Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Events

Friday evening, we invited Mom to join us for dinner. Bill was planning to grill some steaks, but the weather turned cold and windy. I decided to put a pork shoulder in the crockpot with potatoes and carrots. Just because, I also bought a sugar-free cherry pie. After dinner, we played Mom's favorite game, Mexican Train.

Keri called during our game. If seems that Isaiah fell backwards and injured his collar bone. She put a picture on her blog of him in ER. Poor sweet baby! He is suppose to be okay in a few weeks.

Sunday, our church family prayed for our pastor's granddaughter. Harmony is 6 years old. She was pronounced free of leukemia when she was 3 years old, but a new tumor has been found near her lungs. Larry preached a sermon concerning "healing". Sometimes, God chooses not to heal and children die. Heaven seems so much closer when we have family and friends there!! I love so deeply that I can't imagine never seeing some people again.

Sunday evening, we watched the Oscar's on TV. We were happy that "The King's Speech" won the top awards. I thought about Chuck Godfrey, my cousin. He is a statistician for an insurance company and is very successful in Michigan. I also thought about my friend, Danny Martinez, who stutters, but can sing like a bird!

I went to the Nail Spa today before going to the college to prepare for the new session. I will teach advanced grammar in the mornings, and fundamental reading and writing in the afternoons. We have a new group from Ecuador. They should be fun!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NY Times Best Seller: "Heaven is for Real"

Last night, Bill and I watched the NBC evening news. Todd Burpo was interviewed with his family. Todd's son, Colton, had an emergency surgery which nearly took his life. Being only 4 years old, there were many things about Colton's family that he didn't know and hadn't been told. However, Colton told his parents that he met his sisters in heaven, who he later learned had been miscarried by his mother. He also said that he had met one of his grandfathers. When he was shown a picture, he didn't recognize the man. However, when his grandmother sent a picture that was taken when he was much younger, Colton recognized it immediately.

There is a spiritual warfare that is taking place all around us each day. The evil one is continuing to blind people with their pride and egos. God and His angels are calling the humble with child-like spirits. I am realizing more and more that only those who strip away their pride and recognize their need for God like a little child will never see heaven. The stakes are high, or the war between God and His enemies would not be so fierce.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Proving God!

Friday evening, New Beginnings Church held it's annual Valentine's Dinner. It had been postponed due to the snowstorms. Fratelli's Italian Restaurant in Shawnee catered 150 people in the decorated fellowship hall. After the dinner, Bill and I were first on the program. We played "Some Enchanted Evening" and then left quickly. We drove to St. Gregory's for our Muslim student's baby shower. There were about 20 people who attended. Bill and I gave a Johnson's Baby assortment in a caddy.

On Saturday, I took Bill out for his birthday which had been postponed also due to snow. We went to Red Lobster, then used some of his certificates to see, "The King's Speech". It is one of the best movies we have seen in years!! It is rated 'R' for language. However, the language is necessary to the plot and is not directed at anyone. The theme for my own life has been "faith vs. fear". This movie really illustrates that point.

Sunday, Bill and I had been asked to play the offertory. We played, "His Eye Is On the Sparrow". I could feel the spirit of God as we played. Dr. Mike Taylor spoke in worship about the 9th chapter of Daniel. Mike had read a book titled, "The Coming Prince" by Sir Robert Anderson. He was a Scottland Yard Detective. Using computers, Anderson had astronomers to calculate the numbers in Daniel, using the Julian calendar. The numbers calculated show that the day that Jesus entered Jeruselem on a donkey correspond perfectly with the numbers in the Book of Daniel. Mike used power point to show us how this works out. It was chilling! Many people came to profess their belief in Jesus Christ. Tears were flowing and nobody cared!!!

While visiting Set Free Church, a couple came to me to tell their story. The wife told me that she had been blind for 5 years due to a disease that disconnected the rods in her eyes. She began to search for God and began going back to church. One Sunday, Kirk laid his hands on her and prayed that if God would be glorified, that He would heal her. The woman said she didn't have too much faith at the time. However, she woke up the next morning and realized that she could see. Her husband told me that he woke up because his wife was in his face, just staring at him. Next, she ran to her son's bedroom. He was 10 years old when she became blind, and now he is 15 years old. Last week, she asked her husband to take her rolling skating! You cannot tell that lady that God is not real!! However, her brother who refuses to believe in God, will have nothing to do with her now. Before, her blindness fit into his unbelief. Now, he can't explain her healing and wants nothing to do with her. It might change his life and he's not ready for that. We can't give up on those people. God loves them and we must continue to care and pray.

