Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Last Week of December 2008

On Sunday, December 21, the NBC choir performed a Christmas concert. It can be listened to at nbcshawnee.org Log In: Christ Password: ismyLord I will always think of it as "Miracle on 42nd Street". I arranged the concert and prayed that God would do what I couldn't. Bill came back 2 weeks before the performance and polished the group. The men's quartet is my favorite!

On Monday, Dec. 22nd, Bill and I celebrated our 27th anniversary by going out to Red Lobster. We thought about the many anniversaries that we had in the air while flying home for Christmas. Saturday, we saw, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". Fantastic movie!!!

On Wed., Dec. 24th, we had dinner at Mom's with Galen and Sondra. While enroute from CA, they had car trouble and Jason picked them up in Clinton, OK. Roger's family didn't arrive from CA until 10:00 pm due to a major snowstorm in New Mexico. After spinning out, they lost their transmission and AAA towed them to Shawnee. They were still in good spirits! They are now in Branson at the Kimberline Resort (sp?) in the Presidential Suite recovering. Sad! Ha!

Christmas Day was one big party at our house! Noel's family arrived from Springfield that morning, as well as Uncle Johnny. In addition to the family, 4 SEI students joined us. That meant that I cooked dinner for 18 people! We had smoked ham, potatoes, vegetables, salads and yeast rolls. I baked cherry, pumpkin and pecan pie, and choco chip cookies. After dinner, we took turns playing the piano and everyone sang. There were gifts under the tree for everyone. Bill and I gave "Crockpots forTwo" to each of my brothers. We gave Mom a subscription to the Shawnee Newstar for next year. Bill gave me a necklace that he bought in Singapore. It is a real orchid overlaid with gold. He also gave me some perfume made from the Passion flower that he bought at the Raffles Hotel. We had spent two vacations there in the past.

Today, I took Bill to have a colonoscopy at the new Surgery Center in Shawnee. It's beautiful!! The overhead lights are covered to look like a sunlit sky. All of the emergency equipment is hidden behind works of art. Bill had two polyps removed and is doing well. Kirk and family are due to arrive this afternoon in time for dinner. They will stay for our annual New Year's Eve party and leave on Friday. They went snowboarding in Flagstaff, AZ yesterday and had a great time! Keri and Kelli got together in Michigan for Christmas. They have been snowbound. Mom gave me a special cookie cutter kit to make cookies with the grandkids next summer. Fun!

Oh yes! Last Sunday, my Bible study class had grown! We are now up to 13 people and planning a party next week. I really am more of a facilitator than a teacher. They inspire ME! Our lesson was about Paul's conversion and the lengths that God will go to in order to get our attention. I prefer God to whisper rather than have to yell at me. "Be still -- and know that I am God."

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's correction time. I do know how to spell poinsettia. Sometimes when I reread my blogs later, I can't believe the mistakes I have made. To those who actually read my writings - please forgive me. It keeps me humble!

This week has been very peaceful, and what I often think the Christmas season should be. God spared our area from having any ice or snow. Since we have Christmas choir practice next Saturday, we didn't want to have to make up our classes this weekend. It's been cold, but no problem at all! Speaking of classes, Tony (our new directior) volunteered his teachers to write lesson plans to be published. Since I am the only elementary trained teacher among the group, I was asked to write plans to be used with our "preeemies". Those are the students who come with no previous English training. We've been told that we will be compensated nicely.

I have made a deliberate choice to enjoy the whole Christmas season this year. Each evening, I have sat by the fire, enjoyed the lights on the tree, drank cocoa or spiced tea, and watched a Christmas movie. I love "Charlie Brown" more now than when I was a kid! I realize that many people have depression at this time of year. There were Christmases when I had forgotten the true meaning, and didn't plan well. If you are Giving more than you are Getting, you will not have time to be depressed. Ian has a birthday this week. Bill is giving him a Rodent Rapper dressed in a Santa Suit. He dances as he raps.

We are expecting 17 people for Christmas dinner this year. Roger and Julie are driving their 3 college kids from Calif. There will also be Galen and Sondra (and Jason's family), Noel and Janice and Mark, Mom, Bill and myself. I have done most of the shopping and am ready to make my kitchen dance!!! Everyone has reserved hotel rooms at the new La Quinta and Mom is going to be surprised!!! We have also invited some of our international students who need a place to go.

