confusion. They don't send an instruction booklet out any more..well, that's not really the truth, they did send us a booklet, but with all the emphasis on filing electronically. Now, not everyone I know has a computer, and I really don't want to do this online. There were NO forms in my booklet..just a bunch of nonsense on how to file them elsewhere. I'm really not feeling well at the moment with all the headache I had all day. I get very frustrated with tax preparation, and realize how much I appreciated JJ doing them for us the past 2 years. She has no computer at the moment and I'm down to dial-up again for the moment.. so I feel frustrated. It makes me wonder how in the world an average person is able to complete the right forms? Mine isn't even hard.. but you have to have the right documentation. I struggled reading the book from the federal government.. I read it nearly cover to cover trying to find out what the standard mileage rate was for 2008. I finally threw my hands up in total disgust and went to the computer and googled it. There it was. But what if I didn't have a computer?

Yes, I could have it done by a professional.. but it's so expensive, and when one lives pretty much from paycheck to paycheck, there isn't a lot left to pay H&R Block the $200 they usually ask for. One year we tried another company and I was so horrified at the woman who did our taxes. I should have known we were in trouble when she sat cross legged in a tiny booth with us, chewing and cracking gum as she "worked". She saved us NOTHING and tossed most of our deductions. She charged us half of what Block did, but we got NOTHING back. At least with Block we usually got a refund. Never again.

I suppose I should get the numbers for the IRS and the PA-DOR and make some phone calls as I try to file these taxes. You know, a flat tax would be the most wonderful invention known to mankind.. or womankind as well. Our local taxes are just like that.. no added schedules.. just a flat rate according to one's earned income.

Maybe I should just drop it all for the day and go back to it next week. I can get another crochet project going and then just relax for a while.. SkipBo anyone?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I wondered how my day would be today when I woke up at 7am and needed to leave for the office at 7:30.. aacckk!

I had a great day really..Only 1 patient did I really struggle with for an IV access.. and she got 3 jags!!! Not my norm by a long shot. Things have been too good for too long I suppose. When I did get it in she looked at me and said.. "you are so good with needles. Even though you had to jag me 3 times, I never once felt any of them".. I guess I felt all the pain for her. She never flinched.. she has an extremely high pain tolerance.

I got home wearing sun glasses because the sun was so bright.. It was crispy cold, but not bad at all. I found all my little Valentines at the house and supper well on the way. We had pork roast tonite, and one of the best Mandy has ever made. The rest of the evening, I've been playing SkipBo with anyone who wanted.. and even Charlie came over for a few rounds after the kids had to go. I'm really tired. It's been a good day.

Lots more happened all day, but those were my highlights.. I'll likely sleep in again even later tomorrow.. we'll see.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It makes me sad to see my country following in the footsteps of history in a negative way.. here is a short passage of scripture that could be taken from the newspaper today.. if we had decent media coverage:

Romans 1:18 ff
18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.
22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.
23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.
25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.
27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.
28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.
30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.
31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.
32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

P3 is 10

I really love it when the whole family gets together. I look forward to these reunions when they come our way. How thankful and happy I am that the Valentines could visit this week and that we could all get together for a birthday celebration this evening. With snacks, games, and just a lot of good fellowship, we had cake and ice cream in Paul III's honor. It boggles my mind that he is now 10 yrs old. I still think of him as a cute little toddler.. now he's becoming a handsome young man..
Isaac,P3,David, Daniel

A Star Wars Belt

a Star Wars trading card box

P3 is 10

Blowing out the candles

P2 makes a point to David and P3



Jane and Wendy at the keyboard

P3,David and Daniel

Esther and David put a puzzle together

Eli and Uncle John


Daniel's gift

Isaac and P3 being silly

Annabelles gift.. a pretty pink hooded dress
and bubbles!!!!

Good morning.. it is the Sabbath. I want to share my devotions with you.

