Monday, June 25, 2012

Family/Noel's Birthday

Galen and Sondra arrived in Shawnee with Mark on Wednesday evening.  I joined them for breakfast at Arrows Cafe on Thursday before they headed back to California.  Doris Robinson, a long time friend, had just passed away and Galen was needed at the funeral. They will be passing through Oklahoma again this week on their way to the state of Maine for vacation.  They rented a sporty little Sonata for the trip.  If there are any problems with the car, it isn't their concern!  Good thinking!

Noel turned 59 years old on June 20th.  Janice arrived on Friday, so we all went to Catfish Round-Up just off I-40.  Mom wasn't feeling well, and couldn't go with us.  She loves the fritters and yeast rolls, so I got some to take to her.  After stuffing ourselves at dinner, we drove the 30 minute trip to our house.  By then, we were ready for a small piece of chocolate birthday cake and chocolate ice cream.  Bailey wanted some coffee, which turned out to be a hit in spite of the hot weather.

Saturday morning, Bailey (Janice's Dad) took everyone out for breakfast at the Arrow Cafe.  It has become our hang-out!  We got the breakfast special which comes with biscuits and gravy.  In the afternoon, Janice wanted to play games with Mom, and Noel wanted to see the movie, "Battleship".  (Noel spent 20 years in the Navy as a legal advisor.)  Having been an officer in the Navy, Bill wanted to see the movie also.  So, Noel, Mark, Bill and I went to the movies.  It was great!  It was pointed out that the sun hangs in space at a perfect distance from the earth.  Science shows that if the earth was closer, it would be too hot for life.  If the sun was further from the earth, it would be too cold for life.  How could anyone believe that creation is an accident!  Even our body's chemistry is balanced to sustain life and keep our heart beating. 

There were 18 members present in my Bible Class yesterday.  I don't tell my class who to vote for, but I do teach the principles that our government leaders  should be defending.  It's time to rescue America from those who have bleeding hearts and are willing to print worthless money to take care of our citizens.   A democracy cannot survive when people are not responsible and need a nanny state to take care of them.  I have been watching people sign up for free cell phones in my community all month.  They take 2 or 3!  I realize that I am paying for those with my taxes.  I don't mind helping anyone, but I want it to be my choice and my blessing!  Regarding unions, they have done a lot of good.  However, when tax payers have to see that a public bus driver makes $150,000 a year, that is over the top!  When the driver was interviewed, he thought he deserved it!  We have to look at both sides of a problem and work out a solution that will not cause more problems down the road.  America wants instant solutions and wants money right now!!   What happened to being patient, suffering together when needed, and putting on our "big boy pants"?  When we have a leader who exhibits these traits, we will see our nation pull together and not be so divided.  As Dad always said, "Timing can be everything!"  "Don't ever run ahead of your people.  Even when you know you are right!"   That's wisdom that comes from God!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mom/Hospital/Recital/Father's Day

Last week was filled with people and activity!  Noel was in town for a doctor's appointment, so he went with Mom and me to Cooper's Funeral Home to pre-plan and pay for her funeral.  She thought that everything had been taken care of in California where Dad is buried.    We learned that only her burial has been taken care of, so we started planning and writing checks.  I'm so grateful we did that!  We joked a lot, and I learned many new things about my mother.  Jay Cooper is a Christian and he enjoyed "our visit".

Tuesday morning, Pastor Larry asked me to come to the hospital and talk to him about being a chaplain's assistant.  St. Anthonys has bought out Unity Hospital and the doctor's medical center.  It means that there will be more freedom to help the patients spiritually.  I volunteered to help 2 mornings a week, but will have to go through a security check and an orientation.  I met several more doctors and nurses who openly welcomed my help.  The emergency room and the surgery waiting room are filled with people in despair.  I just pray that I can pass to others the peace and calm that God has given to me.  I have no doubt that heaven exists and I want people to open their hearts and minds to that fact!

Friday evening, we had a taco salad supper and music recital at our house.  Bill invited 4 Korean students to join my students.  They played the piano and guitar, and sang.  Vincent played "Jesus Loves Me", and then his mother, Ashley sang, "How Great Thous Art".   She has a strong soprano voice.  To close, Bill played his trumpet and recorder.  I accompanied him.

We spent Saturday getting a new hot water heater.  It was only fitting after the lawn mower died, and the Corolla had work done on the brakes.  I was reminded again of how important it is to save for a rainy day, and that material things don't last forever.  I just looked up and said, "Thank you Lord for providing and giving us common sense to save money.  The United States Government has no idea of how to handle money! 

I am also grateful for a wonderful father who knew God intimately, and showed his love for his children and my mother.  If anyone had the right to feel like a victim and blame others, my Dad certainly did.  He never let being an orphan and having extended family who were alcoholics keep him down.  Dad struck out on his own before graduating from high school.  He finished high school while at OBU and then went to Southwestern Seminary.  He made a conscious effort to learn how to be polite, have class, and to dress like a gentleman.  Dad taught us that God was a "God of order".   Dad never allowed his children to use bad language, to raise our voices in the house, and to respect each other at all times.  Dad taught us that, "God is love and respect."    He practiced what he preached, and he was loved by the entire community.  Pastors from all denominations often called our home just to talk to Dad.  Dad exuded love and truth, and I look forward to seeing him again in heaven. 