I saw that Rick Warren will pray at Obama's inauguration. Kelli has written on a regular basis for Rick Warren, and interviewed Obama at Saddleback Church when he was just beginning his candidacy . It is very interesting!

I only sent a few cards this year. If you get one, count yourself extremely special!

Monday, December 15, 2008

December 15, 2008

Second Week of Christmas

I love Christmas! I bought a plastic table cover to protect the new tablecloth that Bill brought me from Singapore. It's a beautiful linen cloth with lace around the edges and embroidered red pointsettias. I had put lighted boughs of evergreen over the French doors, so I added tiny red pointsettias to bring the room together. I was Suzy homemaker this week. I also made a chocolate cake for the SEI student Christmas party which is always at Anne's house because she and Dan have a new mega home with a pool. We played Christmas charades and Dirty Santa. It was my students' first Christmas and their first time to party with girls. (Saudi Arabia doesn't mix.)

Saturday, Bill took me to see the movie, "Australia" which we both really enjoyed. Afterwards, we split up for awhile in the mall to buy gifts. We always try to buy things that will be treasured in years to come. After shopping, Bill and I met at The Santa Fe Cattle Co. for dinner. We enjoy throwing the peanut shells on the floor because we are both neat freaks at home.

Our SS class is growing every week. They are a "talky" bunch! The topic was "generosity" and knowing when and when not to give to others. After worship service, the church had a potluck that rivaled Golden Corral. The new fellowship hall looks like a first class restaurant. After eating too much, the choir practiced for next week's concert. We lost some members due to illness and I was concerned, but God has left us with 16 very talented singers. My favorite song this year is "O Holy Night!" Sherry sings the solo part, and she is great!!

I'm excited because three of my brothers - Galen, Noel and Roger are surprising my Mom and coming to Oklahoma for Christmas. I will cook Christmas dinner at our house for everyone. My son, Kirk, called and said that he and Tamra are bringing their two sons for New Year's Eve after a ski trip in New Mexico. Kirk is our "movie star". He was filmed by ColdWater productions - NBC while ministering to druggies and prostitutes in Los Angeles. Kirk does "Christmas" year around and their was no acting involved for him. Sofia, Keri's 4 year old, called from Chicago and sang all three verses of "Away in the Manger". She was on key, and just precious! Our world would be so different if we could all have the heart of a child!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More Thoughts on the Character of God - Details/Righteous Anger/God's People

This morning, Bill continued reading to me from Exodus about plagues in Egypt. I commented on how the people of Israel obeyed God without question when Moses told the people of God's final plague. Bill felt that the people obeyed because they had seen God in action previously. I began having a flashback to our years in the Cayman Islands. Jonathan Bain was in my third grade class. I had taught Jonathan in second grade as well, so I was not a new teacher. Every time our scheduled changed due to an assembly or a special project, Jonathan would be at my desk wondering how we would manage to get our lessons done. He wanted all the answers in detail!! Finally, I told Jonathan to sit down and trust me to take very good care of the class! I looked up and said, "God, forgive me for needing to know all the details. I will trust you." Jonathan grew up and is a wonderful music teacher in Indiana. I bet he remembers me. Ha!

A week after arriving in Nairobi, Kenya, Bill and I decided to walk to a museum not far from our apartment. It was 2 p.m. and we were walking along a busy avenue. We saw a group of young men sitting on a wall enjoying each others company. We smiled, nodded and kept walking. One minute later we heard feet running behind us. Two of the young men that we had seen were facing us with strong sticks. Bill was bigger and taller and starting fighting one of them. However, I was the short weak victim. My attacker also had a knife and cut my fanny pack from my waiste with a single motion. When he ran, his friend followed while taking my money and my reading glasses. I wished that I had taken a weapon. If Bill had been in trouble, I would not have hesitated for a minute to use any weapon available. Having a nice talk with these fellows never went through my mind. I think that God uses His weapons when His enemies attempt to destroy His people or thwart His plans. God gets angry and is not a wimp. He is to be loved and respected. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. It doesn't really matter ultimately what you or I think. We are only human and should remember such. I would NEVER want to make the mistake of telling God that He doesn't exist, or what He should do. I guess that's why the Bible says that we must come to Him as a little child - full of humility and faith.

