Friday, September 28, 2007

Down in the Dumps

Things are not good right now. There is this sense of hurtling toward something unseen. I've felt very down for a couple of days. There has been some family stress from several sides. I keep trying to back off and let it just move on without me but it simply follows me.

I went and joined the YMCA last night. My plan is to start working out again 3 days a week. That's the plan. I may go tomorrow and Monday and Tuesday since I am off until Wednesday. That might be good. I might feel better getting some exercise.

I think the problem is that I didn't have my pain meds for two days. I've been having more pain since yesterday and last night I was really depressed. Tonight I just feel tired.

Let's face it. I don't really know what the problem is and I'm just grasping. I'm going to get a hot bath, get some comfortable clothes on and I may just go to bed.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Fireworks On The Ohio

Originally uploaded by Dixiegirl2007
This is just one of my 4th of July Fireworks photos taken on the river front. We had a wonderful time.

It was Sarah's first celebration of our Independance. I hope someday she will be celebrating the same event with her children, if not on the Ohio, then somewhere nice.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Honor Where Honor is Due

I have a dear friend who contacted me Saturday night to say that he has a medical problem and is retiring from his teaching position and moving back to his home state. I am truly devastated.

He was my writing teacher and he became one of my dearest friends. I met him in 1990 when Daddy died and I went to take an Anthropology test I had missed. It was my second year of college. He stood out in the hallway and evesdropped on my conversation because I was talking about writing. He was waiting to get something for his wife, who also took the Anthro class. He stepped brazenly into the room and told me to take his 400 level editorial writing class. I wasn't even a junior and didn't have any of the prerequisits. Yet, he followed me out of the building and dared me to take it anyway. I did and it changed me forever.

He isn't a Christian. I don't actually know if he is even a believer. He's never said so outright but my impression has always been he'd like to think there is nothing to faith or religion. But maybe he was really wanting to find a reason to believe. I don't really know. The few times I discussed religion or faith with him, he would want to debate the issue. This, as you all know from this blog, is not a debatable subject for me. So dealing with questions whose answers are entirely based on my faith was not something I wanted because ultimately it would come between our friendship. I had always felt that God had put this person in my path but there were many times I didn't have a clue as to why. He wasn't going to listen to me on the subject of faith.

So, I avoided that discussion. Only occassionally did some topic of religion come up and we would briefly discuss it but nothing in depth. He knows what I am. He told me the last time we had lunch, "I can't figure you out. How can a woman as intelligent as you be such a fanatic?" I think I just smiled. My opinion is that they are not mutually exclusive. You can be intelligent and believe in a loving Saviour and creator of the world.

He is a hard person to like. Gaining his friendship is one of the hardest things I've ever done. He would hate and deny this but when I first met him he had all these preconceived ideas of "religious nuts". I was immediately a "fanatic". He would make comments in class and watch for my reaction. Only once did he ever offend me and when I told him, he apologized. Since then, I've spent the better part of 17 years trying to shatter every one of those preconceptions. The friendship that has grown has been a blessing to me because it has taught me about me. I've learned to look beyond the surface. I found honesty, integrity, and sincerity in someone I'd not normally spend more than a few minutes on.

I know a little about his personal life here. He set these barriers and boundaries with his students that only a few could breach. I was priviledged to have scaled the wall. On occassion, there would be this glimpse of a funny, relaxed man who wanted to be liked. He hid behind the tough as nails newspaper man. Since I graduated nearly 10 years ago, we've met for lunch off and on and I would listen to what was going on with the students, his latest writing project, what was in his head. I don't think I actually did a lot of talking. It doesn't seem like it. Sometimes he would joke about religion in an attempt to bait me. I didn't usually bite and he would know to move to another subject.

And oh, what a teacher! I loved his writing classes. That funny outgoing man held sway in the classroom and most of his students adored him. Yet, he is a person who will tell you if your work is good or if it stinks. There will be no sugar coated words or sparing of your feelings. Just the Facts, m'am. And that is why he has a hard time with faith. It requires accepting as fact what one can't see.

It is because of him I truly began to write again, to believe that I could write. He told me I could. He told me I was the best writer to ever grace his classes. And because of his words, his honesty, an open wound that I had not realized was there was healed. He couldn't have known then about the emotional damage to a young girl by another thoughtless, stupid teacher many years ago that sent the young writer into hiding. My friend is a Teacher.

Now he is leaving. I realized, when I heard the words, that I would ultimately be friendless here in this city and because we come from opposite ends of the country, I will probably never see him again. It is so painful, that even now I cringe from the reality. Oh, I have "friends" and I love my church family but there is a place that this friend has carved in my heart that will be empty when he leaves. There are conversations and ideas that no one else will understand.

Saturday night I told him that God places people in our paths that we will need in our futures. I said it regarding someone who has helped him during this time but I meant it about me, too. God put this wonderful, stubborn person in my path because of what I needed. I hope I have impacted his life as much as he has mine. I have said many prayers for him - to find peace, to find God, to find faith. I don't know if he ever will. I will just keep praying.

I will miss you, my friend. I won't forget you because I have carved you in the palms of my hands. (Isa. 49:15)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Grandmother's Brag Blog

Well, a year has come and gone. Sarah Cheyenne was 1 year old on September 2, 2007. She is the sweetest little thing and such a joy to be around. I know all grandmothers say such things but other people tell us the same thing so I don't feel I am exaggerating.

She is so smart she scares me a bit. I've never seen a baby her age do some of the things she can do. Neither of the boys were as smart as she seems to be, nor as attentive to details. She will watch you do something until she figures it out. In a few hours she learned to turn on a toy she got for her birthday. She has to push down on the head to make it go.

