2018 May 11 Friday

2018 May 11 Friday in Grimes Iowa

54° rain and wind to begin the day. Rain went away but temperature only reached 60°.

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain . The pitter patter of a light rain welcomed me from my slumber. And shortly turned much angrier with wind and pelting rain. It didn’t last long and was gone by time to go to the senior center.

Games were played and lunch was eaten. Then we left so that I could get back and to work.

This is my supper at work. Yum!

No sunset photo but I got a shot of the foggy haze in the air.

MUSINGMay 11 2018

HEART OF STONE TO

LIVING STONES

1 Peter 2:4-6
You are coming to Christ, the living stone who was rejected by humans but was chosen as precious by God. You come to him as living stones, a spiritual house that is being built into a holy priesthood. So offer spiritual sacrifices that God accepts through Jesus Christ. That is why Scripture says, “I am laying a chosen and precious cornerstone in Zion, and the person who believes in him will never be ashamed“*

This scripture passage brought to mind the old hymn, The Church’s One Foundation.**

The church’s one foundation
is Jesus Christ our Lord
we are his new creation
by water and the Word
from heaven he came and sought us
that we might ever be
his living servant people,
by his own death set free.

We now on earth have union
with God the Three in One,
and share through faith communion
with those whose rest is won.
Oh, happy ones, and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
like them, the meek and lowly,
on high may dwell with thee.”

With Jesus as our foundation and 2000 years of living stones applied, what a mighty structure the church united must be. Indeed the Pew Report published these findings, “As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31 percent) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth.”

But, dear Christian, before you pat yourself on the back, remember that it also means that ⅔ if the world is not Christian. Remember also: “The Lord isn’t slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act. (2 Peter 3:9)

As a living stones we have an obligation to seek out those with hearts of stone*** and turn them into living stones.

*Isaiah 28:16

**Sarntlel J. Stone, 1866 adapt. By Laurence Hull Stookey, 1983 Adapt. © 1983 The United Methodist Publishing House

*** Ezekiel 36:26

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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2018 May 10 Thursday

2018 May 10 Thursday in Grimes Iowa

52° with clear skies and ground fog as the day began.

Many years ago youngest daughter Heather gave us a gourd birdhouse. And, yes, that is exactly like it sounds like. It is a large gourd hollowed out through a small hole.

Last year I noticed that there were some small sticks inside the gourd. However I saw no activity. This year there are definitely wrens living in it. This morning I’ve seen a lot of coming and going from a pair of wrens. I assume that means that there are little ones to feed.

As my hearing has deteriorated I no longer great many of the birds see around me. But I can still hear the high trilling sound of these wrens. It makes me smile.

We took a little drive around the campground and just enjoyed the beauty

Now, this was an unexpected visit at the senior center. I don’t know all the details about what was going on so I’ll not comment at this time.

When we went back to the campground to check out the adult center.

This is where we hold our worship services from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

We stopped at Verizon to clear up a billing issue. Just before going to IHOP to have supper with a couple of my nieces.

Another great sunset.

MUSING May 10 2018

DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT

James 5:13-16
“If any of you are having trouble, pray. If you are happy, sing psalms. If you are sick, call for the church leaders. Have them pray for you and anoint you with olive oil in the name of the Lord. (Prayers offered in faith will save those who are sick, and the Lord will cure them.) If you have sinned, you will be forgiven. So admit your sins to each other, and pray for each other so that you will be healed. Prayers offered by those who have God’s approval are effective.”

My first heading for this scripture reading was PRAY PRAY PRAY. Because the word ‘pray’ was used three times and ‘prayer’ twice. Clearly the writer of this letter was including the readers to pray.

However, as I re-read an meditated on it I realized that a more proper heading would be DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Because these calls to pray were in response to a need.

  • If you are sick

  • If you’ve sinned

  • If you’re happy

I know that if we were happy we were to sing a Psalm. So technically it doesn’t say to pray if you’re happy. But the Psalms are prayers. They are songs of gladness, worry, fear, exaltation, and the whole range of human emotions.

So whatever situation you are in, don’t get stuck there. Prayerfully do something to move you forward.

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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2018 May 08 Wednesday

2018 May 08 Wednesday in Grimes Iowa

62° and clear. And climbed to 73 by the afternoon with a mostly cloudy sky.

Liver and onions for lunch today’s flex meal at the center. The regular meal was a Chief salad. We played bingo after lunch until it was time to go to Village Inn.

We arrived about fifteen minutes before Lila, Sandy, and Francis arrived. We weren’t able to say to long because I needed to get back to Cutty’s to work the afternoon/evening shift at the fee booth.

While I worked the fee booth, Ella planted her Mother’s Day flowers.