Of course, I always let Bill know how glad I am  that he is a good step-father.  He always makes sure that I see the kids and that we have vacation time together.  He's very generous and doesn't mind using money that he has earned to pay for those vacations.  Kirk is extra kind to Bill because he knows how difficult it is to be a step-Dad.  I thank God for good fathers!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Remembering Andy/Shopping/Concert

Thankfully, our summer weather continues to shift.  It's hot for a few days and then a cold front brings us more rain.  The summer seems more normal than last year.  I thank God evry morning!

This week I received a call that Andy (Andrew) Hyde had been released from his cancer pain, and had gone to be with God.  The hurt for Kirk and Tamra was intense since Tamra just lost her mother in November.  I have wonderful memories of Andy.  He flew around the world selling yeast for Anheiser Busch to international bakeries.  Andy loved people and had a personality that lit up the room.  At 65 years old, Andy and I would talk about sixties music and the many Japanese students that he and his wife, Nancy, hosted in their home over the years.  Last August, Andy and I were both staying with Kirk and Tamra because Ezekiel was in Children's Hospital, and Nancy was in another hospital nearby.  Andy drove me home one day before he drove on to visit Nancy.  As he drove, he told me the following story:    Andy did not grow up in a Christian home.  His parents did not attend church.  When he was 9 years old he decided to walk to the Catholic Church near his home.  While there, he copied the worshippers and just followed their lead.  When he returned home, Andy related to his mother how he had done everything right, including taking communion.  His mother flew into a rage because he had not been baptized!  Andy told me that he had such a desire to know God, that he was relieved to find out how simple it was when he became an adult.  He told me how God had become real to him when God released Tamra from drug addiction.  He watched Tamra receive her B.S. in nursing while on a softball scholarship.  (great pitcher!)  Andy had coached his kids and was devastated by the drug use.  However, he learned that the power of God can turn life around!

I listened to Madeline Murray O'Hare's son speak on Huckabee's program on Fox.  William Murray has written a book, "Life Without God".  He was a successful businessman who began to drink.  In his lowest moment he began searching for God and found him.  His life without God was so bad that he can remember his mother saying, "I wish that abortion had been legal when I conceived you!"   That is just a glimpse of how our world would be without God!!

Last Thursday, Bill and I were asked to play a 30 minute concert at Unity Hospital in their chapel.  Bill played his trumpet and wood recorder, and I sang one song.  Several doctors and nurses were there from the rehab and cancer center.  While there, I became interested in the volunteer program.  I talked to Pastor Larry about it, and he has encouraged me to come a few hours a week. 

Mom's brother left her a little money, and I have taken her shopping this week.  Actually, it has been fun to watch her decide what to buy.  I didn't realize that she had been wanting a new blender.   She also asked me to help her choose a new mattress set.   She's been told that her apartment complex is being renovated, and she will be moved to an updated apartment in a few months.  She's really excited about that!  I've also noticed that she is getting stronger and more flexible since we have been going to the toning tables on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  It's a nice mother/daughter time. 


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Has Arrived

I have been spoiled to the spring-like weather in Oklahoma.  However, my tomatoes have flourished in the humid heat this week!  I picked 3 large red ones yesterday afternoon to enjoy with our homemade tacos.   I was excited after last years drought destroyed all my efforts in gardening.

Bill asked me to go to the OKC zoo with him on Saturday before the summer gets too hot.  We asked Mom to go with us, but she said she had seen enough animals in San Diego.  I told her I had seen most of the animals on safari in Africa, but it would be nice to just relax.  And relax, we did!  We took the tram and didn't do too much walking.  We were blessed with a parking space that was close because the National Softball Championships (Women's) were across the road from the zoo. In fact, we have been watching the OU women play on TV during Thunder Basketball commercials.  How about those Thunder!!  I pay attention to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook because their mothers are radiant Christian women.  They go to the games and pray --  Not to win, but for their sons to do their best.

After going to the zoo on Saturday, we ate a late lunch at Applebee's.  I love the spinach dip with cornchips.  In fact, we ate so much that we didn't want dinner.  Noel had told us about the shaved ice shack close to our house, so we checked it out.  We both ordered mai tai with a scoop of ice cream.  Most of the kids around us ordered Spider Man  which is red and blue.  There are about 50 flavors.

Sunday was great!  I'm enjoying playing with the praise band.  Listening to those people pray before practices is inspiring!  They don't perform, they give their talents to God.  I asked Jesse Hernandez to play the offertory.  It gave me a break.  After worship, we had our July 4th choir rehearsal.  The syncopation is a challenge.  The group is always smaller in the summer, but very talented.  About 5 men and 6 women stay to practice every Sunday.

Bill and I have begun teaching another college class together.  It is a communications class.  I checked their autobiographies today.  They are from all over the United States and are extremely interesting people.  One is an international singer.   I also noticed that most of them are Christians and are proud of who they serve.  It shows because they are also humble in their communication to the other students in the class.  I have become more and more aware that humility is a must in the Christian life because we cannot give ourselves credit for anything!  Everything we are and everything we have comes from our Lord and creator!  You can see the joy in a TRUE Christian's eyes!