Sunday, July 27, 2008

Just Popping In

(knock-knock)  Well, hello!  Bet you're surprised to see me!  Yeah, been way too long.  I've drank coffee all morning, but I will take a glass of cold water.
I'm on my way to town to get some things and just thought on a whim, I'd pop in and catch up.  Things have been a little crazy as of late.  Oh, we've had water pump troubles and cooling system troubles on my car.  But all that's fixed now, thank God!
Yes, Bubba took a new job.  More money and will be considered a full-time employee and eligible for insurance.  Which that boy needs.  He's a welder's helper, but once again is supposed to be trained in welding.  At this shop it is all heli-arc.  Would be another good craft to learn.  But the drive is so long, and they are working 50 hour weeks....I hope it doesn't burn him out. 
I hate you couldn't come to Hannah's birthday party.  It was a blast!  Plenty of food, water balloons, water guns, pinata.  Not many little kids showed up.  But she still had a blast.  Those in their teens and twenties got to cutting up and playing.  Ended with a round of tossing the football and Frisbee in the rain.  I'm so glad she had a good time.  As things were about to take a turn for her.
Saturday and Sunday she complained a little that her nose was sore inside.  Well, that didn't raise too much suspicion as she'd had a little runny nose and allergies for over a week.  Monday evening she went to vacation bible school.  When she got home she said that near the end she got so cold and couldn't warm up.  So, we took her temp, 100.4.  Gave her some Tylenol. 
Monday, when I got ready for work and went to kiss her goodbye, I thought it seemed her nose was larger than usual right around the edge of the nostrils.  Very strange.  But I lay it off to some allergic reaction.  Told her to take benadryl when she got up.  When I came home Monday evening there was no doubt her nose was larger.  Still had a temp hovering around 100.  But she said she could breath well.  So Tuesday I went on in to work.  Hoping the benadryl would start to work, as she was beginning to look like W. C. Fields! 
When I checked on them the middle of the day, no change.  So I called to make her a doctor's appointment.  Nothing at all open until 11 the next day.  Then low and behold that very night, a co-worker's father was attacked in his home while he was asleep!  Beaten badly.  The bad guys had his wallet and keys.  So she couldn't come in and I had to leave Pete to take Hannah to the doctor. 
Her doctor said she had the worst infection in her nose he had ever seen. Appeared to be a boil.  And he arranged for Pete to take her straight down to the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.  I met them there.  By now, Fields nose was on Bug's face!  He confirmed it was an abscess.  Said it could easily land her in the hospital.  Needed surgery to drain it, first thing Thursday A.M. Blood work done.  Pre-registration at the surgery done.  A shot of strong antibiotics and a prescription of cow sized pills.
The surgery went fine.  The staff were all so wonderful!  She came home and did splendidly.  Of course mama had to do some round the clock nursing and dressing changes.  Was afraid I wouldn't be able to be there for her on Friday, missing two days work in one week would hurt my pocket book pretty badly.  But God provided!  A gentleman Pete had done a little work on his truck for earlier in the month showed up Thursday night right at dark with exactly as much cash as the extra day would have cost me!  God often does that....provides exactly what we need.  Not more, not less.  Exactly.  I think that is so we recognize his hand in it.
Friday I took her down to get the packing removed.  Monday she goes to get the drain out.  And now she feels so well she is driving me crazy!  We almost have to sit on her to keep her inside and quiet the way the doctor wants her.
The dry weather and heat has gotten the best of whatever garden we had left.  It seems the heat has Pete feeling worse than usual.  We finally got our stimulus check.  But now the hard part of figuring out the best way to spend it on him.  Which direction will yield the answers he so desperately needs. 
Oh, by the way, my co-workers dad is doing well and the police caught the bad guys!
Here I am just a running on and on.  Guess I just needed to get it out of my system.  Thanks for the water.  Do you need me to pick up anything at Wal-Mart for you?  Or do you want to grab your purse and ride along?

