Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Today, I bought my Easter cards and will mail them this week. I enjoy spring so much! As I drove, my eyes drank in the colors of the new green leaves and the redbud trees all mixed together! After I finished my shopping, I drove to SEI to plan my lessons for the new session which begins tomorrow. I was so shocked to find out that the school wants me to teach full-time (5 classes) for the next 4 weeeks. The other teachers don't feel comfortable teaching the "preemies". So, I have my 6 Saudi boys again, and a new Saudi woman who is fresh off the plane!! My hours will be 9-12, and 1-4. I'll check my phone at noon and at 4 pm to see who I need to call back. Leave me a voice message, and don't just hang up. I enjoy hearing your voice!

While I was at SEI looking through my new books, Kelli called. I was so glad to hear that she is doing well. Caleb is on the Jr. Hi tennis team, and both he and Hannah made the honor roll!

I had a good Bible study class yesterday. There were 11 members present. The title of the lesson was, "Hang in There." We discussed the distractions and discouragement that comes when we begin a new project. I've been thinking about writing a book. Kelli encouraged me today and said she would help me get it published. I know I will become discouraged at times, but with God's help I will finish it. The book will center around my travels,
and all I have learned from the various cultures and peoples I have encountered. I want to share my blessed life with my grandchildren.

Does anyone reading my blog have the words to the song, "For Those Tears I Died" ? Please send them to me. I can only remember one verse. I will never forget Keri and Kelli singing that song as a duet when they were very small. Kelli had been crying before she went on stage because she couldn't remember all of the words. We went over the words together, and then she sang. The recording captured her little voice with evidence of tears!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday, March 29, 2009

The weather has been so beautiful, that the snow flurries this weekend were a real surprise! We had planned a potluck party at our house on Friday night, but didn't know if anyone would venture out. There were 7 of us in spite of the inclement weather. I made salad and enchiladas. Others brought chili, chips, and several desserts. We turned on the gas logs and played games. Everyone really enjoyed playing Gestures. The women beat the men. Yeah! I had invited my mother to come, but she didn't feel like coming.

Thursday evening, SEI held a potluck dinner for teachers, students and homestay parents. I made a large potatoe casserole. There was absolutely nothing left in my dish! We have 7 Saudi boys as students. They keep me laughing and I have enjoyed them so much! Fahhad keeps telling me that his father is sending me a ticket to come visit. I'm not real sure about that one!! His father is a sheik who raises camels and deals with oil, so I know it would be very interesting. Last week, I was kissed on the top of my head. I know that means I am like a "mother", and I felt honored. I continually pray that God will give me wisdom as I teach these international students - not only to impart English, but to be a friend who represents America well.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

I just read a friend's blog who is losing his father. I can remember when I was losing my father and how I felt. I was living in Tokyo at the time. Galen called me and told me that I should come home. I boarded a plane on my birthday, January 24th. I arrived the next day and it was my birthday again. More importantly, it was my parents anniversary as well. Dad was lying in bed and my family surrounded him. When Dad saw me, he sat up and sang, "Happy Birthday". We all knew that only the love of God could have given him the strength to do that! There wasn't a dry eye in the room. I will never forget the last thing Dad told me. He took my hand, and said, "God is going to take care of you in Japan, and He will take care of me until we are together again." Later, my parent's neighbors watched my brothers take Dad out of the house and put his lifeless body in the ambulance. They related how they were so impressed by the calm peace of my family. As a result, they began going to church because they wanted that same peace in their lives. It's not anything you can buy, earn, or be educated enough to receive. It's a gift that you choose whether to receive or not. When your heart is changed, everything else changes as well. I am so glad that my friend's father is a Christian. Of course, his family and friends will miss him beyond description, but there is the hope of being together again!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Who Needs to Be Off the Hook?