More California Pics

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Calif. Blessed (Cont.) Birthday Party!

Saturday: After meeting old friends at the CBU Reunion, and attending a wedding that Galen performed, Galen and Sondra drove Bill and me to Olivia's Mexican Restaurant for dinner. To my surprise, there were 16 people already gathered to celebrate my birthday (belated)! My brother John and wife, Cathy drove down from Taft. Their son, David and wife were there with their three boys. The twins are walking now. Their daughter, Alicia and husband had also come. Tamra and Kirk had come with Kyle and Tamra's parents, Nancy and Andy. After stuffing ourselves, we were brought a huge fried ice cream ball for each table. I blew out my candles, opened gifts and read cards. I almost cried because I had not had a party like that since I was 16 years old. A big thank you to Bill and Kirk for planning it for me! I wished that all of those I love could have been there with me to celebrate my 63rd birthday! This weekend, I hope to have time to post several of our pictures and share them.

CA Blessed (continued)

Friday: Kirk made chicken enchiladas and Tamra made a salad for dinner. Bill and I bought two cream pies from Marie Callender's to top it off --one chocolate, and one coconut. My brother, David joined us. I had not seen him since he was a resident of Big Springs, Texas. He was excited when he arrived at Kirk's because he had received a letter from a large company that is showing interest in helping him publish his book. However, his excitement was dampened a bit by a message that he received from his daughter that said her mother is in her last stages of cancer.

Saturday: We joined the California Baptist University reunion and block party at 10:00 a.m. The temperature was 80 degrees with a slight breeze. We were overwhelmed by the growth of the campus!! A new engineering building and nurses building have been built. Adams Plaza has been purchased, as well as the block of homes where Keri and Kevin lived while employed by the university. I took Bill up to the 4th floor of the old building to show him my dorm rooms. They are now beautiful classrooms and offices. My mind was flooded with memories of the past!

Galen and Sondra joined us for lunch at the food court, and then we all went to the reunion tent which had tables and chairs set up for different classes. I saw so many old classmates! We hugged and talked about the years that have gone by. Most of my friends are retired teachers and administrators. The others are music ministers that are still busy in churches. Twenty-three students related to the Greenwalt family have attended CBU or are students now. Having "Greenwalt" on my name tag brought lots of hugs and handshakes from people I didn't know before. In the afternoon, Galen performed a wedding in front of the new administration building where the globe spins on a pool of water. That was fun! I remembered Keri's wedding in the CBU courtyard.

Sunday: We went to Set Free Church with Kirk's family and Tamra's mother and father. After church, we had a buffet lunch at Bob's Big Boy. That evening, Kirk was in charge of the church Valentine Banquet. It was beautiful, delicious and funny!! The church is made up of people who have had their lives changed from being druggies and prostestutes. They bubble with excitement and will tell you without hesitation that Jesus is the best thing that ever happened to them.

Monday: Kirk took us to Roger's home for a photo session with my brothers. Then we drove to Oxnard Marina to set sail for the Channel Islands. There were six of us: Roger, Julie, Kirk, Tamra, Bill and myself. We spent the entire day on the water and enjoyed seals, pelicans and rock formations in the water. Roger brought Subway sandwiches for lunch, and grilled steaks on the boat for dinner. When it got a little chilly, he made hot chocolate in the cabin's kitchen. We were tired but happy. Tuesday, we flew home via Salt Lake City. I'm blessed and thankful!

California Blessed!

Bill and I left icy roads in Oklahoma and arrived in sunny Southern California on Feb. 10th. When we returned to OKC, we had brought the CA sunshine with us and it is now 80 degrees on February 17th. I love my home in Oklahoma, but I really enjoyed my 6 days with family and friends in the California culture. Kirk picked us up at the Ontario Airport and took us to his beautiful home in Riverside on Thursday evening. The next morning, Bill and I picked sweet tangerines from his tree and took a walk to the clubhouse. As we sat by the pool under palm trees, we soaked up the sun. Looking up, one could see the snowcapped San Bernardino Mountains against the blue sky. Beautiful! (I have to go to class now, but will write more later and post pictures.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blowing snow!

