When you are reading here whether you found me intentionally or accidently, please take time to leave a comment and let me know where you are and what you are thinking. I love feed back. Vondi

Friday, November 27, 2009

all things to all men

I’ve had several people tell me and heard the same thing by way of the grapevine, that if we are to win the world we have to participate in their activities. According to this philosophy, we find “Christians” walking, talking and acting like the world.

I will probably step on some toes with today’s thoughts, but we cannot win sinners to Christ if we don’t live a more righteous life than they do. If we go the places they go, no matter what we say, we are not witnessing; we are only holding our claim of Salvation up to ridicule

I’ve known those who claim to love the Lord, but who hang out in places where Jesus couldn’t go.. I’ve known ‘christian’ musicians who play ‘christian’ rock in bars and clubs. How is this possible in light of the scripture: "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Ephesians 5:11)? They feel they can be a witness there, but in reality they are simply allowing any witness they might have to be buried under the weight of immorality and sin in that place

It is easy to be so enthused about ‘witnessing’ to ‘reach people for Christ’ that we allow fleshly hubris to enter in. Then we are drawn away from the purity that is in Jesus. I’ve heard the text from Paul, I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some, applied with some degree of self-righteousness by those who adhere to this philosophy, but his statement must be read in context. Paul wasn’t going into sinful places when he spoke this way. He was speaking of being humble enough to live in the lowest, poorest surroundings or to live comfortably or sometimes among luxurious surroundings for the sake of Christ. He wasn’t concerned for personal comfort; his goal was to see men saved. Paul wasn’t making himself to be ‘sinful’ to see sinners saved.

We must keep in mind the earlier part of the 5th chapter in Ephesians: But immorality (sexual vice) and all impurity in lustful, rich, wasteful living or greediness must not even be named among you, as is fitting and proper among God's consecrated people. Let there be no filthiness-obscenity, indecency- nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness to God. For be sure of this: that no person practicing sexual vice or impurity in thought or in life, or one who is covetous -who has lustful desire for the property of others and is greedy for gain--for he, in effect, is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one delude and deceive you with empty excuses and groundless arguments for these sins, for through these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of rebellion and disobedience. So do not associate or be sharers with them. (Amplified text)

The ones who participate in sinful activities with the assertion that they are ‘witnessing’ are deluding themselves. Those who look on are not seeing a child of God but rather just another fraud. The world knows the scripture better than many religious men do themselves. These Christians are like a parrot who says, “I’m a boy, I’m a boy, I’m a boy” when everyone looking on is amused at his claim because they are seeing a parrot.

Let’s keep Paul’s admonition to the Ephesians clear in our mind. Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead let your lives be so in contrast as to expose and reprove and convict them. That’s hard to do when we go the same places as sinners do, and play the same kind of music they do and dress the way they do and act the way they do.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

getting ready for thanksgiving

I've discovered the joy of a convection oven! When R & M bought their new house, it came equipped with a Jenn-aire stove. It is an old one but it's fantastic. Jenn-aire, in case you don't know, is a high end type of cook stove. This one does everything except whistle "Dixie" when your roast is done. For one thing, it has removable burners on the right side that expose a built in griddle. The grease trap under the griddle almost cleans itself.

As far as I'm concerned the Best Feature is the center exhaust fan. I was excited when I got a hood over the range that sucked the hot steam up off the pots and out of the kitchen. THIS BABY has a built in exhaust between the burners in the center of the stove. You flip the switch and it sucks the steam down into the fan and shoots it out the vent. Amazing. I was skeptical at first but WOW! does it work! No steam in your face for one thing. No steam billowing out into the kitchen. And, especially(!), no greasy residue on the hood or the underside of the counters above the stove. There is a fan cover with a filter that pull out and pop into the dishwasher, so cleaning isn't a problem. (Not having that hood to scrub every whipstitch gets my vote every time) If you ever have a chance to get this feature in a new range, by all means, grab it! It takes a little room off your oven space, but it more than makes up for it in comfort and convenience.

