Thursday, April 27, 2006

But what if I am just making it all up?

Here's yet another meme that has been making the rounds.

I am: a friendly cave, a deep pool

I want: to grow up

I wish: I paid more attention to relationships than to my own sense of morality

I hate: the greedy commercialism that so charaacterizes American life

I miss: Hawai'i

I fear: being so distracted by this world that I lose focus on God

I hear: music when the radio is turned off

I wonder: what I will do next in life

I regret: the way I have treated others when I was afraid or selfish

I am not: as clever as I think I am

I dance: with abandon (though not much recently)

I sing: bass when my throat is in good shape; baritone when it is rough

I cry: when I see good triumph, mercy win over, and gratitude spring forth

I’m not always: this reflective, but most of the time I am thinking about something

I make with my hands: cabinets, food, love (not in that order)

I write: when I think I have something to say (maybe I am deluded)

I confuse: thinking with knowing

I need: challenge and compassion

I should: do what God calls me to do

I start: all kinds of projects

I finish: very few of them

I tag: my dear readers and fellow bloggers

Monday, April 24, 2006

Some bad news, some good, and a poem

Did I tell you that the water heater at our house went "clunk" yesterday? I got to stay home this morning while the plumbers put in a new water heater. The van is still in the shop with a blown head gasket. But I did get the bumper cover delivered and put it on my car. I will take a photo of the refurbished PWT-mobile for your viewing pleasure.

A couple of years ago we were invited to a party and the hostess asked everyone to write a poem about a hat and then wear the hat to the party. Once we arrived, we had to switch hats (and poems) with someone, preferably of the opposite sex. Then we sat in a circle and read the poems. Here's what I wrote:

Air passes through it and ruffles my hair.
This hat only serves to reduce the glare
From sun at the beach or out in the yard,
Mowing grass, raking leaves, nothing too hard.
It came from Hawai'i, I think from the mall,
And now it just hangs on a peg on a wall
In a room where the plants from Oahu are.
Bougainvillea, plumeria brought from afar
Bask in the warmth of a room full of light.

My hat simply watches through day and through night,
And misses the sound of the waves on a shore,
The warm breeze, the salt air, all this and more.
But he feels no regret being on the South Plains:
He's semi-retired. During winter he feigns
Indifference to weather and bides his time
'Til summer breaks through and then he feels fine,
This straw hat of mine with band of deep blue.
I like him a lot; after all, wouldn't you?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Purty durn close

Patti guessed that the "watzat" was a Cambodian Bible. It is not, but I am guessing that the full view here will suffice to bring the correct answer in. For two years, I was an interim pastor for a Cambodian congregation in San Francisco. Most of the congregation spoke English, but they sang the hymns in Khmer. I did my first baptisms in that congregation: a little girl, her aunt, and the aunt's father. He was about 70 going on 90, a fragile-looking fellow who rarely attended services. One of the congregants recorded a tape for me that was the Khmer translation of "I baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." I would listen to the tape and transliterate it into English characters. I practiced over and over saying that phrase, and my interpreter helped me polish it.

The day of the baptism, there were at least three other pastors baptizing members of their language congregations, so we had to trade out the waders. (All the congregations were Baptists, so everyone got dunked.) One group would get baptized and then the audience would sing a song while the next pastor pulled on the waders and got into the baptismal tank. When it came my turn, I baptized the little girl first--no problem, she was light and I remembered the phrase. Then came her aunt, who seemed to question my pronunciation with a look askance. Then came the old man. I was so worried that I was going to drown him, I hesitated on the phrase. He prompted me, so I hope I said the right words! Anyway, when I lowered him into the water, I leaned over so far, that water started to pour over the top of the waders. I stood up quickly, but not before a jet of water went all the way to my socks. Unfortunately, there was one more pastor waiting to baptize, and I had to hand over waders that were wet inside and out.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

PWT car

Here's what the Saturn looks like at the moment. When I contacted the Saturn house in Big Flat City, they said a new bumper cover would cost around $250. And it would be another $250 to paint it. "Thanks for the information. B-bye." So I got online and found a source that would sell me the same thing for $56. Of course, the shipping is going to be about $80. But that is still a lot less than the dealer's price. Sure, it will be primer grey, but, heck, that's better than it looks now!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Couldn't wait for another "watzat"

OK, all you smartypants out there. "Dogbutt" was way too easy, so we have something a little tougher here. Although, if you speak the language, you might be able to guess this one. I got the object when I lived in San Francisco. So what do you think it is?

Now to another subject. Two or three years ago, my dear sweet daughter-in-law with red hair borrowed our Saturn and ran over a jackrabbit coming home. (She did not borrow the car just to commit harecide, but that's what happened.) The impact cracked the plastic grillwork under the front bumper. After several months, pieces started falling off the grill and it sagged more and more. Today the whole bumper assembly was listing to port when I came home. So I got out some tools and took the danged thing off (the "danged thing" being the front bumper fascia). I used baling wire to fasten the side turn signal lights to the structure right in front of the tires and to hang the license plate on the bumper support. Yeah, it looks reeeeeeally classy.

