John McCain chooses Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Go here if you would like to watch her interviewed on drilling in Alaska before being picked.
I have not been as excited about an election since 1994. I will just tell you that this Presidential Race had me nervous, yawning and praying. I was nervous that people would actually elect a man who can make a good speech because we need change. Change...what change??? I don't think things in this country are as bad as main stream media would have us believe. Yes, gas is $4.00 a gallon, the housing market doesn't look good (even though lenders allowed people to buy big houses that they never should have been approved to buy in the first place), the stock market is down, and groceries have skyrocketed. But, unemployment is still low, interest rates are low, and we haven't had an attack on our country since 9/11 and frankly every family I know has a cell phone and probably more than one, multiple televisions and a car to fill up with that $4.00 gas. Thomas Sowell says, "Not only has the economic slowdown failed to reach the definition of a recession, the most recent data show the U.S. economy growing at a rate exceeding 3 percent-- a rate that many European economies would die for, despite our being constantly urged to imitate hose countries whose end results are not as good as ours." Go read it here.
I was yawning because John McCain is a boring candidate and I don't think Barack Obama has a clue about what change even means much less running this country. It was just plain boring. I am tired of the Clintons so I just couldn't get very interested in that race. I have really been praying because I truly believe that God is ultimately in control but we are told in 1Tim. 2:1,2 "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." I have been reading the old testament and let me tell you (if you haven't read it lately maybe you should) our God does not like it when we turn our back on Him. I would really like to continue to live my life in "quiet and peace". I have been critical of President Bush because he seem to forget how to veto a spending bill but our country has not been attack since 9/11. He has done some things right. We have two new conservative strict constructionist Supreme Court Justices. Regardless of what the Media says we are winning the war in Iraq. Millions of people in Iraq especially the Kurds are tickled to death literally that Sadam Hussein is no long in Power. Yes, there were mistakes made along the way but nobody gets it right every time. So overall I think the country is in pretty good condition. At least politicians are discussing ways to solve our energy problems.
My brother James and his wife Shari sent me this recently and I saved it. This seemed like the time to pull it out. God have mercy on us, not that we deserve it.
How Long Do We Have? About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:
"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government." "A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury." ">From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship." "The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years" "During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence: 1. from bondage to spiritual faith;
2. from spiritual faith to great courage;
3. from courage to liberty;
4. from liberty to abundance;
5. from abundance to complacency;
6. from complacency to apathy;
7. from apathy to dependence;
8. from dependence back into bondage"
Barack Obama wants the government to take care of every problem you might ever have. I don't know who he thinks is going to pay for all those programs that he wants to put into place. My son in law says he is going to vote for Obama because he will make his pick up payment and his son and our grandson said, "Do you think he will do my homework?"
I just visited with James's wife Shari and she tells me that they are home after a long day. The Dr. inserted a tube into his liver to drain it. The tumor is blocking the bile duct. They took a biopsy of the tumor and she said the Dr. seem to agree with the other Drs. just looking with the eye. They will have the report back in 3 or 4 days and they will go back for the report. Shari says the tube has drained about 1/2 cup since it was inserted and they told them it would be about 2 weeks to actually drain it. I hope I am getting this correct. James is in pain and nauseated. He has not eaten much since Sunday. Broth...Jello and has thrown most of that up. They did send him home with pain medication. Please continue to pray. Thank you so much.
I know that many of you are watching this blog to see about an update on James' surgery. They tried again today to do the scope and again were not able to finish with a stint. They sent them home and are they are to wait for a call tomorrow to set up another susrgery going through his side to try and reach the liver duct. The Dr. did say when asked about timing the liver is functioning at some level. I will try to update as I receive information. Thank you for all the emails and prayers. Please continue to pray for wisdom for the Doctors.