The only thing that confused me was (and still is, truth be told) the oven. It does about three or four different things. I always had ovens that you stuck your meatloaf in and set the thermostat to 350, then let it cook. THIS oven you have to tell it what to do. At first every time Rachael left me with directions to put the roast in, I had to check what kind of cooking to use. (FYI: Most ovens are radient heat ovens. Okay, smirk if you will. I'm a dumb country kid--we only had one kind of oven. I told you that!)

This oven also cooks by convection. That is it cooks the food by circulating super hot air around it! I'm not sure how that is better than radient or if it is better even. But this morning at 5:45 AM I discovered a Use For It.

Making dry bread for dressing has always been a pain in my kitchen. Mostly that was because I always forgot about it until twenty minutes before I was ready to make the dressing--just about the time I pulled out the celery, onions, sage, and carrots to begin chopping! So we over stressed the breakfast toaster trying to put two loaves of bread through it in twenty mintues or we spread the bread all over the oven racks and turned the heat up. This sometimes resulted in charred edges on the bread, but don't be picky.

This morning-note this is Wednesday, a full day before we have to make dressing! This morning I said I would dry the bread today so it would be ready to turn into dressing tomorrow. It only took me sixty years to come up with such an outstanding idea. I was preparing to spread the bread out to dry when The Idea hit me. Why not put the bread through the convection oven! Hot dry air. Bread you want to be dry. Perfect combination. AND it saves Vondi having to stand up and turn bread and keep the cats away and remember to put the bread away again when its dry.

I spread the bread on a cookie sheet-kind of leaning them up against one another so the air could circulate. I set the oven to 250 and clicked the dial over to convection! Fifteen minutes later I have dry bread. No rotating slices or flipping slices or trips to the kitchen. No worrying about bread charring while it toasts in the oven. No keeping an eye on the cats so they don't decide to investigate the bread spread on the counter. No gathering it up later. it's all done, sitting there in the oven ready to use tomorrow!

Go buy yourself a $3000 or $4000 Jenn-aire cookstove. It's really handy for drying the bread for your Thanksgiving turkey dressing. Among other things.

Monday, November 23, 2009

cook fires

It's a damp cold day today. I've looked out at gray skies and mostly bare branches. So naturally I thought of past cold damp days.

We used to go camping in late September- early October, sometimes later even than that. This kind of weather reminds me of it-cold and windy. We loved it and never found it too cold.

And that reminds me of the way my father built fires. My dad always thought he knew the best way to build a campfire and he taught my brother and me the “way to do it.” I was always dis-satisfied with the results of cooking over his campfires. He started with this huge bonfire and then proceeded to tell us that we had to wait until there was a good bed of coals to cook over it. Of course he never started the fire until it was almost time to eat and the fire didn't have time to 'burn down.' Most often we were cooking hot dogs and inevitably we began sticking our wiener sticks over the flames long before the fire was ready. We ended up eating hot dogs, smoky and blistered on the outside, sometimes burnt, but still cold or at best mildly warm inside. Deep inside I knew there had to be a better way, but I never did it often enough to develop a Method.

It wasn’t until I was married, living next door to my mother-in-law and cooking with her that I learned how to build an effective cooking fire. Mom of course learned how to do it from generations of Navajo women preparing meals without the benefit of a stove. My husband and other Navajo men could cook just as well if they didn't try to get fancy.

First the boys ( my husband’s nephews who grew up at Mom’s house) were dispatched to bring a sizable pile of fire wood to the area where we would be cooking. Unlike my dad, who lit a small ‘starter’ fire and then proceeded to pile the entire heap of wood on top, the boys under Mom’s direction built a small fire--probably no more than 12 inches across. As it blazed nicely they gradually added more sturdy chunks of wood and extended the fire slightly to the side. When a bed of coals developed on one side, that became the cooking area. Mom would then rake the hot coals level and cook over those. She continued to add wood to the main part of the fire and kept her bed of coals hot. The fire never got larger than a couple feet in diameter. That was less that half the size of my father’s!