Is God really in charge today?
Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. Even they will perish, but you remain forever. They will wear out like old clothing. You will roll them up like an old coat. They will fade away like old clothing. But you are always the same; you will never grow old.
Hebrews 1:10-12 NLT

Moses told the people, "Don't be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch the Lord rescue you. The Egyptians that you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. You won't have to lift a finger in your defense!"
Exodus 14:13-14 NLT

Wars, starvation, disease, natural disasters—when we see all the pain in the world, it is easy to wonder if God is really in control.
This passage assures us that however unpredictable, fearsome, and seemingly out of control the world is, Christ is Lord and King of all. Although we fully understand how he exercises his authority over daily events, we can trust fully that eternity is his and that we, adopted children of God, will exist in eternity long after the present trials are over.

adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 1083

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Just wanted to note that I did locate my Screaming Eagle timer that takes the place of alarm clocks.. I'm not going to tell you where it was however.. I'm so red faced about the whole thing.. how could I be so silly?
I feel comforted. The Valentines have arrived safely and our home is again warm and cozy.
I took a nap this afternoon (with my functioning CPAP) and felt so much better when I awoke. Lack of sleep and feeling cold does funny stuff to me. I don't think I was thinking clearly this morning when I was so very cold .. I wonder if I actually was hypothermic judging from my reasoning. Wendell kept telling me we should pack up and go to JJ and Keith's house.. we have a house key and we could have let ourselves in and just slept on the sofa.. I kept wanting to just stay put.. not move.. and sleep.. I really needed sleep badly... and the thought of 'packing up' to go somewhere else was just too much.. I wasn't thinking clearly at all.
Now that my brain is thawed out and actually functioning, I can see that we should have done just that..
Well, next time.. oh.. is there going to be a next time?? This is twice we've survived without power for days in recent months. Is it someone else's turn yet? No, I wouldn't wish this on anyone truly. If it does happen again, Wendell and I know how to weather it better for what we've learned. It's an aggravation, irritation and miserable to be without running water or lights or power to run basic appliances.. but our ancestors did it as a matter of routine and didn't know the future held these wonders. I'm spoiled by the generation I was born into.. I'm a good bit softer than my ancestors I'm certain-my idea of camping out is Holiday Inn. But the 2 occasions that we have done without electricity have actually made us stronger and more knowledgeable about how to survive. It's not wilderness, but it's close. We still had our car and could get warm in it.. but it used precious we didn't do that too often, just when it got unbearable. We had batteries in the portable radio and they last a long time if one is careful about how long you leave it on.
We need to learn to live like pioneers did.. go to bed at sundown when there isn't any more daylight, and get up at sunrise.. use the day light to accomplish whatever needs done, and then sleep at night..
I don't know as I could have built a fire in the firepit across the driveway, but I suppose it would have been a possibility if we didn't have the propane grill.. and of course, Charlie has a propane stove in the trailer.. and he had his kerosene heater going too.
I warmed water on the grill to wash with.. and then used that wash water to flush the commode.. yeah.. you can't flush it but once when the power goes out. The pump stops and that's that. I've always wanted an outdoor hand pump.. don't have a clue how to go about it though.
OH..and one more thing.. We need to rembember to get replacement batteries for the ones we used this week.. and emergency candles.. and matches..wooden ones are best, and keep them dry.