Who are God's chosen people? Isreal was chosen in the beginning to bring about God's plan for salvation. God already had a plan set in motion with Abraham. I'm amazed that the birth of Jesus was foretold in the Old Testament. It was so acurate! Isaiah and Micah got it right! Wow! God was not going to let anyone get in the way of His plan to save mankind. He loved us that much! After the death of Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins, God made it very clear that Jews and Gentiles alike were accepted as God's people. Now, God will protect Israel because He promised that Jesus will return to Jerusalem. Israel will see more war, but they will not be destroyed.

The Bible says that every person will be judged according to their knowledge. I don't believe that God will judge all men the same. I do know that God has put it into the heart of everyone to seek God and worship. There is not a nation on earth that has not attempted to know God. Religion is just a bunch of rules with condemnation. God represents forgiveness and salvation and wants to have a relationship with us. Unfortunately, fake Christians are all around us. The Bible Belt is full of them!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thoughts about the Character of God

I have spent a lot of time this week thinking about the different facets of God's character. God is just and seeks to balance His world and His people. Unfortunately, many children have grown up to think that the world revolves around them and what they want. They have not learned to respect wisdom and the experience of older people. I often observe children talking back to their parents and refusing to obey! These same children will grow up to rebel against all authority, and especially the notion that there is a God to obey. They are not learning the rewards of discipline and patience, and reject the notion of a God who disciplines. As one of my friends said, "He is God! He is our creator! Who do we think WE are to tell Him what He should do and not do!" God is extremely loving and merciful to put up with us! Yes, God has wiped out nations, but perhaps He gave them chances to change their ways and they refused. God is just and merciful. But, when He gets enough He lets loose! I experienced that in my classroom last week. My 17 year old student decided to play around and wanted to tease me. I let it go for awhile. But after some time of warning, he became obnoxious to me and the other student I was trying to teach. Fahhad had only seen me be patient and kind. Was he surprised when I raised my voice, told him to sit down and threw my eraser on the floor! He made the right choice. He sat down, apologized and started learning. I seldom do such a thing as a teacher, but I couldn't get his attention any other way. God must feel like that sometime. I, personally, want to have the favor of God in my life! Some people are so full of pride that they will NOT humble themselves and pray. They miss all of the good stuff and go through life third class.
Monday, December 8, 2008

First Week of Christmas

After spending 6 years in Tokyo, and 4 years in Yokohama, Christmas is very special to me! Being a Buddhist country, Christmas is NOT on the Japanese calendar and is not celebrated as such. Retailers have learned in the last 5 years to celebrate winter and have begun to use lights. Each year, I taught my Japanese students the meaning of Christmas and how to celebrate. I'll never forget laughing to myself when I saw their first effort at the nativity. Twin Japanese girls were Mary and Joseph. The baby Jesus was dressed in a red and white Santa suit. I knew that I had lots of work to do! Ha!

Bill arrived in OKC last Wednesday via Tokyo and Minneapolis. It was 88 degrees when he left Singapore, so it was a shock in many ways. In spite of the money, he knew that he had a made a mistake to go to Singapore almost immediately. The administration had all grown up communist in Beijing. He quickly learned what it's like to live in a godless world. He gave them 3 months notice, wrote a music curriculum for them and left.

