6:15 p.m….The news man was also talking about the “housing crisis” and how people are trying to find ways to avoid foreclosure. Some will take offense to this, but there really is NO HOUSING CRISIS! It’s really a greed crisis. “I want more than I can pay for.” “I want more than I really need.” And in the banking industry, “I want a humongous salary that I really didn’t earn because I ruined the company I controlled.” That’s greed. It’s an I problem.
5:45 p.m….I was just listening to the CBS Evening News. It seems the Japanese are upset that the “buy American” clause in the “stimulus package” (aka the “Pork and Spending Bill”) could harm their steel industry. Let’s see….a few years back, HOW MANY steel plants in the U.S. closed because Japanese steel was cheaper?? I know people that lost their jobs because of that.
5:15 p.m…Just an update to tell you guys something. I had to laugh when I read two other blogs today because they both said they were cleaning out their friends’ lists. I started doing the same thing on Friday, but I took it one step further today….I cleaned out the list of blogs subscribed to me. It’s not that I don’t want those people reading my blog. It’s just that I have so many people subscribed to me, or so many who have asked to be my friend, and they haven’t posted in such a long time….like a year or more. Another reason I might have cleaned out these subs is if they absolutely never come and comment. There are a number of people on Xanga who only collect “friendships” because it looks good. They don’t come to comment. But they sure want you to comment on theirs, and recommend their posts. It’s not happening.
In case you don’t know how to clean out the list of blogs subscribed to yours, you block them, and then unblock them. That way, if they decide to come back and read later, they can, but you are no longer on their subs list.
And…I blocked any who have subbed to mine, but they have friends lock on, so you can’t read theirs. That just ticks me off.
I’ve been experimenting with new pictures for my background. Ever since Brandon and Rachael got married, I had various pictures from the wedding as a background. That’s been over 2 years now. Then in December, I decided to go back to a snowflake picture. Winter’s over here…pretty much. Things are blooming. So I changed the picture again, but could not hit on one I really wanted. The one up now is our dining room area, but I might change it again.
Whenever I want to do something new, I either rearrange furniture or change something on my Xanga. It’s cheaper than going shopping
The weekend was very exhausing, and at times…very trying.
Last week, Bethany and I went to the grocery store several times to get steaks on sale. Since there was a limit of 2 packages with a $10 purchase, we each went several times. That got us enough steaks for the Valentine Banquet at church, without costing a fortune. We got rib-eyes and t-bones, and they averaged $3.25 per steak! That’s not bad. But from Thursday to Saturday, I did a LOT of shopping.
Then on Saturday, after I hit the grocery store and Walmart one more time each, we got to the church just after 2:00 p.m. The Valentine Banquet did not start till 6:30, but we had lots of cooking to do. Mark and Charles grilled all the steaks (42 of them), plus about 36 pieces of chicken (leg quarters) and 30 pounds of sausage. It was very good, although I would have cooked the steaks a little longer. Some of them were still a little too….red. Not pink…but red. Beth said one was still mooing. I think most people probably like theirs at least medium well, or cooked at least till the juices run clear. That’s the “safe” point, where someone is unlikely to get sick from eating meat that wasn’t cooked long enough.
So I was on my feet so much toward the end of the week, and over the weekend, that I was in some considerable pain Sunday morning. I threatened to wear my slippers to church, since my arthritis was screaming at me so much. Steve said I should do it, but I didn’t have the nerve. I did, however, wear them at the banquet. Terry cloth slippers beat dress shoes any day. Especially when you’ve had knee replacement surgery recently
And I was really short on sleep, and felt like I might have a seizure. Last night I was literally falling asleep in church, sitting straight up. I can’t sleep well even when I’m lying down. So it’s almost unheard of for me to fall asleep any other place. I was up late most nights. Especially Saturday night. Beth went out on a date…at 1:00 in the morning. I can’t sleep while she’s gone. She met the physical therapy assistant (that works at the therapy place we both went to) at Whataburger…Jimmy.
Saturday and Sunday were quite stressful emotionally. We have a dear friend (I’m not going to use his name)…someone we love very much…who is going through not only some rough patches, but some willful disobedience. He’s going through a divorce because his wife is into drugs again. And she was stealing things from the family and hocking them for drug money. She was also cheating on him….for drugs. Then he had 2 of his inlaws calling Children’s Protective Services and saying he was neglecting the kids (he has not been). The kids were temporarily taken away (they are all teens). His adopted 14 year old daughter threatened his life. She wanted to go live with an aunt, so he finally let her. It’s been more peaceful without her. She really does have some mental/emotional problems. And she’s not happy if it’s not all about her. (We’ve known these kids most of their lives, and she’s always been this way.) Then in December his dad died. He’s been hit with a lot of bad stuff.
He called one day and told me that now he needed a girlfriend, and he was laughing. I told him that was the last thing he needed, and he agreed. But apparently he didn’t really agree. Friday a little over a week ago, he told us he had been out on a date. We told him it was wrong…he is still legally married, and so is the woman he went out with. And he admitted he knew it was wrong. She left her husband. I don’t know all the details, but I do know the woman’s husband does not want a divorce. They have 2 children.