I have to say I did miss the computer and my emails.. but it was getting easier yesterday and this morning to just ignore the machine. Wendell never turned the TV on till late tonite.
Tomorrow is the Sabbath.. we plan to be in church with our family..
See you there?
Jane has another great post on Here I Stand.. take a look, leave a comment for her.
I just looked at my last post here several days ago.. it was all a misunderstatement.. shortly thereafter.. 12:35am to be exact, the power went out and the outage lasted until this morning at 7am.
It wasn't bad the first day.. just inconveniences.. That would have been Thursday.. we went out to supper that evening after I got home from the office and had a 3 hr nap. I hadn't slept since 9am the day before, and was awake all that night without my CPAP. I have to admit, the nap seemed to be just perfect, but Friday morning I woke up with a severe headache.. a lack of CPAP headache.. and a mouth that felt like it was stuffed with dry cotton.. ugh! Normally if I wake up with a headache I just get a cup of coffee. Unfortunately, our coffeemaker runs on electric power and we didn't have any. I'd been using the heating element on the gas grill.. Charlie brought us 4 gallons of spring water.. and we wore extra clothes and coats.. yeah.. even inside. I took Wendell to Paul and Amy's to stay warm while I went to the office Friday afternoon.. that's another strange story- office on Friday, that is.
It wasn't too bad that first night.. the temperatures remained above freezing. I got to feeling like we could handle this if we had to.. and played along.
Last night was a little different. I was tired of the lack of lights and heat and eating sandwiches by candlelite.. or flashlight. Charlie had brought me a fondue pot and the base with some tea lights, and we put that to use so we could have tea or coffee or whatever.. as in hot chocolate..
Last night I thought I'd have a melt down.. it was sooooooo cold and though I was dressed like a Sherpa mountain climber, I was having an indigestion problem and had to get up and out of bed.. Then, the gingerale was icy cold (naturally), I was so stiff and cold, my back ached continuously, ..and I couldn't get the dial to turn on the on position on the grill. My hands felt frozen..and hurt when I tried to bend them.. and I was feeling hypothermic. My entire body was shaking and my teeth were chattering....
I woke Wendell up to help me get the grill going..he was not really happy to crawl out of his toasty spot in bed. I got the water on and we each had 3 hot cups of no sugar added cocoa. It has never tasted so delicious.
Well, then, back to bed.. but with all the extra fluids at the midnight hour, we were both back up at 4am to use the inside outhouse.. or at least it felt that way.. and another 'lack of CPAP headache'. We sat up for a while and made more hot tea and coffee.. and by 5am, we both were so chilled, we headed for the car, turned the ignition and heated us both up nicely. In fact, we both dozed off with the car running.. and woke up to all the lights in the neighborhood coming on at the same time at 6:55am. WOW! What a glorious sight!
Before we dozed off I asked Wendell what he thought God was trying to teach us with this bit of adventurous living.. I'd been pondering all this for some time.. do we need toughened up ? or humbled? or do we need reminded of our human frailty? Or perhaps it's a dry run for some future event we will have to endure. Whatever the reason/s .. the first words across my lips were "Thank you Lord for returning the power"..
It's still cold here. 2 days/nights without heat makes the house cool down pretty low.. and it will take time for it to all heat up again. But this morning I was able to get the bathroom (no longer considered the inside outhouse) warmed enough for a long and wonderfully warm bath. I'm still wearing 2 shirts and Wendell has on 2 pr of pants with 3 shirts. It'll be a while till everything gets back to normal chaos again.
The Valentines are due to arrive in a few hours.. gotta get some clean up done.. though I did manage to wash dishes last night. I like to do that because it makes my sore joints feel warmer.. relieves the pain.
Glad to be back online..

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bad weather here

I just got a weather warning from the NWS (National Weather Service).. looks like we are in for a BIG thunderstorm with 70mph winds tonite.. it's on it's way.
Insomuch as God controls all things including the wind and thunderstorms, I'll hunker down and thank Him for His presence around us. I am reminded of Mark 4:41 where the disciples marveled "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" We serve a God who is creator and Lord of even the wind and the waves.
I can hear the wind howling right now.. it's here. I can hear the rain hitting the side of the house..after the rain and wind comes the cold front that will lower the temperature to around 37 tonite.. it's so warm right now..57.
Another warning just arrived:
Sounds like good advice to me!

On another note.. I'm frustrated tonite as I have misplaced yet another important item.. my Screaming Eagle. I can't wake up to an alarm clock or even 4 of them, but the timer works great. I took it to show my boss yesterday, brought it home, set it on the table and now I don't know what I did with it.. For evermore.... I've searched all the usual 'drop' places I use.. not there. Wendell says if I set the alarms, he'll make sure I'm up in time for work tomorrow.

off the soapbox!