There is an auto salvage yard several blocks from our house and I have already emailed them to see if they have the right replacement part. Of course, if they do, who knows what color it will be. I'll take a picture.

Just for Captainwow

This is DOGBUTT.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Yes, it's a dawg!

Mom's dog
Congratulations to annie for correctly identifying the species of animal! ~And you thought this was so hard.~ The German shepherd belonged to my mom when she was young. What is remarkable to me is that the ceramic figure is not chipped anywhere. Practically every unique ceramic or glass item that I inherited from Mom has a chip or a crack. A floral-painted vase, a red glass bird, a cut-glass punch bowl--they have all been glued back together rather than just discarded. But not the dawg. Woof!

Today being Easter, our church had two worship services (and no Sunday school) with a logistically dysfunctional breakfast in between. All seven hundred participants had to wait in line to pass one at a time by the serving window! Still, I guess everyone did get a chance to eat some fresh-cooked pancakes and bacon. We all smelled like pancake syrup for the second service. The handbell choir played in both services and had to contend with the wind. Oh, didn't I mention that the services were held outside under a pavillion? That first service was pretty nippy, I'll tell you. I kept my handbell gloves on just to retain some warmth.

The Cat's sister was in town, so the two of them got to laugh plenty as they were planning a family reunion in June. Their mother's side of the family is a pretty entertaining lot: nine siblings who range from archly wry to exasperatingly naive. The games ought to be a hoot. Cat and her sister plan to wear Depends so as not to worry about peeing themslves. Or at least that is the joke of the moment.

Well, this "watzat" was pretty easy. I will have to post something harder tomorrow. Spent about an hour yesterday taking photos and working them over in a graphics program. There are some doozies lined up now.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Time for another "watzat"

Here we are again, back in my study. I would not keep this object in here except that it belonged to my mother when she was a little girl. No more clues than that. So what do you think it is?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Good or best?

She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Mark 14:8

Towards the end of Jesus' earthly ministry, a couple of people took actions towards Jesus that seemed appropriate to them. One, an unnamed woman, was criticized by pious people; the other, a well known disciple of Jesus, one of the Twelve, delighted the religious leaders so much that they rewarded him for his action.

The unnamed woman of Mark 14's first meal poured out very expensive perfume on Jesus' head. She could have done something good with that perfume. As the crowd suggested, she could have sold it to take care of the needy. But she chose what was best and Jesus commended her.

Before the second meal recorded in Mark 14, someone else took action. Judas Iscariot must have believed that what he was doing was good. He had been a trusted disciple from the beginning. Perhaps a Zealot, he wished to see the confrontation which would finally establish Jesus as Messiah. But that was not God's plan; it was not what was best. The religious leaders applauded and rewarded the actions of Judas. But Jesus said it would have been better if he had not been born.

I have to ask myself, "Am I doing what is good or what is best?" It is easy to gain applause for doing what is good. It feels good. It seems right at the time. Doing what is best demands sensitivity to God's direction. It requires obedience where common sense would demur. But it receives the approval of God. Good or best?

Monday, April 10, 2006

April is better

It started with my birthday, the first Saturday of the month. We celebrated by digging up the grass infested iris bed. I couldn't move for the rest of the afternoon. We didn't even go to a movie! But the flowers around here are popping out: tulips, hyacinth, dandelions (oops). The peonies have sent forth their stalks and the gladiolas their spears, so there will be more blooming to come.

I am resigned to the fact that my assistant at work has accepted the call to be a children's minister in a church in Arkansas. She is very excited although nervous because it is her first full-time ministry position and there are about a hundred children in the church. When my last assistant left, I wondered how she was ever going to be replaced. And God provided. So I am trying to keep the faith, as it were.

Grandson is getting bigger though his sleep schedule isn't exactly regularized yet. As far as I know, he has not written anything yet. But I am patient.

Hey, did you know that Microsoft's update to Internet Explorer coming out tomorrow (April 11) has changes in the Active X controls that may mess with the programs you use? I know it is going to affect Blackboard negatively. Just about the time I get one thing fixed, here comes someone messing up another item.

Our Easter musical at church was presented yesterday. The choir did a good job. I made an appearance as Simon Peter. The guy who played a Roman soldier was good. He actually cried.

I found out last weekend that one of my friends who lives in Big Flat City has been reading this blog and never commenting. Yoo-hoo! How many others are out there like that? Don't you know that comments nourish bloggers?

This is about the most disparate posting I have done. I guess it is going to take me a while to get back in the saddle. I think I will ride my bike down to the Dairy Queen and get a blizzard. Maybe that will help.