She apparently hides her pacifiers all over the house and no one can find them. Her mother will tell her to go get it and Sarah will come back with one in her hand. She puts them in cabinets, drawers, shoes, and boxes. It is nightmare to try and locate them. So we don't anymore. If Sarah can't find one she comes back in the room and raise her hands in a gesture that says, "I don't know."

Today, the cordless phone was on the floor and Becca said, "Sarah, go get the phone and give it to mommie." Sarah got down off the couch and walked across the room and got the phone and brought it back to her mother. She's 12 months old!

I'd be interested in anyone else who has seen children this young follow such detailed instructions. It has me stunned.

Her mother reads to her but sometimes Sarah takes books and sits down and turns the pages and makes talking sounds! (I have heard of this. My grandmother and aunt said I did that as a toddler.)

I'm a bit depressed as well. Not sure why. My birthday is next month. . . 51. Joy, joy, joy. Officially over the hill. I feel very old and useless tonight. I am homesick again but not so much for home as for some relief from the city congestion and the frustrations of a ridged schedule of work, clean, sleep. My life had become a circle of drudgery. I hate having to be somewhere at a certain time to do the same things every day, seeing the same faces, hearing the same whinning voices. I am missing the travel and excitement of moving to new places to make a new start in new surroundings and finding new interest.

I'm going to bed now because I have work tomorrow. I have bragged and whinned enough. Maybe tomorrow I can do some real writing. I have sort of let this blog falter and I want to get back into it. I like the My Yahoo 360 page with all my friends but lately it has become a burden. I think everything has for some reason.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Poetic Justice from the Throne Room

There are times when I am listening to the Sunday School lesson that a verse jumps out at me or something the teacher says connects to something I have read in my Bible. The following resulted from a single verse heard in the adult Bible class on a Sunday morning. My revelation had absolutely nothing to do with the lesson that morning.

To understand you have to read Lev. 27:1-34, which I have copied below for your convenience. Basically, the verses relate how the priest were to establish the value of a person, animal, or possession in order to redeem them.

1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 

2. Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a 
singular vow, the persons shall be for the Lord by thy estimation. 

3. And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. 

4. And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels. 

5. And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels. 

6. And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. 

7. And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels. 

8. But if he be poorer than thy estimation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall value him; according to his ability that vowed shall the priest value him. 

9. And if it be a beast, whereof men bring an offering unto the Lord, all that any man giveth of such unto the Lord shall be holy. 

10. He shall not alter it, nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good: and if he shall at all change beast for beast, then it and the exchange thereof shall be holy. 

11. And if it be any unclean beast, of which they do not offer a sacrifice unto the Lord, then he shall present the beast before the priest: 

12. And the priest shall value it, whether it be good or bad: as thou valuest it, who art the priest, so shall it be. 

13. But if he will at all redeem it, then he shall add a fifth part thereof unto thy estimation. 

14. And when a man shall sanctify his house to be holy unto the Lord, then the priest shall estimate it, whether it be good or bad: as the priest shall estimate it, so shall it stand. 

15. And if he that sanctified it will redeem his house, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be his. 

16. And if a man shall sanctify unto the Lord some part of a field of his possession, then thy estimation shall be according to the seed thereof: an homer of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver. 

17. If he sanctify his field from the year of jubilee, according to thy estimation it shall stand. 

18. But if he sanctify his field after the jubilee, then the priest shall reckon unto him the money according to the years that remain, even unto the year of the jubilee, and it shall be abated from thy estimation. 

19. And if he that sanctified the field will in any wise redeem it, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be assured to him. 

20. And if he will not redeem the field, or if he have sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed any more. 

21. But the field, when it goeth out in the jubilee, shall be holy unto the Lord, as a field devoted; the possession thereof shall be the priest's. 

22. And if a man sanctify unto the Lord a field which he hath bought, which is not of the fields of his possession; 

23. Then the priest shall reckon unto him the worth of thy estimation, even unto the year of the jubilee: and he shall give thine estimation in that day, as a holy thing unto the Lord. 

24. In the year of the jubilee the field shall return unto him of whom it was bought, even to him to whom the possession of the land did belong. 

25. And all thy estimations shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs shall be the shekel. 

26. Only the firstling of the beasts, which should be the Lord's firstling, no man shall sanctify it; whether it be ox, or sheep: it is the Lord's. 

27. And if it be of an unclean beast, then he shall redeem it according to thine estimation, and shall add a fifth part of it thereto: or if it be not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to thy estimation. 

28. Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the Lord of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the Lord. 

29. None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death. 

30. And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord. 

31. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. 

32. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. 

33. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed. 

34. These are the commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.

One must remember that the Bible is filled with connections which at first glance do not appear related at all. For example, it is interesting to note here that the price paid to Judas for betrayal was the redemption price of a woman between the ages of 20 and 60. This is symbolically an insult to Jesus. The high priest would not even pay the price of a man.

My revelation came at verse 28: Anything set apart by the Lord was considered Holy. A person specially set aside by God to be destroyed CAN'T be redeemed --> They MUST be put to death. Jesus was set apart by God to be destroyed. According to Levitical Law he was Holy and could not be redeemed. He had to bear the sins of the world; nothing could change his destiny.

But here is an irony. Judas went to the priest and HE set a value for Jesus life. By doing this a betrayer symbolically stepped into the office of the priest. What is even more shocking is that the Priest actually PAID the redemption price set by Judas and by doing so, they symbolically redeemed Jesus! Something the Law said they could not do! They became, again symbolically, the redeemers of the Savior and transgressors of the Law of Moses.

Poetic Justice from the Throne.