Okay.. I'm off my soapbox.. it's beautiful out today.. it's going to be about 60 degrees.. what think ye of that, Bob? Spring is coming.. the groundhog is wrong!!!
When I walk outside, it sounds like Aslan is on the move.. I can hear spring coming..woohoo!!!
Tomorrow the high will be 37, but that's normal for spring where the temps are above freezing and back and forth.
Wendell and I are going to the pool today. We have made up our minds that there isn't anything more important today.
The Valentines will be here the end of the week.. YIPPEE! and there will be a birthday celebration in honor of the only February birthday in the family.. P3 ! His gift will be arriving sometime today hopefully.. and then when we are able, both the older boys will get their needed insulated coveralls.. Hopefully by the end of this month.
We are almost halfway through February.. the worst of winter months.. So far, it hasn't been living up to it's reputation, but that is fine with me. The snow is still with us but melting rapidly. It makes mud and ice.. but even that will be gone soon. The windy month of March will be upon us soon.. in fact, the advisory now being posted is for high winds..
It's noon and I need to get ready to go out..
My blog seems to be becoming more political than just family newsy stuff.. It's hard not to post the things that are dear to me, no matter what category things fall into. It's the world I live in.
I don't know what future generations might read on this blog that might make them think or react differently.. reading the history and learning a valuable lesson..
(Like not burning papers on a windy dry day.. hmmm and on my birthday too! I am still trying to live that one down.)
In the midst of all the governmental takeover, the loss of our beloved freedom, we need to be looking up.. and praying. God is ever faithful and just, our protector. He never fails. I don't know what the future holds in this world, but my desire is to see the next in Heaven.. The evil and diabolical plans of men in this world will not exist in Heaven.
Many have put their lives on the line and their futures on the dollar.. it is folly. Many have no idea that money is nothing if you don't profess Jesus as your savior. There is no money in the world that will buy you a ticket to Heaven.. Their vision is blurred.. no, blinded by dollar signs. Worry, panic, and fear pervade our society of those who can see and understand a dismal future. The remainder look to a man to save them, but the focus is not on Jesus, but man who is identified as their savior.. He is heading down a wide road to even more agony and torment of perdition, and leading others down the road with him. Sorry state of affairs.. It grieves me.
In my humble estimation, our country has become even more evil than Sodom or Gomorrah at their worst.. and the judgment of God is upon us..
I listen to my patients.. you cannot imagine their comments .. from "give the guy a chance to show what he can do" to the suggestions of suicide if things get too hot.. to the fearful confirmations of 'everything will be all right' if we just wait.
For myself, I observe a lot.. I watch.. wait.. and pray that God will relieve us of this great burden upon us. We are guilty of so much.. and apathetic to the point of letting things happen even though we disagree.
Prayer is a useful tool.. especially for those of us who can't DO anything but raise a voice to our representatives who seem to cast a deaf ear to us all. God does not have a deaf ear to His own.
He hears the prayers of His people. Of that I am certain. I've experienced so much of it in my lifetime.. God's leading and blessings. He tells His people to 'fear not'.. and I pray for that.. that I won't lose my focus on Him by letting in fear. He tells us that man can take my body but not my soul- it is safe with Him.. 'fear not'. I believe him and rely on it.
In our darkest hours, He is there beside us and promises not to leave us without hope. He does not promise an easy out, but he does promise to help us through it. 'Fear not' He says.
Trusting in God is paramount in these dark days. Believing that Jesus came into this world and died for our personal sins is critical as is asking for His forgiveness. I suggest to you that if I am wrong (and I'm not), I have lost nothing, but if YOU are wrong in your unbelief, you have lost everything and are in danger of spending eternity where there is no water and there is burning fire that never quite consumes you, and with unimaginable horrors. Frightening thoughts? I turn my focus on Jesus and pray.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From World Net Daily:

"Daschle says health-care reform 'will not be pain free.'
Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them.
That means the elderly will bear the brunt," she warned.

"Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective.
The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost-effectiveness standard," she said.

McCaughey noted Daschle has written of such plans, modeled after the United Kingdom, which include a national board to make necessary decisions.
"This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis," she wrote.
She cited a 2006 ruling in the U.K. that determined elderly patients with macular degeneration must go blind in one eye before getting treatment with a costly drug to save their other eye, a decision that outraged taxpayers who eventually forced a change.

"Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional.

Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay.

A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition," McCaughey said.

That's not snow.. it's rain, and it's coming down making all things wet and slippery. No complaints here.. it could have been 6" of snow.
It is, after all, February..the worst of the winter months. Right now it's 45 degrees, and we anticipate 55 degrees later on today, and by Wednesday it should be 60.. Well, either this is the winter calm.. or spring is on it's way and the groundhog was wrong.

Today is office day.. I ask for prayer for my patients and for me.. We've all done well so far this year with no adverse effects. Hooray for that! I attribute this to the fact that others pray for us, and I pray for my patients well being also.
In my present employment, there are no evaluations as was done at the hospital, but every so often my employer mentions something or a word to describe how I'm doing. The other day, he said " the rapport you have with your patients is phenomenal". Extraordinary? Remarkable perhaps.. However he meant it, it was positive and it gave me a shot in the arm to keep on doing what I do.
Gotta get ready.. have a blessed day

Monday, February 09, 2009

Salmonella update:
Senate Hearing...warns Americans.."Beware of what you eat. You are on your own"
FBI enters investigation
Schools received at risk peanut butter.
The world is changing..Our President called for change you could believe in, and brother, this is it. Not only is our food unsafe according to our government, but our elected leaders do what they want when they want.. no more 'public servants'.
I'm annoyed.

It's been one of those busy 'full moon' days.. lots of activity and I actually accomplished something. Will wonders ever cease? The laundry is done and put away or hung up. It's nice to have clean clothes and a choice for what I'll wear tomorrow. That sounds arrogant when there are so many with literally only one set of clothes.. it was not meant to be.. more like an observation.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

There is a full moon tonite. I saw it.. it's a beauty.

Genesis 1:14-19 reads:

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Tonite, one would not need a flashlight to see where he was going.. it's just a beautiful brightness all around. I'll wait while you go take a look..

We did get to church today. We have the most wonderful pastor who preaches sermons the way they should be.. always scripturally based.
Today.. Ephesians 4:11
11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

I came away wondering just what my personal role is in the church.. I am still mulling over this.
Certainly I've been very active in the church in years past, and as I age, my activity level has gone down.. we live a distance away and our health has declined also. But we remain faithful to Christ and the teachings of the church and desire to be there on the Sabbath. Maybe we are just that.. pewsitters? Hmmm.. not a real exciting job, but then, perhaps there is simply encouragement for others to know that we think it's important to be there and we make the effort despite our infirmities or the weather or other problems that we face.
I remember my mother giving me advice as a teenager. She said "always be careful about your appearance and your speech- what you do and what you say. There are others who observe you and want to be just like you, and you never know who that might be. ".. hmmm I didn't think anyone noticed me at all. But I never forgot that.. I have pondered that over the years.

