Saturday, September 06, 2014

Recent Events

Desiring to be free of care&upkeep on the deck, we got a bid on a patio instead.  Even with Gary doing all the work to dismantle the deck, the bid was eye-popping.  So it's time to wash and seal the deck.  The weather has not been cooperating: too much rain.  Because we must utilize the days when there's no rain forecast, Gary finally consented to allow me to do some of the painting.  He is building the deck's fence on his own, though.

Because both our workplaces were closed for Labor Day, we took the opportunity to visit our parents.  Drove there one day, visited his dad, drove to my mom's, visited there, and returned the next day.

This week was also our chance to use free tickets to see a Cardinals/Brewers game.  I couldn't deny my Cardinal fan the chance to attend the game.  We only stayed for part of it, though.  I am pokey.  And Gary didn't want me getting run over as people exited at the end of the game.

Choir started again this week.

We've been trying to reestablish school routine for Maggie, including her return to Curves.  (I'm not ready for that yet.) 

Abundant rains have meant more lawn-mowing than usual.  Gary has not allowed me to help with that yet.

This weekend we are attending an "ends-in-zero" birthday party of a dear friend.  While in that part of town, we will finally (after 3 months!) get the chance to see Rachel and Matt's apartment.

Our plumbing/septic failed.  Plumber was here and could not fix the problem.  We can take water in, but it has to be carried out of the house.  No toilets.  The plumber said we wouldn't have to go to a hotel -- implying that any sane person would.  I hope this can be repaired Monday ... and not Friday or the following week or whatever.  When the repairs are done, that's when we get to clean up sewer-water and sanitize toys and floors and walls and bathtub and shower.  Ick.

And next week I extend my "mini-days" (4-hour shifts) at work to "shortened days" (that is, 7-hour shifts).

I was supposed to talk to the library's volunteer coordinator next week about setting up some opportunities for Maggie.  Lack of plumbing, though, puts volunteering-arrangements on the back burner.  Top priority is being available to the repairmen.

I haven't baked bread in a couple of weeks.
I have done no house-cleaning.
The garden is sorely neglected.
So much happened this week that I'm trying hard now to do nothing.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Idols Are Bad

There it was again today -- somebody saying that pretty churches and statues are bad.  "You shall make no graven images."  Interesting timing, based on what I heard in chapel this morning.

Our Bible story was Exodus 32, the Israelites worshiping the golden calf.  Pastor was asking the kids questions about idols and false gods.  He explained that an idol shows something about God that isn't true.  In this story, it wasn't a golden calf that brought the Israelites out of Egypt and saved them from Pharaoh's armies.

But that little explanation, just a smidge of what he was telling the children, summed up so much for me.  I remember when my friend, Pastor Wiest, was accused by someone of worshiping idols.  Because he wore a crucifix! The person told Pr Wiest, "You aren't supposed to worship idols."  He responded, "But this isn't an idol.  This is the true God."  (Now, I suppose the person could've responded, "That is NOT the true God."  But obviously Pastor Wiest did not think that little piece of metal, on a chain around his neck, really was, in itself, God.  It was a representation of what God in His gracious love did to save us; it showed something true about God.)

An idol shows something about God that isn't true.  That's why it's bad to use a cross necklace simply as a good-luck charm.  That would also be why icons are idols for those who believe those saints merited God's favor because of their superb level of good works, but icons are not idols for those who see them as pictures of God's mercy to sinners.

Also, it really confuses me why a certain group of Christians call a crucifix an "idol" but are perfectly okay with empty crosses.  Wouldn't a cross be a graven image just as much as a crucifix?  Maybe it boils down to their thinking the crucifix shows something about God that isn't true.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Truly the Son of God

When Jesus called the storm, rescuing the disciples whose boat was overwhelmed (Matt 14), they responded, "Truly You are the Son of God."

Not long afterward (Matt 16), when Jesus asked them about the rumors of who He was, Peter said, "You are the Son of the living God."  This wasn't something Peter said on His own.  It was something the Lord revealed to him, as well as something the others said in the boat on that stormy night.

And it was the same thing said by the centurion (Matt 27) on that stormy Friday afternoon.