And then there was the sunset.

2018 May 08 Tuesday

2018 May 08 Tuesday in Grimes Iowa

64°, breezy, and overcast to start the day. It became very windy in the afternoon with gusts of 30+ mph. The sun came out and the temperature topped out at 83° by three o’clock. And then it became completely overcast again.

We went to the senior center for games and lunch. Ella also had her blood pressure checked by the public health nurse.

Joyce, Ella, and I played Fast Track.

While several teams played Wii bowling

Every though the outside temp reached the low eighties, our trailer stayed relatively cool because of the shade provided by two large maple trees. As the season progresses and the sun moved further north, we will have more sun until midway through the day. That coupled with higher outdoor temperatures will mean more time with the air conditioner running.

Ella has been having trouble with the nosepiece of her glasses. So we went back to where she bought them and had it repaired.

She head some prescriptions on order. So when she received a text that they were ready, we went to pick them up. At about the same time, I received a text from the pharmacy in Texas that it was time for me to reorder my medications. When Ella got hers she just asked to have mine filled here. Sometime in the next few days I’ll go back and get mine.

Son John and grandson Brandon came by to take Ella to by some plants for Mother’s Day. Shortly Ella called and told me to come up to the Mexican restaurant near Walmart.

As I was leaving the campground I saw two fire trucks, lights flashing, sitting in the parking lot across the street.

Then I met up with the rest of them at Panchero’s for some burritos.

Here is a photo of the sky about an hour before sunset. I’m glad I took it because it was the last time I (almost) saw the sun.

MUSINGMay 08 201

WAKE UP, GET UP, MOVE FORWARD

James 4:2-7
You want what you don’t have, so you commit murder. You’re determined to have things, but you can’t get what you want. You quarrel and fight. You don’t have the things you want, because you don’t pray for them. When you pray for things, you don’t get them because you want them for the wrong reason–for your own pleasure. You unfaithful people! Don’t you know that love for this evil world is hatred toward God? Whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God. Do you think this passage means nothing? It says, “The Spirit that lives in us wants us to be his own.” But God shows us even more kindness. Scripture says, “God opposes arrogant people, but he is kind to humble people.” So place yourselves under God’s authority. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you.

James is an interesting writer who pulls no punches. He tells it like he sees it and is not concerned about being politically correct. We need people like James to correct us when we’ve gone astray. Does he make you uncomfortable? Good.

A preacher’s job has been described as: to make the comfortable uncomfortable and to comfort the uncomfortable. I’ve heard it so many times and in so many different ways.

I’ve heard it so many times and in so many different ways. Get out of your comfort zone. Success happens outside the comfort zone. You can not change without doing something new. You can not grow where you are comfortable because true growth requires pushing against the resistance. These sayings are true for your physical life, emotional life, your financial life, and most certainly for your spiritual life.

The way of the world is: Don’t make waves. Go along to get along. Do what you have to do to make yourself comfortable. The way of the world makes you lazy. Don’t be a lazy Christian.

Feed your spirit on the word of God. Exercise your spirit by doing those things that Christ commanded us to do. Start with the great commandment (Matthew 22:36-40). Get out your bible and look it up. Now read Matthew 25:31-46. And the last commandment of Jesus is found in Matthew 28:19&20.

Start with the great commandment (Matthew 22:36-40). Get out your bible and look it up. Now read Matthew 25:31-46. And the last commandment of Jesus is found in Matthew 28:19&20.

James challenged his flock to change. To which I’ll say, Amen.

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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2018 May 07 Monday

2018 May 07 Monday in Grimes Iowa

51°and clear that climbed to 76° by 1:00 p.m.

Our day started with a drive to Altoona. We met with Tina at Perkins for breakfast. She and her daughter will be returning to Germany tomorrow. They have been here for two months (while we were in Texas) so that Tina could shadow some lawyers. She is working as a midicator in Germany and wanted the experience here. One of the law firms offered her a job. However, because of family obligations, she is not in a position to move from Germany.

We left breakfast in time to get to lunch at the Grimes senior center. We played games, ate, and played more games.

Once we got home we spent some time sorting through stuff and game up with a large box of items to donate to the church rummage sale.

As we were going through things, we found some bottles of out of date medications. I checked on the internet and found that Walgreens would take them for disposal. I dumped them into a sandwich bag. Tore off the labels from the bottles and threw them away.

At 5:30 we had an employee meeting at Cutty’s clubhouse. We filled out new paperwork and got our employee handbook.

Once we left the meeting we drove to Walgreens to dispose of the pills. I was told that without the pills in their original bottles they couldn’t take them. The pharmacists advice was to just throw them in the trash. I doubt that is the approved method. But I did it anyway.