And this is the third divorce for our friend. He doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to picking women. To be fair, he picked his wives while he was still on drugs, too. He would openly tell you how he decided to quit doing drugs, and how he became a Christian. It’s really an amazing story.
Through all this “bad” that has been happening, he has openly given God thanks for the trials. That’s a good attitude, and it’s scriptural:
1 Thess 5:18….give thanks in all circumstances , for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. NIV
But now he has reached a point where something he really wants to do…a weakness for him…has gotten him sidetracked. Satan knows all our weaknesses…he knows which buttons to push. And he knew what our friend’s button was. This woman has been staying with him. And, well…you get the picture.
He’s been told it’s wrong. He says he’s been talking to God, and God hasn’t told him NO yet! Oh, yes…God has told him no, but he’s just not listening. God says in His word that it’s wrong, and God has provided Christian counselors that are telling him it’s wrong. And it’s obvious he feels guilty, because he is avoiding several of us. He’s mostly avoiding Steve…his deacon and his Bible teacher. He has not been able to avoid me, and I make it a point to talk to him. But it’s hard. I want to slap him. You know that feeling you get when your kids do something really stupid? It’s that feeling.
Lev 19:17….“‘Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt . NIV
We love this man. He has become like family. One night, this friend was having some trouble with some electrical wiring at his house. The breaker box had caught on fire, and he had no power at his house. The box needed to be replaced, but the electrical meter had to be pulled to do that. Steve was working late that night, and when he came in around 10:30 or so, he said he had been feeling like we needed to go to our friend’s house to help him. We did not know the details of everything that had gone wrong.
When we got there, he was sitting in the front yard…praying that God would send him some help. His prayer was answered, even before he was praying it! How’s that for God answering prayer? God provided before he knew he needed it.
He has been here at our house, helping us with monstrous projects we just could not get done on our own. He has also been there for many of our church members. He cleared a lot of trees from yards after the hurricane in September. He’s a good guy.
He’s always been eager to be at church and to hang around and visit with all of us. And we’ve always looked forward to seeing him.
Did I mention how much we love this man?
When I told Beth what he was doing, she started to cry. He’s been a special person in her life, too. She has tried to mentor his kids when they were doing things they should not be doing. He has done special things for her. When her car caught on fire, he bought her a fire extinguisher to carry in her new one. It was partly to tease her, but also for safety. Several years ago, he and his mom did something special for Beth’s birthday. They gave her a knight on a horse (her knight in shining armor), a car and a castle. And he made her a gold nugget (see…she’s rich and has a knight in shining armor now).
He brought his girlfriend to the Valentine Banquet, as well as her parents. He wanted us to accept what he’s doing. We cannot. Then he brought her to church Sunday morning. Now…no doubt she needs to be in church. But he should not be trying to get people to accept what he’s doing. He’s already said he has no intention of marrying her. Honestly, we don’t believe that, since a happy married life is what he wants.
I had asked God to use me somehow to shake him up, and make him realize what he’s doing is not right. Sunday morning, he and I were standing in the back of the church, like we always do, because he’s an usher, and we count the people that are present in the morning service. On the last song before he had to take the offering, we were singing. Then I started to cry, and I could not stop it. Crying is easy for me, and difficult for me to stop anyway, so I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t boohooing or anything…just lots of tears rolling down my face, and lots of sniffling. I tried to hide it from him, and then the thought came: “Don’t hide it.” So I let him see it.
He and said girlfriend left immediately after the service. He did not hang around to talk like he usually does.
He already told his mother Saturday that he knew he had made some of his church family mad. That he had upset people. He doesn’t understand that we aren’t mad…but we are so very sad to see him doing these things that God says don’t do. He’s playing with fire. And when you disobey God, He not only reserves the right to not give you more of His truth…he may even take some away that He has previously given you. So you take a few steps backward in your walk with God, and your understanding of His word.
Every sin that a person commits, affects more than just himself. It affects his family. It affects his church family. We are getting ready to do the Easter play, after taking a 3 year break from it. The last year we did it was 2005. He has been the one bugging me the most about doing the play again (I’m the director, so I get to decide if we do it or not). He’s the guard who beats Jesus while dragging his cross down the Via Dolorosa.
The play is going to be a little uncomforable this year, rather than lots of fun like it’s been in years past. The first year we did this play, we actually had people crying because they were really struck by what Jesus went through. I’m sure Satan doesn’t want that. He doesn’t want people to realize the sacrifice Jesus made. Maybe he’s trying to throw a monkey wrench into the plans.
We are all human, and we all still sin. But as our pastor likes to say, “You can’t stop a bird from landing on your head, but you don’t have to let it build a nest.” He provides a way to get away from the temptation and not sin, but we have to be trying. God’s not going to force us to turn away from sin. We have to make an effort.
1 Cor 10:13…No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. NIV
God is always right there, ready and more than able to show us what to do. We don’t have to depend on our own understanding. That’s a good thing. Our own understanding usually stinks.
Isa 30:21…Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way ; walk in it.” NIV