On that tiny fire, Mom could fry potatoes, roast chilies and bake naaniskaadi. I learned to do that too.

Years later, after Louie was gone, I went camping with my brother and his family. Sure enough, he built this gigantic fire that was impossible to cook over. I could NOT tell him differently. He insisted this was the “way to do it.” I should just hush up and let him alone. So while the kids complained they were hungry, we waited for the big logs in a huge pile to burn down to coals.

Long before the fire was at cooking heat, my brother decreed we should put our pot of pork and beans on the side and begin cooking hot dogs. I couldn’t tell him any differently although by that time, tutored by Louie’s mom, I had cooked many meals over open fires. And of course, the hotdogs were blistered on the outside and cold on the inside. The beans stuck on the bottom of the pot but weren’t really hot.

Sadly, the only ones who knew what they could taste like were my kids, who had eaten food cooked on real campfires and knew that a good cook fire wasn’t five feet across!

When we left there were still some big charred logs remaining that we had to dump water on.

So there you have it --just a memory that popped up because of the weather. Probably my cold toes helped with the recollection, too. I don't need to tell you that both my kids know how to make a good Navajo Cook Fire. And they can cook over it too--Rachael better than Notah.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

we can triumph!

I was going over some of my old Bible study notes this morning and I found this that I'd done a long time ago. I don't rememer if it is all my writing or not, probably it was prompted by something I'd read some place. But it really doesn't matter because it is all the Word of God.
Isn't it great how the same messages can make your heart rejoice over and over. It never gets old. We might read a novel or a magazine and lay it down, never to come back, But the word of God and His messages are richer and fuller when we read them over aand over. I hope someone is blessed by this as much as I was again this morning.

We Can Triumph

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Ephesians 2: 1 – 2

"The Prince of the Power of the Air" -- who or what is it? Are there men arriving in spaceships to invade earth? Or some wizard floating on a cloud? Many think so. But we know that there's a negative power---a field of power, if you will---that fights against our spiritual progress. It's a little like the principle of gravity. Gravity is no immediate problem as long as we're not trying to lift something or move something. But when we try to move a big stone or climb a steep hill , the force of gravity is very real.

In the same way, if we're not trying to live by spiritual standards, we don't feel the strength of the power of evil. But when we make a serious attempt to live righteously, to pray, to fast, and to study God's word we feel the resisting power of something---or someone. Paul calls this the “prince of the power of the air,” the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.

In our world, the devil is caricatured as having a red suit, a point-y tail, and horns like a goat. If he were like that, we could "laugh him away" and tell him that the masquerade party is in the next apartment. But it's not that easy. And Satan's wiles are not so easily recognizable.

Disobedience is the door by which Satan enters our life, or perhaps he makes us believe that it's the cause. At any rate, we disobey because of who we are, and because of who he is. In the first chapter of Ephesians, Paul, in celebrating the power of Christ, says: And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, (Eph. 1:19 - 22). In celebrating the power of Christ we must also recognize that we have the same power to stand against all sin and evil habits and every kind of disobedience. (How wonderful!)

Obviously all of these issues of sin and disobedience are motivated by the prince of the power of the air because Paul connects wrong doing directly to that source in our text. Jesus gives us victory over them if we will only take hold of His Power and put forth our sincere effort to overcome them, but let's not imagine that we're free from conflict.

God does not magically make every spiritual conflict disappear. Not only must we wrestle against the inclinations of our natural man, but we also must wrestle against sin prompted by Satan's powers. Later in this letter, Paul gets specific: Put on the whole armor of God,that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:11-12). God has given us every tool that we may need to triumph.

There's no victory without a struggle. And without the power of God's spirit working within us, there is no victory. The nature of our flesh drags us down and the power of the ultimate adversary shoots us down. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 15:57) Only in our devotion to Christ can we triumph!