Yesterday morning, I checked the post office and mailed a package to Keri's kids. (I found a Charlie Brown valentine video.) Then, I managed to get to Mom's apartment and take her some bananas and sweet potatoes for baking before going to class. Her parking lot is still slippery in spots and I had to be very careful. After teaching until 3:15 p.m. I drove to the Nail Spa. When I walked in, it was crowded, but I only had to wait 5 minutes. From there, I met Bill for dinner at Pizza Hut. Bill complained about the wait time for our pizza, so the manager didn't charge us for the Dr. Peppers. We managed to arrive home before the snow began to fall. I could hear the wind howling as I lay under my sheet and warm electric blanket.

This morning, the world is covered in sparkling white sugar. The wind is blowing the powder from the trees and rooftops. While eating our scrambled eggs and English muffins, we watched the blue jays and cardinals chase the squirrels. As peaceful as it looks, we are praying that the sun will come out by noon and melt the snow. We would like to stay at the Sheraton tonight and fly to CA tomorrow. That may not happen, but we feel confident that we will get out by this weekend. I checked Riverside's weather and it is 73 degrees. Nice! Roger is prepared to take us sailing on Monday if all goes well. If not, I believe without a doubt that there is a reason for everything, and we will re-book out tickets for a later time.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another Storm Coming!

Churches were closed yesterday due to freezing drizzle. The sun came out in the afternoon and melted some of the snow. Bill and our neighbors spent several hours shoveling driveways and the street as well. We are going to class this morning for the first time in a week. However, we are prepared to give lots of homework because another storm is predicted to come in on Tuesday evening and dump another 4 to 8 inches of snow.

We have reservations to fly to Ontario, California this week for my college reunion and visit family. We are watching the storm carefully. Delta said that we might be able to get out on Friday if the roads between Tecumseh and OKC are passable. We will not be stupid and will monitor the situation.

Mom continues to do well. We saw her nextdoor neighbor and son at the grocery store. They were buying some things for Mom. I thanked them. Mom still refuses to leave her apartment and seems to be extremely happy watching TV, doing puzzles, reading and talking on the phone.
Like Paul, she has taught me to be content in any situation. Happiness comes from within and we choose whether to be happy or bitter.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Storm Aftermath/Bill's Birthday

This is the third day for all of our schools to be closed due to the record setting snow and arctic weather. Oklahoma is under a state of emergency which will allow us to get more snow removal equipment and finance shelters. Usually, Oklahoma gets 6 inches of snow each year. Tecumseh and Shawnee got 12 inches in one day. Bill and I have been blessed because we have not lost power, and our home is very warm and insulated. I heeded the warnings and stocked our pantry and refrigerator. This morning we watched cardinals, blue jays and squirrels play in the snow without a worry in the world.

Today is Bill's 61rst birthday. I feel sorry that we cannot go out for dinner or celebrate with friends. Last week, I bought him the videos that he had asked for to further his collection (Casa Blanca and Wizard of Oz). I surprised him with a book of movie gift certificates. I made a Devil's Food bundt cake with cream frosting and sprinkles, and have a rolled pork shoulder in the crockpot. Perhaps we can go to Red Lobster this weekend. He has recovered from the flu and has been shoveling snow a little at a time. I thank God for a husband who is a hard worker and tells me that he is praying for me.

In spite of not going to school, we have kept our usual schedules. We get up, eat breakfast, take showers, get dressed and plan our day. I guess that's the "teacher" in us. We brought our books home and have lessons plans made. I had an eye appointment made for today, but I received a call saying that the street was impassable and they would reschedule.

Keri called before the storm hit Chicago. She had stocked her kitchen and felt ready. Kelli also called from Grand Rapids. She reported that several people were not listening to the warnings. In times like these, I'm sooo glad I'm a Christian. I can't be with everyone I love to take care of them. But, I can pray, and know that I have a friend who CAN help them! That gives me peace of mind. Galen called and said that California was experiencing high winds and many semis had overturned on the freeways. Noel called to say that Springfield got a foot of snow. Janice enjoyed her two days off. She continues to see record amounts of people come into her state office looking for a job. There will always be storms in life. I continue to choose faith over fear! (See pictures of the snow below this blog.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011