Friday, we had our faculty Christmas dinner at Gliori's Italian Restaurant and played dirty Santa. Saturday, we decided to take a drive to Ada and had lunch at Golden Corral. That evening we attended OBU's Hanging of the Greens concert. Sunday, we had Christmas choir practice after the worship service. Today, it's back to work. SEI asked Bill to teach full time since one of the teachers left for South Africa. I am teaching 2 Saudi Arabian students every afternoon from 1 to 3 pm. We have been invited to more parties next weekend! Fun!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Gary DeMar vs. Bart Ehrman

My brother, Galen, just received an email with an article written about a debate between Bart Ehrman and Gary DeMar in Florida. According to DeMar, Bart Ehrman prides himself in studying documents to find error. It is ironical that such a man cannot write a book himself without misspelling people's names and places. After several printings, the man still has not corrected his mistakes. It seems to me that Ehrman is one of those people who went to church and studied the bulletin for mistakes, but never heard the message. It's possible that the people who wrote the Bible did not see the events exactly the same. However, the message is consistent. The Bible was not written to be an academic study. It has a spiritual message that can only be understood with the eyes of the heart. We look for errors in others when we want to distract people from our own weaknesses. To the proud and selfish, the Bible is a threat. To those who recognize their failings, the Bible is a message of forgiveness and love. I'm cautious of people who pat themselves and their friends on the back for "having it altogether" and making themselves into little gods. We have a choice: cover our guilt; ignore our guilt; or admit our guilt. What comes next? The Bible has the answer from Genesis to Revelation!

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1, 2008

Last Thursday morning, Mom and I began our drive to Springfield, Mo. to join Noel's family for Thanksgiving weekend. The drive went smoothly until we reached Tulsa. A tanker had just tipped over and the Joplin exit was blocked. It took some doing to find my way back onto I-44 East. When I saw the James River Freeway I knew we would make it for dinner!

On Friday, I wasn't feeling really well but didn't want to miss Silver Dollar City. What a place! Dickens Christmas Carol is SO professionally done at the Opera House. The highly technical sets give it a "movie" feel. Then, we listened to Tracy Heaston. His hands literally fly across the piano. He also played a combination marimba/chimes solo of "What Child Is This". With the Christmas setting and lights I was transported.

Friday night my tummy pains kept me from sleeping, and Noel drove me to a walk-in clinic at 7 am. Between the medication and the TLC I received, I was able to recover quickly. Noel and Janice always give us private bedrooms and have a fire going in the livingroom. Sweet people!

Sunday AM we woke up to snow flurries. I followed Noel to church on the Kansas Express Way. As I prepared to follow him through a green light, an ambulance seemed to come out of nowhere from the opposite direction. He hit his brakes and so did I. Because of the wet snow, I was losing control. I managed to bring the car to a stop in the left turn lane and didn't rear end Noel! Steve's family (Noel's son) joined us at church. We all had something to thank God for!

After church, Mom and I started home. At the first toll booth on the Pike, traffic backed up for 2 miles. After a 10 minute wait, we were all waved through without paying. Yeah! It snowed until we reached Tulsa, then rained in Seminole. When I reached my driveway it had already rained and was dry. I felt like Noah! God had brought me through sickness, bad weather and a near accident! I'm ready for Christmas!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 26, 2008

Responding to Those Who Suffer

In my experience, people spend their time going in one of two directions. They are either running away from God and His protection, or they are moving closer to Him and feel His comforting Spirit. If we are truly His children, He will discipline us. Even when we turn our faces away from God He continues to love us and waits patiently for us to learn our lessons and come back to Him. When I was out of the will of God, I was afraid to read the Bible because I might have to change my life. That is huge! You can have the best computer in the world, but if it is not connected to the energy source, it has no value. The same is true of people. We can be smart, talented and have personality, but if we are not connected to the Spirit of God, then we can never reach our potential. We will feel stressed and depressed -which leads to illness. There are many ways to suffer. Physical suffering is nothing compared to emotional and spiritual suffering. I worked in a nursing home as a recreation director during my college years. The people who were truly Christians were able to endure pain with dignity that others could not. In fact, after I had my gall bladder surgery I astounded the nurses because I never asked for pain medicine. They said they checked on me frequently because I was the only one on the floor who didn't ring them. Then, I remembered how many churches were praying for me and told them I must have had a host of angels around me! They believed me! Pain and sorrow either builds character and prepares us for Heaven, or it makes us bitter negative people who wouldn't enjoy the presence of God anyway. Time on earth is a vapor. Heaven is forever! If the Bible is true, than those who don't believe will find out what suffering really is! They will not be able to argue with the most Holy God! I personally wouldn't take that terrible chance! It's too much fun having all that extra power in my life! I want to share it with you!
November 26, 2008

My Favorite Thanksgiving!

