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

_________

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

_________

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

_________

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

_________

2018 May 03 Thursday

2018 May 03 Thursday in Grimes Iowa

59° and foggy at 4:30 in the morning. Ain’t no sunshine today.

Evidently Ella got cold during the night. I turned the heat on for a little bit.

The foggy overcast stayed with us even when storms went through. The civil defense sirens went off around 3:45 because a tornado cloud was spotted a few miles to the West of us. We, and a dozen or so others, sought shelter in the basement of the club house Just to n the South of us they reported ¾* hail. We had a short burst of pea size hail here. It is still raining at bed time but no longer storming.

MUSING – May 03 2018

ARE YOU GROWING?

2 Peter 1:4-9
“Through his (Jesus Christ’s) glory and integrity he has given us his promises that are of the highest value. Through these promises you will share in the divine nature because you have escaped the corruption that sinful desires cause in the world.
Because of this, make every effort to add integrity to your faith; and to integrity add knowledge; to knowledge add self-control; to self-control add endurance; to endurance add godliness; to godliness add Christian affection; and to Christian affection add love. If you have these qualities and they are increasing, it demonstrates that your knowledge about our Lord Jesus Christ is living and productive. If these qualities aren’t present in your life, you’re short sighted and have forgotten that you were cleansed from your past sins.”

I am trying to lose weight because, like two thirds of Americans, I am overweight or obese.* How do I track my progress? I use a scale of course. Without a scale I would only be guessing as to whether I was winning or losing the battle of the bulge.

When I was a child my mother would track my growth by having me stand in the kitchen doorway and draw a line at the current height. She would write my name and the current date. It was a simple way to track my growth.

Tracking our physical growth is easy. However, how do we track our spiritual growth? Our goal is to become more Christ like.** The author of second Peter gives us a checklist to see how we are growing spiritually.

  • Faith

  • integrity

  • knowledge

  • self-control

  • endurance

  • godliness

  • Christian affection

  • love

Jesus is our measuring device. Simply put, what would Jesus do?

*An estimated 45 million Americans go on a diet each year, and Americans spend $33 billion each year on weight loss products. Yet, nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Obesity is a chronic disease that requires lifelong treatment and medical care.

**1 Corinthians 11:1

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

_________

59° and foggy at 4:30 in the morning. Ain’t no sunshine today.

Evidently Ella got cold during the night. I turned the heat on for a little bit.

The foggy overcast stayed with us even when storms went through. The civil defense sirens went off around 3:45 because a tornado cloud was spotted a few miles to the West of us. We, and a dozen or so others, sought shelter in the basement of the club house Just to n the South of us they reported ¾* hail. We had a short burst of pea size hail here. It is still raining at bed time but no longer storming.

MUSING – May 03 2018

ARE YOU GROWING?

2 Peter 1:4-9
“Through his (Jesus Christ’s) glory and integrity he has given us his promises that are of the highest value. Through these promises you will share in the divine nature because you have escaped the corruption that sinful desires cause in the world.
Because of this, make every effort to add integrity to your faith; and to integrity add knowledge; to knowledge add self-control; to self-control add endurance; to endurance add godliness; to godliness add Christian affection; and to Christian affection add love. If you have these qualities and they are increasing, it demonstrates that your knowledge about our Lord Jesus Christ is living and productive. If these qualities aren’t present in your life, you’re short sighted and have forgotten that you were cleansed from your past sins.”

I am trying to lose weight because, like two thirds of Americans, I am overweight or obese.* How do I track my progress? I use a scale of course. Without a scale I would only be guessing as to whether I was winning or losing the battle of the bulge.

When I was a child my mother would track my growth by having me stand in the kitchen doorway and draw a line at the current height. She would write my name and the current date. It was a simple way to track my growth.

Tracking our physical growth is easy. However, how do we track our spiritual growth? Our goal is to become more Christ like.** The author of second Peter gives us a checklist to see how we are growing spiritually.

  • Faith

  • integrity

  • knowledge

  • self-control

  • endurance

  • godliness

  • Christian affection

  • love

Jesus is our measuring device. Simply put, what would Jesus do?

*An estimated 45 million Americans go on a diet each year, and Americans spend $33 billion each year on weight loss products. Yet, nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Obesity is a chronic disease that requires lifelong treatment and medical care.

**1 Corinthians 11:1

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

_________

2017 May 02 Wednesday

2018 May 02 Wednesday in Grimes Iowa

62° and cloudy at 4:30 a.m.

I seem to be back on my normal sleep pattern after the journey from Texas to Iowa. Meanwhile Ella was still asleep still trying to recover.

While she slept I swept. Remember this photo from yesterday showing all the maple buds on our patio?

Well, I swept them all (almost) away.

Okay the truck is all unloaded … now what do we do with all this stuff? I’m

feeling too old to keep lugging all of this back and forth between two homes.

Speaking of homes, I see a bird has built a nest in one of our maples. I hear the cheep cheep cheep of babies, but it took a while before I saw the adults. They are robins.

We went to the Grimes senior center for lunch. Joyce has already set up the Fast Track game in anticipation of our return to the center. We played several games before lunch.

Lunch was pork loin, mashed potatoes with gravy, mixed veggies, and strawberries.

After lunch we played bingo.

We had added somethings to our shopping list so it was back to Walmart.

Once we were home we managed to get more things put away and some more outside things taken care of.

We also got some rest. Maybe too much rest. About 2:45 Ella got a call wondering where we were. She head set up get together with some of our friends to meet at Village Inn at 2. Oops. They were really there waiting for us.

We sat and visited for quite awhile before going home and back to cleaning, straightening, and unpacking.

We had a little rain come through and the prediction of storms to follow.

MUSING May 02 2018

WHO IS JESUS?

John 1:1-4
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was already with God in the beginning. Everything came into existence through him. Not one thing that exists was made without him. He was the source of life, and that life was the light for humanity.*

The whole of the good news (gospel) that John has to tell about Jesus is condensed into his opening statement, verses one through four. That news is that Jesus is divine.

The Jewish readers would have immediately recognized the parallel to Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning God created heaven and earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The Spirit of God was hovering over the water. Those familiar with the Proverbs of Solomon would also have noted the similarly to Proverbs 8:22-24 The LORD already possessed me long ago, when his way began, before any of his works. I was appointed from everlasting from the first, before the earth began. I was born before there were oceans, before there were springs filled with water.” Indeed that whole section from 22 through 31 can clearly be understood as speaking of the pre-incarnate Jesus.

This thought was an eye opener (Revelation) for me. I had been taught as a child that Jesus was the angel Michael* which denies both the divinity and humanity of Jesus at once. For if Jesus is with God and is God, as John is here claims, then He truly has the power to forgive our sin**

Jesus wants to know, “Who do you say that I am?”***

*Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Michael to be another name for Jesus Christ in heaven, in his pre-human and post-resurrection existence.

**Luke 7:47-49

***Matthew 16:13-17

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