When I was 13 years old, I delivered the San Diego Union newspaper every morning at 6:00 AM. It was against the company policy to let a girl deliver papers at that time. However, my two older brothers had been outstanding employees and the Union didn't want to lose our family. As a result, they let me share the route with Galen until he turned 12 years old. It was dark, and the police checked on me frequently. One morning, I obediently put the paper on the customer's porch and then cut across their yard to where my Flexi awaited with the rest of the papers. We lived in a new suburban neighborhood where everyone had immaculate lawns. Because of the darkness, I didn't notice that this yard had just been re-sodded! I was horrified when I felt my feet sinking into the new top soil. I finished my route and then headed back to that house. I knocked on the door and waited with tears rolling down my cheeks. The man who answered was so kind! He thanked me for being honest, assured me it could be fixed, and gave me a $5 tip for making sure his paper was on his porch each morning. I've never forgotten that experience. Whether I make stupid mistakes on purpose or unknowingly, God is always there and ready to forgive me. It feels soooo good to come clean and be forgiven!! God doesn't need to get off the hook. I DO! I'm the one who messes up! I mess up because I can't always see the larger picture. I am just human and finite. God knows that! I can relax because He isn't judging me, and I don't have to judge anyone else. I can forgive myself. If I can't love myself, I can't love anyone else.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekend in Springfield

After several days of fighting a cold and continuing to teach my English classes, I was ready for a respite! I talked to Keri on Wednesday evening before we left for Springfield. Little did we know that she would have a miscarriage this past weekend. Yes, she and Kevin are disappointed, but I am always impressed by the peace that God gives believers when tradgedy strikes. I remember my father saying that if he found out that there was no God and that he had spent his life preaching an empty Gospel, he would live his life as a Christian anyway. He said the alternative was so depressing! The older I get, the more I observe that what he said is correct.

Bill and I arrived in Branson on Thursday evening and checked in at Marriotts Fairfield Inn. I was so excited to see a Bob Evans Restaurant. We don't have one in Shawnee area. We were prepared to spend the weekend at St. John's Hospital. However, Noel's new heart doctor tweaked his pacemaker and he's feeling so much better!!! Friday morning, I enjoyed the warm jacuzzi and read my new book, "What In the World Is Going On" by Dr. David Jeremiah. NY Times best selling author. Friday night, Noel and Janice got a hotel in Branson and went with us to the Grand Country Music Hall. The band was fantastic! I really enjoyed the fiddlers playing, "Orange Blossom Special". The singers were great on the 50's and 60's songs, but I felt like they were all show biz, and no heart when they sang the Gospel numbers. We had planned to go to Silver Dollar City on Saturday, but it rained. We decided to go to the Factory Outlet and shop. By noon we were ready to go back to Springfield. We stopped to see Janice's mother and father in Nixa. They have a massive stone fireplace that we enjoyed. Bailey was my Dad's deacon in California before they retired in Missouri. They are like family to me! On Sunday, we went to Noel's church. They sang, "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." It stunned me!! I wondered what the meaning of that song was -----who is leaving me????

Yesterday, the pastor spoke about man's nature resisting God. We don't want to believe in God because we know that we deserve judgement. He went on to speak about God continually seeking us because He loves us soooo much! It's hard to imagine that God can love us when we don't even love ourselves! God didn't send His Son to judge us, but to take our place in judgement. About three years ago, I listened to a speaker talk about the enormity of God's love. I realized that I had not fully comprehended God's love for me! I'm still trying to take it in.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday, St. Patrick's Day, March 2009

My children all have Irish names: Keri, Kelli and Kirk. Somehow, they all got my brown eyes. Oh, well! Keri and Kevin went to Ireland for their honeymoon. Maybe I will visit there myself in the future.

I have a lingering cold that is sapping my energy. The doctor swabbed my throat on Saturday and told me that I don't have strep throat. Yeah! The lab will watch my culture to see whether I need anti-biotics or not. I haven't missed any classes because there are no subs available. In a way, I think it has been good for me! Keeps me going!