I recently visited my oldest brother James on my vacation in Utah. James took just about every step we took and he and his family tried to show us ALL OF UTAH in 5 days. He was having some problems with itching (he had shucked sweet corn for our dinner the first night) and we thought it was an alergic reaction. His color has been bad for some time but he has had some difficult health problems for almost 50 years. The week after we came home James was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma, Klatskin tumors. It is a cancer of the bile duct. You can click HERE to read more about it. (Scroll to the bottom where it talks about Klatskin tumors). They tried to do a scope yesterday to put a stint into his liver to drain the bile but were unsuccessful. He is going to a different hospital tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1:00 and they will try again. PLEASE PRAY THAT THIS PROCEDURE WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. This is a very serious condition ...life threating... Please pray for The Peace of God to be on James and his family and wisdom for the Doctors.
Shelly and I had a wonderful trip to Utah We had a great time and they were great hosts. James, Shari and Shaila met us at the airport and we kept the highway hot for 5 days. It was a wonderful trip. Shelly, Shaila and I stayed at Shaila and her family's "cabin" about 30 minutes from James and Shari's home in Lehi. James's son Dirk and his wife Ellen and children live two doors down from James and the first night we had a cook out in their back yard. The best steak I have ever put into my mouth (sorry Greg). Dirk and Ellen have 4 children and they were such a delight. On Tuesday they took us to Thanksgiving Point which is a 52 acre flower garden. It was just beautiful. We rented a golf cart and toured the grounds. This is just a few of the beautiful flowers.
On Wednesday we rode the train into Salt Lake and visited Temple Square. It was very interesting and we learned a little more about the Morman Faith.
You can go to my Picasa Web Album if you would like to see more pictures. Look under Utah Folder. Please add my brother and his family to your prayer list. Thank you so much!
I haven't been "Back to school shopping" in many years. I took my cute 16 year old grandaughter Kellyn shopping while I was in Belton helping out Lana's Family. Oldest grandaughter Jana Lea went with us and we bought some really cute outfits. Kellyn is modeling one of her outfits in this picture.
School shopping always brings back memories of shopping with my two daughters when they were in elementary school. We were in Lubbock at the Mall and had found some really cute little dresses --that's what I remember but since I never saw them again they might have been tacky. I had a few bags of things and stopped at a pay phone (for those of you who don't remember before the days of cell phones we had to actually find a pay phone on the wall somewhere to call home and say we would be late) I made my call and met the rest of the family at the fountain to regroup to continue shopping when I realized I had left my bags at the pay phone in the Mall hallway. I immediately went back and they were gone. I could have just cried...and my girls may have. That was back in the day when money was really tight so I doubt I was able to do much more shopping. Shopping has never been the same. Some little girls got some cute outfits for school that year...they just weren't my dughters.
I had fun girls so maybe we can do this again next year. Kellyn you are such a delight to shop with. You knew what you wanted and you made it fun. Thanks for taking your old gran to help you. You are both so special to me and I love you.
While I was gone on vacation my oldest daughter Lana fell and broke her Patella (her knee cap). Lana was moving her 19 year old daughter and our gran daughter Kelsey to College Station where she will attend Texas A&M University. Kelsey needed help (at least her grandmother thought she did).
I left Munday about 3:30 on Thursday and drove to College Station to help Kelsey get settled into her new apartment and of course we did a little shopping. That's what Grandmothers do. I had a good visit with Kelsey, a tour of the campus (lost most of the time), did some laundry and made a trip to Target as well as working at her apartment. Kelsey is excited about being there but I think she is a little overwhelmed. She was homeschooled for 12 years and she spent one year at Temple Community College. She has worked at The Roadhouse Restaurant in Temple for a few months and has transferred to the College Station Restaurant. She starts classes next week and work as well. Good luck Kelsey, Poppy and I are very proud of you. We will be there in about 3 years when you get that ring!! So keep your nose in the books. We love you.
I recently wrote about the death of Tony Snow....this is his testimony:
This is an outstanding testimony from Tony Snow, President Bush's Press Secretary, and his fight with cancer. Commentator and broadcaster Tony Snow announced that he had colon cancer in 2005. Following surgery and chemo-therapy, Snow joined the Bush Administration in April 2006 as press secretary. Unfortunately, on March 23, 2007, Snow, 51, a husband and father of three, announced the cancer had recurred, with tumors found in his abdomen,- leading to surgery in April, followed by more chemotherapy. Snow went back to work in the White House Briefing Room on May 30, but has resigned since, "for economic reasons," and to pursue " other interests."