Monday, November 16, 2009

sister wendell

My brother called yesterday to say that sister Wendell had died. Sandy was looking for my phone number along the grapevine of connected families. He called on his way home from work on Sunday morning with her phone number.
Sister Marie Wendell was in her early nineties. I want to say ninety two, but I’m not sure. She was a short little lady who loved feeding big groups of people. Ralph and she raised five kids, four girls and one boy. She loved her children. She loved the Church and she loved the Lord. What better testimony can we leave?

She fell about a month ago as she was moving from bed to sit on her chair. When she sat down she misjudged and went down on the floor. Brother Marteney could not lift her up and had to call the emergency squad. She was hospitalized briefly with several cracked vertebrae, but then the doctor allowed her to go home for a short while. I’m not sure of all the details involving her health, but it hasn’t been good for the past three or four years. I talked with her on the phone last week and I know she was in a lot of pain. She returned to the hospital and The Lord took her home in her sleep in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Her youngest daughter Sandy and I were good friends during my high school years and through college. She married and I moved to New Mexico and our lives took separate paths but the connection still remained. They rejoined for several years when my kids were young but when the congregation we attended took a position against holiness and the man of God, they separated again-not with bitterness or rancor on our parts, but just different directions.

I spent many Sunday afternoons in sister Wendell’s kitchen. Sandra was like a sister to me and sister Wendell was a second Mom. She loved the Lord and held a tight standard to her children. Some might feel that it was too strict; I know her children did when they were younger, but I hope that they understand now that she was doing her best to provide them with the principles she knew would take them to heaven.

Sister Wendell lived for the Lord many years before her husband gave his heart to the Lord. I was overjoyed when I got word that he’d been saved. Ralph testified to me that it was brother Hafley’s love and witness that brought him to the Lord. It was a joy in the few years after that to see the two of them together in service. When he went to be with the Lord several years later sister Wendell seemed at a loss for what to do. She continued to drive to services until she just wasn’t well enough to do so; then people from the congregation began driving her up and helping her in other ways.

After a fall and other health problems about three years ago, she married brother Marteney from the local congregation. She told me that he had compassion on her because she was looking at having to go to a nursing home and he didn’t want to see that. They were married and he took her home to care for her faithfully until her death on Friday. I guess technically she was sister Marteney for the last couple years, but for me and many others she remained "sister Wendell." Thank the Lord, brother Marteney understood that.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. Psalm 116:15-16 Sister Wendell’s bonds have been loosed. She left this earth to be with the Lord.

The holy hills of heaven call me
To mansions bright across the sea
Where loved ones wait and crowns are given
the hills of home keep calling me
This house of clay is but a prison
Bars of bone hold my soul,
But the doors of flesh are gonna burst wide open
When the Angels sets my spirit free.
I'll take my flight like a mighty eagle
When the hills of home start calling me
Dottie Rambo
Listen to the song on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYMC03-Bo4A

Saturday, November 14, 2009

friends from far away

My long time online friend, Damaris, and her husband, Alex, visited us on Thursday. I think I said earlier that Alex had a conference in Marysville at the Honda plant there and Damaris was able to accompany him for the three days they were here. There appeared to be a small glitch in our plans when we discovered it was nearly an hour trip between their hotel and our house. And then Rachael had to work the one evening. But Alex said there was no problem with the drive time and they were able to come on Thursday. I was a happy camper!

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how you relate so immediately to the people of God. They were like family that had returned after a long absence. When we asked what sort of restaurant they preferred it turned out that Alex was as much a fan of Chinese food as we were. Damaris didn’t care as long as she could get vegetarian items. It was a huge success. The only thing was that Damaris, by far the smallest person at the table, received the most gigantic portion of pad thai you’ve ever seen! She had probably 3-4 cups full of noodles on her plate and ate about ¾ cup! Alex must have had a good breakfast the next morning!

We had a wonderful visit. There were no lapses in conversation and no strangeness at all. Isn’t that great! I hated to see them leave.

And now they are 2000+/- miles away in Mexico.