Moving along here..
This came in my email today.. my opinion is that they should scrap this whole mess and start all over with a REAL stimulus package.. this looks like just a bunch of pork spending to me.. how about you? I honestly and truly think we could survive without most of this
My comments in red ..MB

Obama wrote in an op-ed piece in the Washington Post that if Congress does not pass his "stimulus" package, and do so right away, "Our nation will slip deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse." "Wow," I thought when I read this, "The stimulus bill must contain some really important stuff if it's critical to the survival of our country! I better take a closer look. Maybe the guy is really onto something." So, I did some internet research and here is just some of the massive spending proposed in the bill:

-- $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
Seems to me we could survive without this money for the
-- $380 million for the Women, Infants & Children welfare program
This is one I've seen in action and I think it is anything but wasteful..
-- $300 million in grants to combat violence against women
I doubt this would add to our country's survival..
-- $1.2 billion to provide "youth" with summer jobs
Why not let local communities do this and not be funded by the taxpayers.. you know, government?
-- $2.4 billion for "neighborhood stabilization" activities
Let the neighborhoods stabilize themselves..they don't need this and we dont' need this money spent for survival
-- $650 million for digital TV coupons
Can't tell you how long it's been since I last watched tv.. this is NOT critical to survival.. I've survived all this time without
-- $150 million for the Smithsonian
The Smithsonian can make it without all the extra cash.. Not critical to survival
-- $34 million to renovate the Dept. of Commerce headquarters
To help them do what? Renovate What specifically? Really, think about it.. could our country ever survive without this renovation?
-- $500 million for improvements to the National Institute of Health facility
Exactly what improvements.. can we survive without it?
-- $44 million for repairs to the Dept. of Agriculture's headquarters
Can we survive without these repairs? Hire a local.. a handyman.. Joe the plumber.. and send that $44 million to the farmers
-- $350 million for agriculture department computers
Just what kind of computers do they need? That seems steep to me..
-- $88 million to move (that's right, move) the Public Health Service into a new building.
Yeah.. our country won't make it unless this is completed.. Hire locally like the rest of the taxpayers
-- $1 billion for the Census Bureau
What on earth could the census bureau need for a billion dollars? I think we can survive without it
-- $89 billion for Medicaid
There are many who depend on this assistance.. but $89 billion? How about letting the states take care of this?

-- $30 billion for COBRA extensions
Should the government even have their fingers in insurance? States need involved, not feds
-- $36 billion for expanded unemployment
Once again, the states need to be controlling this. We pay into this.. it's not welfare
-- $20 billion for food stamps
The whole thing needs revised and where there is need, there are food banks .. let the local communities care for their needy
-- $850 million for Amtrak
Oh, no! The country won't survive unless we give Amtrak money.. is that extortion?
-- $87 million for a "polar ice breaking ship" (What about the ice caps melting because of global warming?)
Better question "WHY?"
-- $1.7 million for the National Park Service
This one probably serves the people, but as for survival?.. hmmm I'd be hard pressed to consider this an emergency
-- $55 million for the Historic Preservation Fund
I wonder if that affects our survival?
-- $7.6 million for the Rural Advancement Program
What on earth is the RAP?
-- $150 million for "agricultural commodity purchases"
I haven't got a clue.. you?
-- $150 million for producers of livestock, farm-raised fish and honey bees
Now you're talking..
-- $160 million for paid volunteers (what is a "paid volunteer"?) at the Corporation for National and Community Service
If they are volunteers, they don't get paid.. scrap this one for sure
Are we really to believe Obama that we may not be able to reverse our country's slide if he and Congress are prevented from ramming all this pork down our throats? And, by the way, what happened to Obama's pledge to end pork barrel spending?

Another interesting tidbit: Obama said that one of the reasons Congress must pass the stimulus bill, and must pass it NOW, is to end our dependence on foreign oil. What is astonishing is that he made this proclamation about energy independence less than 24 hours after his new interior secretary canceled the oil and gas leases on 77 parcels of federal land.
What is your definition of love?