My first daughter, Keri, was born on September 28, 1969. I loved her so much that I didn't think I could love another baby. When Keri was 5 months old I discovered that I was going to have another baby. It was a complete surprise because I thought I knew how to prevent that from happening. It was suggested to me that I could have an abortion. However, my family assured me that I would have their support. On Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1970, God gave me another beautiful daughter, Kelli Brooke. Kelli is petite with huge brown eyes. Her gentle smile and soft voice has made it's mark in the world of Christian journalism. As well as being writer/editor for Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, she leads seminars for Baptist Press in Nashville, and is a freelance ghost writer for people like Rick Warren. God knew exactly what he was doing when he created that baby girl and gave us all a gift to be thankful for on that Thanksgiving Day in 1970!

Monday, November 24, 2008

November 24, 2008
Reflections of Thanksgivings Past
I am especially grateful for spending Thanksgiving in America! Such a holiday does not exist in Japan. For 10 years, Bill and I spent every Thanksgiving Day in the classroom teaching as usual. I remember feeling such loss because I couldn't be with my family. We had always played group games, talked and ate until we felt like stuffed turkeys. While living in Tokyo for 6 years, Bill and I ordered a frozen turkey from the International Supermarket ($70) and invited some of our Japanese friends to join us for dinner on Saturday. That helped make up for some of our feelings of loss. Most Japanese do not have an oven, so they were amazed at the size of the bird! They had never seen nor eaten turkey. Another novelty was my pumpkin pie. Pie in general is not a usual dessert in Japan. In the years that followed, our friends began bringing their own contributions to the table. It wasn't unusual to have sushi and kaki (sweet permissions) gracing the table alongside the other trimmings. I thank God for those experiences, but nothing compares to being with family and friends in America!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday, November 21, 2008

Oklahoma weather is so interesting! One day it is 75 degrees, and the next day it is 45! As I was driving to work I enjoyed the crisp air, a flock of birds flying over golden trees, and mist rising from the fields. Seasons come and go in such an orderly fashion. It's a miracle to me!

I saw another little miracle this week. My former student, Linglu (an economics professor from Taiwan) gave birth to her first baby, Kimberly. I went to the hospital to welcome this tiny black-haired doll!

It has been a miracle week. Fahhad (17 yrs. old) is learning to read English, and actually wrote 4 pages of present progressive answers in his textbook. He made me laugh when he stood up and said, "I love you, teacher. I love America!"

I did some shopping for my mother last evening, and took dinner from Taco Mayo to her apartment to share. Her health is rebounding and she looked pretty. Next Thursday morning I'm driving her to Noel's home in Springfield for Thanksgiving. We'll come back on Sun. afternoon.

Bill hates missing Thanksgiving, but will return home a few days later on Dec. 3. He will change planes in Tokyo and Minneapolis. Today, he is hiking in the rainforest with his SS class.

Speaking of Bible study class. I will be teaching a lesson on patience. I realized that without Patience you cannot have Faith. Faith produces Thanksgiving. Our generation is faithless because they can't wait for God to act. We have grown up in an "instant" environment. If God doesn't do things exactly as requested ---then He doesn't exist. Patience is a discipline that is developed and has great rewards from God. What will happen next week? I must wait and see!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lee Strobel Seeks to Defend his Atheism, Nov. 15

Tonight, I was watching OSU football, and at halftime decided to watch Hour of Power. The guest speaker was Lee Strobel. Lee graduated from the University of Missouri, and then received a law degree from Yale University. He then became the legal editor for the Chicago Tribune. Lee was an avowed atheist and married an agnostic. After his wife became a Christian, Lee decided to use his legal and journalism skills to investigate the person of Jesus. He spent two years talking to historians and psychologists who were both Christian and secular in an effort to disprove the Godhood of Jesus. He noted that in every case the facts surrounding the ressurection were the most important. These are his findings: 1. Historically, the execution of Jesus is indisputable. 2. There were early accounts that were reported within 2 days after the execution... No time gap and no opportunity to create a legend. 3. The tomb was empty. The soldiers were accountable, but couldn't come up with a lie. Even the opponents of Jesus admitted the tomb was empty. 4. There were eye witnesses that Jesus was alive and well after the execution (515 people reported - many in documents outside the Bible). It is impossible for 2 or 3 people to have the same hallucination. Lee Strobel reports that after searching the facts for two years he had to make a decision. He decided that it would take more faith to be an atheist than to believe that Jesus was the incarnate God. His wife had not given up on him and had prayed for him everyday of those two years. Lee Strobel has written a book, The Case for the Real Jesus. I hope that all of my friends will read this book and that it will strengthen our resolve to tell others the incredible news of forgiveness and hope.
Saturday, November 15, 2008

