What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you'll have it all—life healed and whole. (I Peter 1:3-5 The Message)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July 3, 2012

Twenty-five years ago tonight I was staying with my ex-husband and planning last minute details for my second wedding the next day.  A day of Independence, right?  My sisters came to be my bridesmaids, as they did the first time.  This time, however, our sons stood with their dad.  My uncle and aunt made a real family ceremony for us.  I don't know that we have lived up to everything we committed that day, but a lot sure has happened during the years until now.

We moved from NY to NC on our way to FL, and have been here since 1993.  We have a home (first one since 1970) due to the generosity of a church member who said no minister of his church was going to live in a one-bedroom rented apartment.  God bless him!

A lot of health problems have been overcome.  Bill had left main coronary open heart surgery before we left NY.  That left him with a physical disability and he has been unable to work.  In 1991 we discovered he had cirrhosis of the liver that was untreatable except by transplant, which was accomplished in 1995 at UVA.  The medication he had to take over the years has left him with a weak kidney and diabetes.  He also had a prostatectomy for cancer and urostomy for a shrunken bladder.  Other than that, he's doing fine!

My journey has not been quite so dramatic.  Left total mastectomy for large benign tumor, cholescystectomy (gall bladder), right total knee replacement (injury 41 years before), and COPD for which I use a CPAP.

You know, growing old ain't for wimps!  But God is good - all the time!

We are in the process of catching up on cleaning the house and organizing all the "stuff" we have accumulated.  It's a challenge. 

So, tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of our second wedding.  I'll be remarking on the 53rd anniversary of our first wedding in September!  We don't have much planned beyond a steak and salad dinner and a lemon meringue pie.  Our blessings are too numerous to count, so we'll just enjoy the day. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July 1, 2012

We got up at the usual Sunday morning reveille (6:30).  It's hard to break old habits.  DeLeon Springs has a restaurant at the State Park (the old Sugar Mill) where you sit at tables with griddles built in and cook your own pancakes and eggs.  We got the last 2 seats at 8:15 a.m.  Beautiful day, perfect weather, great food and good company.  Now what??

It was too early to go to a worship and, besides, we hadn't chosen one yet.  So we started down a road we hadn't been on for a very long time to see the St. John's River.  Lo and behold, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand was going to have Dr. Juan Rodriguez, our Florida Regional Minister as the guest speaker.  So, we drove down the road a little and turned back to the church.  Seems like another God-thing to me. 

The organ and piano duet led the congregation with good music.  They had a projector/screen for some of the parts of the service, but beautiful bulletins were provided.  The minister has just returned from heart surgery and it was good to see him back.  Juan was his usual up-beat, challenging preacher who shared his dream for the Florida DoC churches: a barrier-breaking, bridge-building movement for God.  Very inspiring - the whole thing.  The Communion service was familiar, but refreshingly different.

The rest of the day has been quiet and restful.  Except for the excitement of watching Tiger Woods win.  Even the animals were fairly low key.  Well, everything was calm until 60 Minutes came on with a story about cyber attacks in the world.  Sabotage, terror incidents, computer worms - oh, my!

I've been thinking that this whole world would be a really scary place - if I didn't believe that God was in control.  In control of everything - from the number of hairs on my head to the turning of centrifuges in an Iranian uranium enrichment plant, regardless of a computer virus.  The old spiritual says, "I cried to the rock to hide my face; the rock cried out 'There's no hiding place.'  There's no hiding place down here."

The Psalms tell us where to find safety:
  1. Psalm 17:8
    Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings
  2. Psalm 27:5
    For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
  3. Psalm 27:9
    Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior.
  4. Psalm 55:12
    If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide.
  5. Psalm 64:2
    Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers.
God is our shelter and our strength.  God is our peace.  God cares for us, especially when we don't deserve it.  Our past, present and future are all secure - no matter what it looks like at the time.  God help us all.

Guess I need a place to preach! And it's only been a couple of days...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 30, 2012

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives.  And we had nothing we had to do!  No last minute work at the church, no preparation of communion elements, no music to record in the Clavinova, no changing of banners or paraments, no checking of ANYTHING.  We slept in a little, had bialys for breakfast with fresh French Vanilla coffee.  Watched a little morning TV.  Then, we went to the local farmer's market and got some tomatoes, zucchini, brussel sprouts, and a giant head of lettuce.  Like normal people.

We did little else during the day.  We set up the stand for my new Yamaha Digital Piano (gift from the church) and hooked up the ear phones so I won't disturb anyone else.  Played a couple of Words With Friends and checked out FaceBook posts.

Yesterday afternoon I had a little meltdown.  Tears just started out of nowhere.  I guess bouts of grief are no respecters of time or place.  I was sitting on the "throne" with the kitten on my lap, playing Scrabble on my Kindle - and they just started.  Bill asked if I had been crying and why - I said I didn't know, but it was all right.

I can't wait to see what God has planned for us next.  We still have to clean out the Choir Room, which will take a few days.  And I have been chosen to be the next director for the West Volusia Community Chorus, beginning in September.  So we can begin the process of bringing some order into our home - it's been neglected for some time now.

We're going to work on taking care of ourselves a little better.  We'll have time to go to the gym, plan menus and shop more smartly, toss a coin to see which church to visit on Sunday, clean out the garage and have a sale.  (That might take a while!)