I taught my class on Sunday, played a duet with Bill for worship and then just sat and listened to the choir practice. They are singing with a CD and it sounded wonderful!!!

Janice called yesterday. (She is a manager at the unemplyment office in Springfield.) Noel went to see his new heart specialist at St. John's yesterday. The doctor put a monitor on him and told him to walk briskly. While he was walking, Janice got a call that her mother had been rushed to ER at the same hospital. Noel walked back to the hospital but couldn't make it up the stairs. Bottom line....Noel's pace maker has been re-adjusted and he is feeling better. Janice's Mom is still in the hospital. We will be going to Springfield on Thursday morning and stay the weekend.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I would not have made it through this week without God's help! When the weather changed from hot to cold, I managed to get a slight sinus infection which took away my energy. I really thought about taking a day off from school. However, Susan (who was subbing) fell and broke her ankle! I was asked to take her class and mine. Then, to add to my trials, we had two new Saudi boys show up unexpectedly. They both failed at another language school in Pennsylvania and have been given to me. With God's power, I'll teach these boys to speak English!!!

A Lesson In Socialism

With all of the changes for good and bad going on in the US Government, there has been a lot of talk about the new bent toward socialism. I don't pretend to know much about politics, but I do listen to Fox and CNN every night. Lately, I had a flashback to a trip that Bill and I took with Mom and Dad while they were living in Germany. Dad loved driving on the autobahn and didn't tell us exactly where we were heading, except that we were going to see the Wartzburg Castle where Martin Luther threw the ink at the devil. We arrived in Eisenach (birthplace of Bach) in East Germany. The Wall was still in place and it took us hours to cross. We stayed in a hotel that had been very plush in 1930. Not knowing where we were going, Bill and I felt strangely out of place while eating in the diningroom in our Disney World sweatshirts! The entire city was old and dingy. Every car looked exactly alike, and no one was smiling. On our way to the castle, we were stopped every mile to have our passports checked. The next day we discovered that the hotel had changed our money on the blackmarket. Since we had no bank receipt, we could not exchange our East German marcs before going back to West Berlin. We had all the souvenirs we could find, so decided to buy some food for a picnic. We went into a store with a line of people. We were told that we had to have a special paper from the government, and that the bread had run out at noon. Okay!! When we reached the West German border, the guards tore out the back seat and put large mirrors under our car. They also asked for a piece of paper that Dad knew nothing about. Suddenly, I remembered that I had been given a receipt that I had tossed into my bag. When I produced this paper everyone seemed friendly again. I'll never forget the feeling of relief that I felt when we had left that Godless, socialistic country! Americans who want our country to be socialistic have no idea what they asking!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

God Cares About My Car

While opening my car door at an ATM machine, a gust of wind caught the door and slammed it into the bank wall. I didn't see any obvious damage so drove off. Later, I noticed a popping sound when I opened the door. The lining near the window was pulling apart due to a very slight dent. Last Monday, I drove to the Toyota dealer in Norman by myself. I was told that I needed a new door, (mucho dinero) and that they didn't do bodywork. I thanked them, and then asked God why I had driven all that way from Tecumseh. My friend, Butch Bradley, gave me the name of a friend who does bodywork in Shawnee. Today, I drove by after school to get an estimate. I asked God to please make it under $200. A huge guy with sandy colored curly hair took a look at the door. He held the door with one hand, and started pounding on the frame with his other hand. In one minute he had it straightened perfectly and told me that it would seal with the onset of warm weather. I was in awe!!! He assured me that I owed him nothing but a handshake. Thank you, God! Sometimes I have to wait and be patient, but you always come through!!!
Monday,March 9, 2009