Friday, November 13, 2009

oh to be like Him

The other day there was a sentence from an internet devotion that kept running through my mind. That sentence was: Spending time in Bible reading and prayer makes us acquainted with Him and we start becoming like Him. The hymn, Oh to Be Like Thee, kept singing in my head. Many have a desire to be like Jesus. We grieve when we find things in our life that are contrary to His righteous example and holy life. Some pastors have even taught us that we cannot hope be like Christ because we will always continue to sin.

As I thought about this one sentence something became clear to me. The major reason we have so much trouble living a righteous life and being like Christ is because we neglect to spend time with Him.

Have you ever had a friend who had a catch phrase that they used all the time? Maybe it was a funny accent. Or it might have been an exclamation or a certain way of saying something. Rememer how easily you found yourself using the phrase?
I had friends when I was growing up who used the word “y’all” when they were speaking of more than one 'you.' The usual plural of ‘you’ is simply ‘you’ but people from certain regions of the country use the word "y’all" to signify more than one. I still use it today, especially when I’m writing casually. Another friend used the word, “Toads!” or she would tell her friend, "You toad!" when she was frustrated or aggravated about something. I picked up the exclamation. It endures to this day.

It just goes to show that we pick up the tendencies and ways of our friends. Those were rather mild examples, but some have picked up cigarettes and alcohol or gambling and other evil habits from their associates. Didn’t Paul know what he was talking about! Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. I Corinthians 15:33 and rendered in the Amplified: Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character

By the same token, we can also pick up good habits. I have had friends who used bad language until they started being friends with me. Then they stopped just because I didn’t swear so they got out of the habit. We’ve all had friends who began doing more positiive things just because they enjoyed being with us.
So why is it that if we want to be more like Jesus we don’t spend more time hanging out with Him! We neglect to read our bibles and wonder why we can’t understand the word of God. We neglect to pray with any regularity and are discouraged because we seem to have no power in our prayers. We are caught in little sins that hurt our hearts but we just can’t seem to lay them aside. And we wonder why they slip into our lives so easily. Maybe if we spent more time in the presence of Jesus we would be more aware of them and because we were aware of them we would avoid them.

Keep in mind the custom you follow in your everyday life: You spend time with the people you love and enjoy being with.
Hmmm. What does that tell us about our relationship with and our feelings toward Jesus? We visit Him on Sunday mornings but not too long. If He’s lucky we wave at him or stop by service mid week. If someone gets hurt or there is a danger, we call Him fast for help. Oh yes, many of us make a ritual out of a rote prayer at meal time, but mosty often there is little conection with God.. Is that the way we treat our friends? If we really love Him the way we say we do, we will be spending time with Him.

Oh! to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh! to be like Thee, oh! to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
Oh! to be like Thee, full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wand’ring sinner to find.
Oh! to be like Thee, lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer, others to save.
Oh! to be like Thee, Lord, I am coming,
Now to receive th’ anointing divine;
All that I am and have I am bringing,
Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine.
Oh! to be like Thee, while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love,
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above

Thursday, November 12, 2009

what spoiled pups

My little dogs.. Gable and Sebastian, are my babies. Sebastian originally belonged to Rachael and Michael, but he has always liked to hang out with me. I told R & M the Christmas before I moved down here that if I lived with them he would soon be my dog. I think it took him about two months after we moved to the new house that he started staying with me at night. When R & M went upstairs they would call the dogs and all traipse up to bed, but one night Sebastian just sat in the middle of the floor and looked worried.

Rachael asked him, “Don’t you want to go to bed with Mommy?”

And Sebastian answered quite clearly with the mental telepathy that all dogs have, “No. I wanna stay with Grandma.” And that was it. He became Grandma’s dog.