I got a nice photo of the sunset.

MUSING – May 07 2018

WATCH YOUR MOUTH

James 3:3-10
“We put bits in the mouths of horses to make them obey us, and we have control over everything they do. The same thing is true for ships. They are very big and are driven by strong winds. Yet, by using small rudders, pilots steer ships wherever they want them to go. In the same way the tongue is a small part of the body, but it can brag about doing important things. A large forest can be set on fire by a little flame. The tongue is that kind of flame. It is a world of evil among the parts of our bodies, and it completely contaminates our bodies. The tongue sets our lives on fire, and is itself set on fire from hell. People have tamed all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures. Yet, no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil filled with deadly poison. With our tongues we praise our Lord and Father. Yet, with the same tongues we curse people, who were created in God’s likeness. Praise and curses come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, this should not happen!”

Like every child I would occasionally ”talk back” to my mother. When I had gone to far, Mom would say, “You’d better watch your mouth!”

I had a sister who was fifteen years older and when I had “pushed her buttons” she would say, “you’re breeding a scab on the end of your nose, boy.”

In my teenage years, I found it easy to talk my way into fights. I remember one person telling me (in a threatening way), “Don’t let your mouth make promises that your first can’t keep.”

At seventy plus years my mouth still gets me in trouble. James said it best, “no one can tame the tongue.” Even though my tongue still occasionally becomes unbridled, now a larger percentage of the time it is used to praise God and be in service of the LORD.

Sometimes it is best to just bite your tongue and remain silent.

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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2018 May 06 Sunday

2018 May 06 Sunday in Grimes Iowa

56° at 6 a.m. We had breakfast on the patio this morning. And yes, Ella had coffee today. The new coffee maker it’s much slower than Mr Coffee but it gets the job done.

While I worked at the fee booth this morning, Ella did laundry at the clubhouse.

In the evening we went for a drive and ended up in Ankeny to see our granddaughter home. We were entertained by the great grandson playing the flute, and the new kittens

MUSING – May 06 2018

DISCRIMINATION

James 2:1-4
My brothers and sisters, practice your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ by not favoring one person over another. For example, two men come to your worship service. One man is wearing gold rings and fine clothes; the other man, who is poor, is wearing shabby clothes. Suppose you give special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say to him, “Please have a seat.” But you say to the poor man, “Stand over there,” or “Sit on the floor at my feet.” Aren’t you discriminating against people and using a corrupt standard to make judgments?

I have nothing to add to what James wrote nearly 2000 years ago. Just tell me that we’ve changed. If not, why not?

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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2018 May 04 Friday

2018 May 04 Friday in Grimes Iowa

57° in the morning under clear skies. Yesterday’s storms have moved on without causing any real damage locally. Thank you, God.

This was a boring day. Lunch was at the senior center. We stopped at the fee both to make sure I still remembered the basics on the computer. Ella also did a very short training session on the system. She had applied to work at the fee booth.

Then we came home and worked inside and out getting out home in shape.

MUSING – May 04 2018

BEING HOLY

Psalms 99:1-5

The LORD rules as king. Let the people tremble. He is enthroned over the angels. Let the earth quake. The LORD is mighty in Zion. He is high above all people. Let them give thanks to your great and fearful name. He is holy! The king’s strength is that he loves justice. You have established fairness. You have done what is fair and right for Jacob. Highly honor the LORD our God. Bow down at his footstool. He is holy!”

God is holy. We Christians use the word holy a lot. There are hymns/praise songs that just repeat it over and over. But do you know what it means? In the Old Testament “the Hebrew word for holy is “qodesh” and means “apartness, set-apartness, separateness, sacredness”*In the new testament the word “hagios” carries the same or similar meaning. The concept of apartness is clearly what the psalm writer had in mind here. God as a king, enthroned over the angels, and high above all people speaks to the vast separation between God and man. God in his true form can not be seen.**

In the new testament something wonderful happens. Jesus is born of Mary and suddenly God is with us.*** He can be seen and touched. And more importantly can and does touch us. He sits and eats with us. In other words, God now meets us on a more personal level. The separation between God in the Holy of Holies and mankind is over. (Mat 27:51) And he promises to be with us until the end of the age. *(Mat 28:20)

This does not mean that God is still not above all people but he is now also living within us. (1 Cor 3:16) We believers are commanded to be holy (Lev 11:44 and 1Th 3:13) that is we are to remain separated from sin.

*http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2014/05/24/what-does-the-word-holy-mean-bible-definition-of-holy/

**Exodus 33:20-23

***Emmanuel עִמָּנוּאֵל (Ancient Hebrew)

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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