Figuring out how to live on half the income we're used to will be a challenge.  It will be interesting to see how this all works out.  I may have to start cooking, making laundry detergent, making bundled shopping trips, and, again I say, having a garage sale.

Well, tomorrow's another day. . .

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Vacation 2011

Well, here we are almost at the end of our visit to Virginia.  It has been a relaxing time - not doing much.  The days have been beautiful weather-wise.  Actually, the A/C has been off most of the time (except in the bedroom) and the breezes and humidity have been comfortable.  We have been to church for services and rehearsals.  The two Fridays we have spent the mornings "yard-saling," a ritual that is sacred in this area.  Between the 3 cats, 3 dogs, 2 chinchillas (?), and 7 chickens there is plenty to do to feed, water, take out, etc.  We have fresh eggs and much food.  Our male rat terrier, Deuce, has latched on to their female pug, Snickers - literally.  Thankfully, he is unable to father pups, cause I believe she's coming into heat.  A cold shower finally took care of the "problem!"  I did have time to make a couple of aprons, as I promised, for our Holiday Bazaar, coming up in December.  Laura has a wonderful sewing room she is setting up.  And the view out the window is spectacular.  We are off today to New Market for a 40-mile long Yard Crawl.  Oh, joy!  I might make it 40 yards worth.  Have a great day!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Where does the time go?

Here it is - a year later.  And, again, I am sitting in my daughter-in-law's kitchen trying to remember what she taught me last year about how to blog.  I couldn't even remember my password, and I used the wrong e-mail address at first.  Did I mention that I'm a year older - and maybe not much smarter? 
So much has happened since I last "blogged."  (Is that a word?) 
I'm still at Deltona Christian Church as Minister of Worship and Music.  We did a Christmas musical and special music during Lent, Holy Week, and Easter.  The choir sings every Sunday, except in July and the first part of August.
I retired last year from my position as Church Secretary, but re-upped the first of October.  They hadn't found anyone while I was on "sabbatical," and were gracious enough to hire me again.  I've also begun to learn how to create and update the church's website (deltonachristianchurch.org). 
Our church was given the gift of a Yamaha Clavinova in December 2009.  I am still learning to use all the attributes of this fabulous instrument.  It has made life much simpler as choir director/accompanist.  I can pre-record all the music and actually direct the choir with my hands, not my head!
We recently learned that we will be great grandparents around April next year.  Laura and David's daughter, Amanda, is expecting her first child.  Sarah, their younger daughter, lives with her soldier husband in Texas.  Steven, their son, is 17, 6'4" and still growing.
Sam and Norman are still in Florida.
I have made new friends and renewed acquaintances with old friends through the Facebook/Internet connections.  This social networking thing is awesome. I just need to make better use of the technological advances in communication. 
However, I don't wish to just "blog."  What does that mean anyway?  Blab, and log what you blab?  Maybe I can find a way to use this to advantage in enhancing my ministerial goals.  We'll see.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Let Us Adventure Together

We just watched the “Julie and Julia” movie last night.  It was all about Julie making a recipe a day from Julia Child’s cookbook and then blogging about how it turned out (and other extraneous thoughts).  Sharing, I guess, is the real reason for having a blog.  Maybe I’ll get the hang of it.  However, I don’t have a theme yet to hang my thoughts on.  (Never end a sentence a preposition with.)
I’ve been reading a wonderful book, “A Larger Hope: Opening the Heart to God” by R. Scott Colglazier.  It is provoking new thought patterns regarding the meaning of being a Christian, and what kind of a Christian I am.  He says, “My personal search is for a faith that is intellectually coherent and spiritually passionate, a faith that rings true within my everyday experience.”  It is inspiring me to search my heart more deeply, stretch my spiritual nerves, explore my faith, and open my heart to a larger hope.  I will also be journaling some of my adventure here.  Please feel free to comment.
We celebrated World Communion Sunday this morning with emphasis on the ecumenical nature of the day.  It is good to remember and consider other expressions of our faith in God, even to include them in our worship.  The choir sang an offertory anthem, “He Is Mine (Ni Wangu)” by Hal Hopson.  The words are in Swahili.  He is mine, forever and ever, Jesus is mine.  The hymns were also about the community of Christ, which is the church.  
I don’t know how anyone survives who does not gather with other believers on a regular basis.  It is such an exhilarating, informative hour in a busy, sometimes hectic week.  Drawing close with people, praising our awesome God, sharing our triumphs and sorrows, rejoicing or empathizing in our circumstances, lifting each other up or calming us down, singing or crying – in other words, bringing the essence of Christ into the everyday-ness of living.
Come, let us adventure together!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

From Florida, With Love

Sorry, I haven't posted recently because I can't seem to find the keyboard inbetween bouts of coughing fits.  My Fall Bronchitis has visited me again.  I am trying to battle it out, but it might just get the better of me yet!  Tonight is my first night back as Minister of Worship and Music at our church.  I have choir rehearsal after our Praise and Worship service.  Pray that people won't get too uncomfortable with my hacking and my raspy voice.  We have an exciting season planned, beginning with World Communion Sunday on October 3.  And, we will be starting on our Christmas Cantata/Musical next week.  I have a wonderful, dedicated group of people - the best church choir in Deltona!  My old high school principal used to say, "There might be some just as good, but there's none better..."  My sentiments exactly for our choir.  I'll keep you posted.