Anyway, they both have their little pillow-y, cushy beds. In fact they each have TWO, but the bigger ones have become their favorites and the cats have taken over the smaller ones. ( Mercy! Did I say “spoiled?”) Sebastian’s bed was a pretty maple red color with striped ticking on one side of the pillow and a striped panel on the front. Gable’s is a deep green with a flower design on the pillow and the panel. Sebastian got his pretty one first while Gabe and I were in NM. Then when we came home, his small brown and cream colored bed was getting a little beat up and Rachael thought he needed a new, so she got him another brown one. Well, the old brown one she was going to pitch, but Grandma just couldn’t see pitching a perfectly cozy little bed just cuz it was a little tattered and besides the cats liked it. So Gabe’s old tattered bed went in the closet for Andy and Cloudy.

A few weeks later, Rachael was in pet smart or Target or somewhere and there was a big cushy, pillow-y bed just like Sebastian’s on sale for something like five bucks. Well, I don’t’ need to tell you what happened. The green bed went beside the bureau. The old/new brown and cream bed was between the book shelf and my plant stand. Sebastian’s red beed was between my shelves and the cat tower. And everybody had a bed. Of course, Gabe and Sebastian switched off between the red bed and the green one. They abandoned the old/new brown one, but that was okay because Andy started sleeping in it out here, heaving the old/old brown bed to Cloudy in the closet.

Are you following this story so far? Yeah, it’s a little complicated but keep trying. Now this situation continued for the summer and most of the fall. Remember Gable had hurt his back last spring in a rough and tumble with Maxim and couldn’t jump on the bed so the beds on the floor were really handy. Once in a while one or both of the little dogs would fall asleep on the bed pillow, but by and large they used their beds. THEN it began getting chilly. We don’t’ turn the heat on until the temp gets below freezing every night. Rachael grew up in an old farmhouse with no insulation. I lived for years on the reservation in a two room frame house with only one little wood burning stove. Michael is budget conscious. We don’t worry about cold until there is danger of the pipes freezing.

The little dogs though have a different mind set. As soon as it began getting a little colder they started vying for spots between the pillows on the bed. There were only two pillows so only one spot and if they were lucky a blanket or something was there too that the loser could snuggle up under. The floor was just not warm enough to suit them.

Rachael and I talked about it and we decided to add a big fluffy towel to their beds so they would have something to crawl under. Then last night Rachael had a brilliant idea. She picked up the big pillow-y beds from the floor, fluffed them up and put them on the far side of the bed (I never lay over there anyway) What a hit THAT was! Gabe and Sebastian hopped up on the bed and straight into their re-located beds! They didn’t move all night.

When I got up at 5:00 and started the coffee, they trucked along to go outside. When Michael was gone and I came back to our room, thee was no nosing around deciding what to do. Both of them jumped straight up and into their cozy beds. Although they did switch; Gabe took Sebastian’s and Sebastian took the green one.

It’s a good thing Good Housekeeping or House Beautiful isn’t coming to evaluate our house. I don’t’ think doggy beds on the regular bed would quite make their quality cut.

Told you they were spoiled. But I love’em!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

fallen leaves

What is it about Fall?
I went to let the dogs in this morning. I use the word loosely; it was technically still night. When I let everyone out I didn’t turn on the light or even look out-only opened the door. When I went to let them back in I flipped on the outside light so I could find them in the darkness.

Our deck was caught in the sudden bright beams of light and there scattered over it was a carpet of sweet gum leaves. It was so pretty I had to just stand and look at it for a few minutes. Gold and red and a few mixed with a little of each. God is so casual about beauty! He just lets those leaves drop and no matter how they fall they’re beautiful. I wanted to take a photo of it to post but it never looks as wonderful in the reproduction as it does in that first startling moment of vision.

An artist can spend hours arranging a scene just right. He puts the colors strategically in place to display them to the best advantage. He turns each piece in exactly the right direction. He sets lights to angle specifically across the pieces to show not only color but also shadows. He mixes his palette with just the right colors and chooses his brushes with care. And finally he spends hours carefully applying paint to the canvas.