My week began with mundane activities such as getting my nails done, paying house taxes for the year, and wrapping presents. Then, on Monday evening Ian and Phyllis came over and helped me put lights on the Christmas tree. It was shimmering when we finished! I was so glad to have the tree up because I had planned a dinner for 7 people on Thursday. My cousins from Little Rock were my special guests. What I didn't realize was that Vic and Ruth were driving from So. Dakota to watch their son coach a track meet at OSU. That meant that more family wanted to come to the dinner. I ended up making sloppy joes and pumpkin crunch for 18 people! Everyone had fun, and the house looked perfect when they left!

After hosting the party on Thursday, teaching on Friday seemed like a vacation. My student, Fahhad, is really progressing. I can tell he's become comfortable with me and English because he's started to joke and loves to tease me. I just dish it back!

Today, Sun and I drove to Edmond to see Jain and Chuk who are both students at UCO. I was lost for awhile, but eventually found the campus. We had lunch at the China Palace which was nearby. Then, we visited as I drove them all back to Sun's apartment on the OBU campus in Shawnee. Another friend from SEI offered to drive them back to Edmond. I feel like a Mom to all of my former students and am so proud to see them doing well in an American university now! They all told me how much finding the power of God in their lives had meant to them. They are active in college Bible study groups and still making "A" grades! I told them that aside from the eteranl hope they have, the power they have NOW is what it is all about! No one can argue away our personal experience. Sadly, some people never reach that mature level in their spiritual lives, and have no idea what we are talking about. Tomorrow is another Bible study on Faith Equals Thanksgiving. I do thank God for helping me direct the choir until Bill returns, and for any other challenges that come my way this next week! Hebrew 11:1

Monday, November 10, 2008

November 9, 2008

The week ahead looks exceptionally busy, so I am going to write this morning. I'm teaching every afternoon this SEI session, but I was called in last week to sub in the mornings for a sick colleague. Fortunately, she was giving tests. Yesterday, I received an email from a former student who is setting up a martial arts studio in Los Angeles. I realized that it is students like him who keep me teaching. My life is worth living if I can make a difference in this world. Our youth pastor, David Jordan, gave the message yesterday. He reminded us that when we share the Gospel, it is "one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread." I keep a California license plate on my desk. It says, "Not Perfect, Just Forgiven".

Tonight, Ian and Phyllis are coming over for dinner and will help me put up my Christmas tree. It's 7 ft. tall, so I can't reach the top and put on the lights properly. I have 12 guests coming for dinner on Thurs. evening. Family from Shawnee, Norman, Little Rock and So. Dakota, will be here. Then, on Saturday, I will drive to Edmond to pick up former Korean students, Jain and Chuk. I'll drive them back on Sun. afternoon after Christmas choir practice.

Bill called again this weekend. He is missing me and Oklahoma. I teased him, and said that if he didn't get back here soon, I was going to get a new boyfriend. The holidays make me feel romantic! I love the music, the candles, cooking for friends, and giving gifts from my heart. I can't imagine no Christmas. God is Love!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday, November 8th

Wow! The colors of the trees are awesome this year! Having grown up in So. California, I really like the change of seasons in Oklahoma. Change is the buzz word this year. I noticed that many people are expecting Obama to be their new Messiah. Change has to come from the hearts of the American people, as well. It is the weakness of humans to want other people to do the changing. My good friend, Shane Jett, won again as Rep. from my district. Go, Shane!