"Blessings arrive in unexpected packages, - in my case, cancer. Those of us with potentially fatal diseases - and there are millions in America today - find ourselves in the odd position of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God's will. Although it would be the height of presumption to declare with confidence "What It All Means," Scripture provides powerful hints and consolations.
The first is that we shouldn't spend too much time trying to answer the "why" questions: Why me? Why must people suffer? Why can't someone else get sick? We can't answer such things, and the questions themselves often are designed more to express our anguish than to solicit an answer.
I don't know why I have cancer, and I don't much care. It is what it is, a plain and indisputable fact. Yet even while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning truths begin to take shape. Our maladies define a central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out.
But despite this, - or because of it, - God offers the possibility of salvation and grace. We don't know how the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet our Creator face-to-face.
Second, we need to get past the anxiety. The mere thought of dying can send adrenaline flooding through your system. A dizzy, unfocused panic seizes you. Your heart thumps; your head swims. You think of nothingness and swoon. You fear partings; you worry about the impact on family and friends. You fidget and get nowhere.
To regain footing, remember that we were born not into death, but into life,- and that the journey continues after we have finished our days on this earth. We accept this on faith, but that faith is nourished by a conviction that stirs even within many non believing hearts - an intuition that the gift of life, once given, cannot be taken away. Those who have been stricken enjoy the special privilege of being able to fight with their might, main, and faith to live fully, richly, exuberantly - no matter how their days may be numbered.
Third, we can open our eyes and hearts. God relishes surprise. We want lives of simple, predictable ease,- smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see, - but God likes to go off-road. He provokes us with twists and turns. He places us in predicaments that seem to defy our endurance; and comprehension - and yet don't. By His love and grace, we persevere. The challenges that make our hearts leap and stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith and grant measures of wisdom and joy we would not experience otherwise.
'You Have Been Called'. Picture yourself in a hospital bed. The fog of anesthesia has begun to wear away. A doctor stands at your feet, a loved one holds your hand at the side. "It's cancer," the healer announces.
The natural reaction is to turn to God and ask him to serve as a cosmic Santa. "Dear God, make it all go away. Make everything simpler." But another voice whispers: "You have been called." Your quandary has drawn you closer to God, closer to those you love, closer to the issues that matter,- and has dragged into insignificance the banal concerns that occupy our "normal time."
There's another kind of response, although usually short-lived an inexplicable shudder of excitement, as if a clarifying moment of calamity has swept away everything trivial and tiny, and placed before us the challenge of important questions.
The moment you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, things change. You discover that Christianity is not something doughy, passive, pious, and soft. Faith may be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But it also draws you into a world shorn of fearful caution. The life of belief teems with thrills, boldness, danger, shocks, reversals, triumphs, and epiphanies. Think of Paul, traipsing through the known world and contemplating trips to what must have seemed the antipodes ( Spain ), shaking the dust from his sandals, worrying not about the morrow, but only about the moment.
There's nothing wilder than a life of humble virtue, - for it is through selflessness and service that God wrings from our bodies and spirits the most we ever could give, the most we ever could offer, and the most we ever could do.
Finally, we can let love change everything. When Jesus was faced with the prospect of crucifixion, he grieved not for himself, but for us. He cried for Jerusalem before entering the holy city. From the Cross, he took on the cumulative burden of human sin and weakness, and begged for forgiveness on our behalf.
We get repeated chances to learn that life is not about us, that we acquire purpose and satisfaction by sharing in God's love for others. Sickness gets us part way there. It reminds us of our limitations and dependence. But it also gives us a chance to serve the healthy. A minister friend of mine observes that people suffering grave afflictions often acquire the faith of two people, while loved ones accept the burden of two peoples' worries and fears.