Mexico La Paz, Baja California Sur

1,076 miles from Caneyhead


Monday, July 7, 2008

Goodbye Mrs. Johnson

Folks there's an old saying around these parts:  "If you want to know how a Christian should be living, go in any honky-tonk and ask someone there."  Pure and simple, if you grew up around Christianity, church, religion at all you probably have a pretty clear idea of what is expected by and large from someone professing the faith.  And the other point is that most sinners know they are a sinnin'.  There's an old country song that goes about like this:  "Goodbye, Mrs. Johnson.  You self-righteous biddy.  I don't need your loud mouth and I don't need your pity. So can go back to whatever you hypocrites do and when I speak to Heaven be nice and I'll put in a good word for you."
Now have I got everyone good and stirred up?  Let's simmer down and I'll tell you what I'm up to.  A dear friend of mine sent me a note today.  Talking about the vast differences she sees in Christians and how so many times they seem not to do the things Christ did, and to do the things he didn't.
And that got me a thinkin' about my own walk with the Lord.  And the many changes and, I hope, growth over the years.  And I want to share a little of what I discovered as I pondered, here, with you all today.  Reason being two-fold:  to explain some of the discrepancies between us Christians to non-Christians and to give brothers and sisters in Christ a little eye opener as to what stage they may or may not be in.  I'm not gonna sort out who's who.  I'll leave that up to the Holy Spirit as He is significantly capable.
More often than not when someone accepts the Lord Jesus as their Savior they are floating on a supernatural high for some time afterward.  This can make new converts extremely willing to share their experience with anyone and everyone.  They are thrilled and, by golly, you should be too!  They'll hound you to go to church with them.  You'll find there is not a topic under Heaven they can't tie into needing to be saved.  Now all of this may make them very annoying.  But it's only right and natural as they have just found their One True Love.  It's an exciting time! Try to be patient and just let what you don't want to hear go in one ear and out the other. 
After one has been a Christian for a time, some sooner than others, the Holy Spirit will begin His reconstructive work in their lives.  (Although a few fall away before ever getting here or once it starts.)  See Jesus loves us all as we are but He does love us too much to leave us that sorry old way.  This time can be very painful, because the crux of it is to get the person to see sin as God sees it.  OUCH.  Not pleasant.  God Almighty can't even look upon it.  It's vile and revolting.  But necessary to see it.  Why?  So that we can recognize it in our lives, confess it and allow him to take that filth away and replace it with some good pretty stuff.  The problem area is that while we are becoming more sensitive to sin of our own, we are also becoming much more sensitive to all sin.  And like a child who has just learned a thing is bad to do, we go around trying to correct or stop everyone we see doing it.  So that person who always just took you as you were may suddenly seem down right fed up with you.  And no one wants to be around anyone who finds them disgusting.  So the best you can do is try to avoid these sin policemen and be on your best behavior when you do by chance encounter them.  God have mercy on the man trapped with his wife at this time.  (Pete said AMEN)
Oh, but after God is through sweeping up the dirty old house of a soul He's now indwelling, He begins to teach the disciple all about love.  Real love.  God's love.  If you are a Christian please don't miss this step!  You'll begin to see those around you as He sees them.  He has John Conlee's rose colored glasses in one hand and mercy in the other.  He looks at folks with love.  He understands why and how they went astray.  What's wrong grieves Him as he only wants the best of them, expects the best of them.  Motivated by love and mercy He wants to lift them up and fix all that is wrong.  He wants to show them kindness and compassion.  At this stage the Christian may be strangely quiet.  As they know God cares more for everyone they know more than they ever could.  As they realize that it is God's Holy Spirit who reaches men and women, not our contrivances. You may not be talked to nearly as much about spiritual matters, but you can bet you are being talked about a lot!  In prayer.  In intercession.  That aggravating Christian is on their knees in front of their Heavenly Father crying and praying for your soul.  Loving you more than you may ever know.  This is the time of sowing.  Every Christian is missing the most beautiful burden they will ever bear if they do not get here.  So, enjoy the peace and allow them to reconnect to you.  You'll be glad you did.
On down the road a Christian comes to realize they are mostly tending their own garden.  Busy working on and refining themselves.  They are kind without thinking.  They are giving without reason.  They occasionally have to put their foot down and say not in front of me or we don't do that here.  But over all they are welcoming.  Inviting.  Pleasant to be around.  They are trustworthy.  They hesitate to say anything harsh, but when they do they try to temper it in love.  They are doing the things God has been refining in them without effort, without pondering.  Above all they are acutely aware of how far they have come and that it is only by the grace of God that they have.  This makes them very humble about it all, not proud.  These are those people who have the "glow".  The very glory of Christ seems to rest upon them.  If you have some in your life treasure them!  Oh, that I would be there.  Oh, that I will get there by His grace!  Have no fear of these Christians.  They are leaving it all up to His Holy Spirit.  Trusting God to do all He can to call you to Him while there is still time.  And lovingyou deeply in the meantime. 
Remember, Jesus spent His time here among the sinners.  That's part of what led to him being cruxified.  The "Mrs. Johnson's" of his day didn't like the company he kept.  And the only harsh words he ever spoke or hollering he ever did was at those "snakes and vipers", the chief priests, sadducees and pharisees who should have known better. 
Please take note that some of this is tongue in cheek.  And whether you be calling yourself Christian or not, I hope you see the love I have for each of you.  I know this is not the entry I promised you next, but Someone had a change of plans. 
Seattle, Washington.........1,904 miles from Caneyhead.....SALUTE!!!
Hello, Mrs. Johnson by Tom T. Hall
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