But after all that, it cannot rival God’s production with just a little frost and a casual wind!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

lots of company

These last two weeks have been busy. Rachael and Michael’s friends from the music group, Ha Ha Tonka, stopped by on their swing through the east. The guys make a tour about every three or four months. They are a good music group, but not of the renown of those we hear about in the national media. On tour, they spend their nights sleeping in their van or in the backroom area of small venues where they play. It is a real treat for them to have a real house with real bathrooms and showers and laundry facilities.

Usually when they come through (they’re based out of..Chicago? I think.) when the come through they are just looking for a place to crash for the night. They get in after a concert in the Columbus area—around ten or so—and leave on out the next morning at ten or eleven. This time they arrived late in the day, but stayed all the next day, played here in Columbus that evening and then left the following day about noon. Nice guys. They got a real breakfast, hung out, hiked by the reservoir, played with the dogs, watched TV and just generally had some down time.

Then a few days later, Rachael came in after talking to Notah, just bursting with news. She told me to be sure and ‘be decent’ the next day because I was getting company around noon. As it turned out, my nephew Irving, that I wrote about a while ago, was traveling west with a truck load of books donated to the reservation library system. The people of Amherst Mass (one of the service clubs there) had collected donations of new and slightly used books. There was a huge U-haul truck full of them. I mean HUGE-like moving van size. He said it was packed full! I was so excited to see him. I tried to talk them into staying, but they were wanting to get home by Friday and shooting or St. Louis by the same evening.

We had a good visit during the time it took to brew a pot of coffee and drink a big cup full. You can always offer a Navajo a cup of coffee. I don’t ever remember one being turned down! After about an hour and a half they climbed back up into the truck and left. Irving texted me Saturday morning and said they’d gotten back to NM/AZ on Friday afternoon. (Have you noticed how the noun text has been turned into a verb with the advent of cell phones? lol "I will text you." "He texted me." "Wait, I'm texting Jill." lol ) There was a major story in the newspaper about the donation and his trip. I wonder how many books there actually were in that load.

THEN Saturday evening, our friend Laurynn, Rachael’s high school friend and college roommate, arrived for a short visit… She is visiting from Phoenix, AZ, Rachael picked her up at Port Columbus at 8:30 pm. She stayed the night and her sister picked her up Sunday morning for a three or four day visit. She ws so excited when Rachael made her breakfast too. She said no one ever makes her breakfast. She is always the one doing it. We gabbed and she played with the dogs and the Chrissie came with her boyfriend/fiance/husband....So much excitement.

AND NOW, I’m anxiously waiting for the arrival of my long time internet friend Damaris from Mexico! For many years I’ve been posting on a Christian discussion group where Damaris posted also. For the last couple years we have shared hosting duties. I’ve learned to love and appreciate Damaris for her commitment to the Lord and I can hardly believe I’ll be meeting her. I am just about to pop with excitement!

I’ll keep you posted.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

FarmVille and FishLife

About a week ago I connected with the massive website called Facebook. A friend of mine posted a video, but when I clicked the link to see the video I couldn’t access it without first ‘joining’ the site. I did that, but got so involved in the process that I never did get back to the video I came to see in the first place. From day to day since then I’ve become more and more deeply immersed in the activities there.

They have an ongoing ‘chat’ feed where one can post short messages about anything. Generally, they aren’t obscene, but the attitude and energy is often pretty questionable. There are any number of game type activities that involve operating in a virtual reality scenario.

I’ve become fascinated with two aquarium games. ‘Game’ hardly describes them. You must keep a closer eye on the fish and the aquarium health than I ever did my real ones. I have to check back several times a day to clean the tank and feed the fish or, ‘horrors’! I go back and find my fish all gray and belly up. LOL What a shock the first time that happened.

There is a Farm area. I have two farms, one in Farm Ville and the other in Farm town. I plant crops which mature and can be harvested anywhere from 2 hours to 4 days. If I neglect to go back in a timely fashion the harvest shrivels up and dies. I have to pay to have the little plots of land plowed and pay for the seed and then wait until it is grown. Then I ‘harvest ‘ it by pointing a scythe shaped icon at it. Harvesting it piles up ‘coins’ and then those can be used to buy more seed etc, etc. Just like real life.