'Learning How to Live'. Most of us have watched friends as they drifted toward God's arms, not with resignation, but with peace and hope. In so doing, they have taught us not how to die, but how to live. They have emulated Christ by transmitting the power and authority of love.
I sat by my best friend's bedside a few years ago as a wasting cancer took him away. He kept at his table a worn Bible and a 1928 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. A shattering grief disabled his family, many of his old friends, and at least one priest. Here was an humble and very good guy, someone who apologized when he winced with pain because he thought it made his guest uncomfortable. He retained his equanimity and good humor literally until his last conscious moment. "I'm going to try to beat [this cancer]," he told me several months before he died. "But if I don't, I'll see you on the other side."
His gift was to remind everyone around him that even though God doesn't promise us tomorrow, he does promise us eternity, - filled with life and love we cannot comprehend, - and that one can in the throes of sickness point the rest of us toward timeless truths that will help us weather future storms.
Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don't matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?
When our faith flags, he throws reminders in our way. Think of the prayer warriors in our midst. They change things, and those of us who have been on the receiving end of their petitions and intercessions know it. It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow you just know: Others have chosen, when talking to the Author of all creation, to lift us up, - to speak of us! This is love of a very special order. But so is the ability to sit back and appreciate the wonder of every created thing. The mere thought of death somehow makes every blessing vivid, every happiness more luminous and intense . We may not know how our contest with sickness will end, but we have felt the ineluctable touch of God.
What is man that Thou art mindful of him? We don't know much, but we know this: No matter where we are, no matter what we do, no matter how bleak or frightening our prospects, each and every one of us who believe, each and every day, lies in the same safe and impregnable place, in the hollow of God's hand." T. Snow
Yet another 50th Class Reunion. This was in Olton, Texas and it was good to see a lot of old friends...and I mean OLD.
Beverly, the girl in the middle was one of my best friends...The other Torchie Cure Curry is a 3rd cousin to friends here in Munday. Small world.
My bestest friend Latrell who was my room mate in Plainview when we both worked for the telephone company. She didn't last long because she thought she just had to marry that handsome Jack Hysinger. Latrell and I were in each other's weddings so we have lots of memories. The picture is with her brother Wally who I dated some in High School.
We had a really good time visiting with old friends. Two of my favorites are the son and daughter of my mentors who were in our church growing up. Essie and Tommy Sluder whose Mother played piano and whose Dad taught me in Sunday School for several years. They were the real deal. Two of the best examples of a Christian Life that I have ever known. They taught me by their lives what a Christian looks like. We had a chance to visit with their children who are following in their parents footsteps. The other girls are Donice Silcott a girl I started to school with and my "older" sister Mary Lu who actually graduated from Olton.
I have been on vacation for a few days but I am home and so happy to be back in my own bed. It was a wonderful trip and I will post more in the next day or so maybe when I get my laundry finished. So until that time....this is good for a laugh.
GAMES FOR WHEN WE ARE OLDER Ponderisms I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes. Garden Rule: When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement. Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to? In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal. How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire? Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes out?' Who was the first person to say, 'See that chicken there? I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta its butt.' If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him? Why does your OB-GYN leave the room when you get undressed if he's going to look up there anyway?
SIGNS OF MENOPAUSE : 1. You sell your home heating system at a yard sale. 2. You have to write post-it notes with your kids' names on them. 3. You change your underwear after a sneeze. OLD IS WHEN: 1. Going bra-less pulls all the wrinkles out of your face. 2. You don't care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don't have to go a long. 3. Getting a little action means you don't need fiber today. 4. Getting lucky means you find your car in the parking lot. 5. An all-nighter means not getting up to pee! Thoughts for the weekend: Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply press 'Ctr- Alt- Delete' and start all over? If raising children was going to be easy, it never would have started with something called 'labor!' Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever. But Most Of All, Remember! A Good Friend Is Like A Good Bra: Hard to Find, Supportive, Comfortable, And Always Close To Your Heart!