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
John 14:2 NLT

A healthy definition of love is crucial to understanding the central message of the Bible.
According to the Bible, love is not confined to sexuality, not is it primarily a feeling at all.
The Bible teaches that love is a commitment.
As a commitment, love is not dependent of good feelings, but rather on a consistent and courageous decision to extend oneself for the well-being of another.
That commitment then produces good feelings, not the other way around. Jesus became the perfect demonstration of God's unconditional love for us by laying down his life for our benefit.

adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), 7 p 122

It's the Sabbath.. I 'm hoping to be in church today. It's a pleasant 41 degrees right now with a promise of 44 later on. I'm hoping the groundhog was wrong and this is not a calm before a huge big storm to finish winter. February is always the worst winter month.
One day at a time.. one hour at a time.. one minute at a time.. sometimes I need reminded.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Paying income taxes voluntarily

Harry Reid says paying income taxes is voluntary.. you need to listen to him say it in his own words..
and while you are at it.. here is a phone number where you can call and express your heartfelt opinion of the stimulus bill.. 202-224-3121

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Here is the latest afghan.. and it's for Joyce.
It went really fast this time.

This morning it was 0 degrees outside.. cold!!! There was little to no wind, so it was just plain down to earth cold. I didn't have to do much except start the car a little early before heading to the office. Out of the scheduled 8 patients, 6 showed up and all did very well.

It's a cold and quiet evening here.. I've been trying to scan more old photos.. if you are interested, they are all in blogs at the right of this post.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I'm adding to the blogs in the right hand side of this page..
Imm History 101 has new pictures and my dad's birth certificate with it's corrections.

Jemit's Imm Best Connection is now updated with the 1973 Uckert wedding photos, obits, and certificates.. take a look

JemitKids is also updated tonite. Mandy's Dairy princess newsclip, Charmin, 1974 JJ on a tractor, little Paul2.. All our kids..oh, and Tootsie.. remember her?

Who is That? has a new photo. I don't know who it is for sure, but it reminds me of Uncle George Best as a young boy. Take a look and then take a guess.. leave me a comment if you wish..
“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931-2005
Winter is not fun for me any more. The only thing I enjoy about it is the beauty of a blanket of fresh fallen snow that I can observe from inside the house. I just looked at the first alert of the morning and I see that at 5:30 this morning, we are to get a new snowfall amounting to about an inch. The problem is that it's to drop, or perhaps the word is more descriptive as 'dump', it's load between 5:30 and 7am. I leave for the office at 7am and will be out there fighting my way to the city.
It's 18 degrees this morning and we should get to about 28 today. We need to get rid of that groundhog.
It was so lovely yesterday that we were able to go to the YMCA for a nice long dip in the pool. As I walked out the door, I could hear the snow melting and dripping off of any area that still was holding ice or snow.. I thought to myself "Aslan is on the move".
With the slightly higher temperatures and still heavy snow on the ground, we then had the dreaded ice which coated the driveway especially. Ice is really dangerous for me and for Wendell and anyone else who carelessly ventures out on it.
JJ and Keith have a new truck.. built like a tank.. it's over 2 feet up to get in the cab. I grabbed the handlebar and threw my leg up into it while my other foot lost traction and I was left hanging by the handlebar.. horrified. Amanda happened to be right there and shoved my butt into the truck.. no easy feat. I buckled the seatbelt and was ready for a ride. It rode very smoothly and it's comfortable. Wendell got in and drove it 'around the block'. Getting out was even more troublesome than getting in.. If I had realized that I'd have to literally drop 2 feet onto waiting ice, I wouldn't have been so anxious to get in and take the ride. I actually fell out of the truck in a sort of controlled manner, and my back still hurts. Fortunately, the rest of the family are all taller and have no trouble getting in and out. I noticed that when I tried to look in the bed of the truck, I couldn't.. I'm not even tall enough to see in the back. Hmmmm.. Well, I guess I won't be riding in the truck too often. And, oh, yes.. Congratulations, Keith, on the new vehicle.. I do hope JJ will let you drive it now and again...
Today is office day. Please remember to pray for us.. for safety for my patients and me too. I suspect there may be some cancelations for the day because of the snow drop coming. I don't blame any of them.. wish I could cancel myself, but there are many patients who have already done so and need their biologics. I don't plan to disappoint them by canceling myself.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12

Have a blessed day

Monday, February 02, 2009