I have two cute little farms. The first one has three cows and three sheep, two ducks, a pig and a rabbit in a pen. Of those, I only bought one cow. One was a gift and the third was a ‘lost’ cow that I adopted. The white sheep was a gift but the two black ones were “strays” that needed homes and I adopted them. The rabbit, the ducks and the pig were all gifts. Someone gave me a ‘rest tent” with a lawn chair inside. I bought a second one. That’s the only shelter I have, but I have lots of fruit trees and crop lands. .

The other farm has a sheep and a dog and a crazy chicken that wander all over my farm because I haven’t been able to harvest enough crops yet to buy a real fence. I tried making a little enclosure with one section of fence and hay bales but that wasn’t too successful, especially for the insane chicken. All I have there is one or two apple trees for shelter.

I also have a ‘café’ where I have four stoves and four serving counters with two waiters. I am, of course, The Chef. I decorated the café myself as I made money serving people etc etc. This one requires a LOT of attention because just like real food if I go away and forget it I come back to spoiled food –with virtual flies buzzing over it even!

Now here’s what the Lord showed me. I was allowing myself to be WAAAAY to wrapped up in the computer and facebook. The hours I spent in Bible Study were replaced by tending imaginary crops and feeding imaginary fish and imaginary people! The time I spent on line and in emails and discussion groups with real people talking about the Lord and the Church were pushed out of the way by stupid conversations thanking people for giving me a cow! And it wasn’t even a real cow! It was insidious and unrecognized until today when realization dawned.
The solution of course was easy. I simply didn't go. My cheeseburgers spoiled on the grill. My fish didn't die, but the tanks got all green and the neighbors had to take care of my virtual farms for the day.
There is nothing wrong with simple relaxing amusement, but it cannot control our life and our days to the exclusion of more vital things. We inhabit a world though where many live for amusement. Before I retired, I noticed many of those I worked with planned their entire week around their amusements. They neglected their children to pursue their own entertainment. Some bills went unpaid so pleasure trips could be taken. Houses were barren places because the focus of the individual's energy was on activities outside the home. There was no contentment or joy unless the person was occupied in "having a good time. " I hadn't gone to quite that extent, but for about a week, entertainment consumed most of my day.

God smacked me on the back of my head and said. "Shape up. And focus on the important things." I'll still play facebook games, but only when it doesn't interfer with living a real life.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Saturday afternoon I was watching a football game and fell asleep I was sitting in the recliner and had my knees covered up. Gable was all cozy beside me in the chair, under the blanket. of course. Well to make a long story short, I woke up a while later because my arm was going to sleep.

Here’s the reason. (The photo could be better,, but I was trying to reach my cell phone and take a picture without disturbing anybody.) Andy had hopped up and snuggled in with us. He was on top of Gable between me and my arm. I’ve slept with little warm bodies so many years that even asleep I stay still so they don’t get squashed! I had stayed so still that my arm was sleeping too. Our animals are all snuggle buns, but the cats don’t usually get this cozy with the dogs. Gable didn’t care. He was warm and that was good. Andy was just another layer of warm!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

and now my grand daughter!

This is my grandaughter Keva. Yes, another beautiful child. I have been blessed! I guess every grandma feels that way about their grandkids though
Keva is a great artist. I don't mean she draws 'nice' little pictures. She is really good. Last week Kerra sent me a note to tell me that Keva has some of her drawings posted online through her school work.

I went to look at them and wanted everybody to see them. Two of them are just designs. The third is a two headed dragon! She has been facinated with dragons since she was a little girl. When she draws them they are so realistic they have scales and claws and jointed fingers!

So of course you get to look at them here... I hope you like them.

Maybe you don't like them as much as I do, but I think the first two designs wwould make neat ceramic tiles to use as trivets for setting hot pots on. I really like them.