Last weekend felt like spring, for sure! I invited my mother over to our house for dinner. We grilled T-Bone steaks. She loved it, and it was less expensive than going out for dinner! Saturday was a catch-up day since I'm teaching 4 classes everyday. Bill and I did take time to buy some weed killer and look at plants. Since I didn't grow up in the midwest, I'm still learning what grows well in Tecumseh. Sunday was beautiful! I was tired from the time change, but as usual, my Bible study class is great at contributing their thoughts. During the worship service, our church prayed for 4 people who are leaving this week for Malawi, Africa. They are working with Feed the Children. The choir fooled me! I thought that the attendance would be low due to time change. Instead, all 19 people showed up! They really love the new Easter musical and have the book almost learned! Tonight, we have been invited to Ian and Phyllis' for dinner. We always enjoy them and their home. They have a modern log home in the woods about 10 miles East of Tecumseh. It's also suppose to rain today. I love thunderstorms!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Yeah! Galen is home from the hospital. A home health nurse will come to his house for awhile to check his blood levels to make sure it is not too thin or too thick. Thank you, Lord!

I have been asked to teach 4 classes again this session at SEI. From 10:00 AM to Noon, I am teaching a new "preemie". Nasser is 18 years old and very brilliant. He would like to be a doctor in the future, and I think he can! I also have 3 other Saudi boys - 17, 18 and 23 years old. I teach these students from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. We are struggling with count and non-count nouns at the moment. They are all coming for dinner next week. They think I'm wonderful at the moment. What they will think when I tell them that I'm part Jewish!! That ought to be fun!

It was 84 degrees today. It feels like spring and I love it! Bill and I have begun cleaning. He polished all the wood in the house - cabinets, baseboards etc. I dusted blinds and furniture. We want to buy an air filter for the house. We bought some 3M filtrete filters for the central air system as well. Oklahoma is windy!

Sandra and Butch Bradley gave us a gift certificate (late b-day gifts) for the movies. We saw, "Gran Torino" with Clint Eastwood. Earlier, we saw, "Slumdog Millionaire". Both movies centered around specific ethnic groups and their cultures. Really good!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday, March 3, 2009

I just talked to Galen on the phone. He's still in the hospital! The doctor started him on a pill form of his blood thinner, and his blood levels began bouncing around. Now, Galen's goal is to go home by his birthday, March 7th. He really missed celebrating Sondra's birthday, so I hope they can celebrate together this weekend. Galen and the kids helped Sondra to decide to take the early retirement that has been offered to her by the State of California.

Sunday was a lot of fun. We were invited to Sue and J.C.'s home for dinner. We had choir practice after the morning service, so we were starved! They invited 12 of us for a sit-down roast beef/chicken dinner. I really enjoyed looking through their 3,000 sq. ft. home. It was beautiful, but I don't think I would like to take care of that much house and garden at my age!

Our Bible study class continues to grow. There are 14 of us now. At the end of the class, Pete shared how he feels that God has changed his thoughts and values in the past few months. Pete was raised in the Catholic Church and eventually quit going to church as an adult. He came back to God at the age of 60 after attending New Beginnings Church. He is now 63 years old. I was encouraged to know that it is never too late, and that God can change hearts at any age. I can't give up on people I care about!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Difficult Theological Issues

Many people believe in evolution. I have never argued with those people. I simply know that God can create anything He chooses with any method He chooses. It doesn't really matter how I was created -----I was! Through the years I just couldn't believe that my grandparents were apes. On the other hand, I could see that some people might have ape grandparents. While living in Kenya, Bill and I visited the Rift Valley. Some people believe that it was the former Garden of Eden. Archeologists have found remains of skeletons that match modern man! This week, I saw on the internet news that a modern man's size nine footprint has been found in the Rift Valley. It was made in stone and has been carbon dated back several thousands of years.
We have to faith to believe or not to believe in an intelligent being that created us.

Last Sunday, I read in the USA Weekend (insert in Shawnee News-Star) an article that was titled, "The Good Side of Disasters." Wildfires, Volcanoes, Landslides, Hurricanes, and Earthquakes have a benefit to the earth and to us as humans. God knows what He is doing!!!