Sofia had her 4th birthday on Nov. 6th. On this important date I thank God for saving Keri's life. I made an emergency flight from Yokohama when I learned that the doctors were taking the baby a month early and fighting for Keri's life. She had HELP syndrome and needed a complete blood transfusion. The doctor told Kevin to activate the prayer chain!! At the time, Keri was an admin. asst. for Cal Baptist Univ. and thousands were praying! God listened!

Jason lost 4 windows in the storm this week, but the lightning show was fantastic!

I still love teaching English at SEI! This week, the SS lesson I'm teaching is, "No Faith, No Thanksgiving". I am so glad that Bill will be back soon to direct the Christmas choir . I'd rather play piano! The movie I saw - "Beverly Hills Chihuahua". Funny and cute! This week, I'll host a dinner to honor my cousin, Sharon, from Arkansas.

Check out www.TheVisionPlusChurch.com and shecklers.blogspot.com (Keri).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It has been an interesting week since I posted my last blog. Last Sunday, my adult Bible study class was great! I'm really just a facilitator because everyone contributes so much. During the worship service, Pastor Larry spoke about people in our world not wanting to acknowledge the concept of "sin" and therefore very few people really have any values and think mostly about serving themselves. It's much easier to be passe than to stand for something that might possibly take sacrifice. You could feel the Spirit of God and many people were crying. I had not been in a service like that since I listened to my Dad preach. After church, I directed the 20 member Christmas choir practice while Sue played the piano. I met Marilee, a drama coach, who wants to portray the music. Her sidekick, Margaret, has a shop and wants to make the costumes. I said, "Go for it!" After practice, I headed to Cracker Barrel with 3 friends.

On Monday, after teaching my English classes, Sherry and I went to Praise Band practice. We have a drummer, electric guitar, piano and 5 singers. The youngest member of the band is about 45 years old, but we are good!! 'S' The students at the Shawnee English Institute had a Halloween party on Wednesday. They decorated pumpkins and came in costume. Saud was a mad scientist with a blood spattered lab coat and a huge syringe. His curly hair was gelled straight up. So funny! Friday, was graduation for two of our Japanese students.

Sometimes I feel lonely because I'm going through the season by myself. Bill called last night and he is very ready to come home! He is staying busy going to museums, the Raffles Hotel, and eating ethnic foods when he's not teaching. He also said that he had bought me a Christmas present. I'm curious because he always buys me things that are first class! He reminded me of the two vacations we spent together in Singapore. Lately, I have been reading, "In Defense of Israel" by John Hagee, and today I want to go the theater and watch a movie. I haven't decided which one. To be continued next Saturday! The Bible says that God chooses kings and rulers so I'm not going to get tied in knots if my candidates do not win the election. There is a plan that is bigger than mine!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday, Oct. 25

This has been a very busy week. Mom was very sick. I cancelled going to SEI's professional day conference in Edmond so that I could take her to the doctor and help her with her needs. The rest of the week, I taught from 10 AM to 3 PM. I'm enjoying my new student, Fahhad, who is from Saudi Arabia. He didn't know one word of English when we met. Now, after just three weeks, he is reading and communicating. Yeah! My other students are Joice, a newspaper editor from Panama, and Choi, a Korean just out of the military. Friday night, I hosted a potluck dinner for my adult Bible study class. Eight people came and we played Jenga. Today, Bill called. He had been on a Night Safari in Singapore and loved it. He was very concerned about my computer problems and is anxious to come home. Jason, Galen's son, came over to help me set up this blog and took care of the computer problems that I have been experiencing.
The biggest surprise of my day was when my SS teacher and friend from San Diego called me this morning! She is such an inspiration to me because she is in constant pain but has never given up her faith in God. She always encourages me and makes me feel loved! My goals for today are to have my own Bible study lesson ready for tomorrow, and to practice the choir music so I can teach it after the worship service. These things bring me such joy and peace in my life. I really can't comprehend how people without faith in God manage to remain positive in our world of such unrest and devisiveness. I've noticed that people who say they don't believe in God always blame Him when something goes wrong! I can't imagine not having hope that we will see people we love again after death. Without hope there is despair and darkness!
Jason helped me to set up my blog today. Thank you, Jason! I'll write more later when I get a chance.