Bible Verse

Beg as loud as you can for good common sense. Proverbs 2:3

Friday, January 30, 2015

Top 10 Requests for My 63rd Birthday

Another year has come around and I find myself another year older.  The biggest question I have is: How did I get so old? Come to think of it, I already have the answer: The good Lord still has things for me to do.

And while I am grateful for the past, present and future, I do have a few requests at this point in my life.

1. I’d like my hair back, please. I used to have very thick hair.  I was prematurely grey, and as I greyed, my hair settled into a style and stayed there for years. Decades, even. It was the only thing on my body that would cooperate. Now that it’s much thinner, it doesn’t know what to do, and I certainly don’t know what to do with it.

2. I’d like to trade this turkey neck for a smooth chicken neck. I looked in the mirror some time back and said out loud, “Good Lord! Where did that wattle come from?” I try to remember not to shake my head too rapidly so it won’t flap and call attention to itself. I’m thinking of naming it Tom and trying to negotiate a cease-flapping timeframe. Like when I’m at church and out in public.

3. Better eyesight would be great. I used to be able to read street signs two blocks away. Now when we’re pulling the camper and looking for a particular road, David is saying, “Is that it? Is that it?” He’s afraid we’ll miss it and have to turn around, and you don’t turn a 32-foot 5th wheel around just anywhere. In the meantime, I’m squinting like crazy, desperately trying to make out any letter in the name to give me a clue.

4. I would appreciate enough strength in my hands to open packs of graham crackers without saying ugly things about wrapping made of plastic. I don’t understand this concept. Don’t the manufacturers want their customers to get to their products? Does it help when the customer is finally able to pull the wrapping off and the product scatters across the room?

5. Wouldn’t it be great to have the ability to immediately know what I went into a room for? Of course, the extra exercise of going back a few times when I remember it is good for me. I’ve been known to go after an item up to three times before I remembered precisely what I wanted. And then there’s the issue of knowing what I want but not knowing exactly where it is. And then there’s the issue of finding what I want but not remembering why I wanted it in the first place.

6. I would love to be able to telepathically tell the slow car in the left lane to move over! And to be able to tell other drivers to get out of my way or to tell the people blocking the aisle at Foodland to let me by. And to let other folks know to leave a good parking spot for me at Wal-Mart and Publix. And to tell certain women I see out in public to cover their bosoms and their rear ends, and to tell certain men to let their wives dress them for all of our sakes. Wow! The more I think about this request, the more I see why the good Lord didn’t give it to me.

7. A purse that doesn’t swallow things and then refuse to cough them up would be a great stress reliever. I have written before about my problems with purses here and here. For decades, I went with function over fashion before I caved and went over to fashion’s side (if you can call buying purses from Wal-Mart and Belk “fashion”). I may have to go back to function, though. My blood pressure goes up every time I dive into the depths. I sometimes forget what I’m looking for and/or why I need it (see Number 5 above).

8. I’d like a steady hand that doesn’t suddenly go spastic when I’m putting my signature on that goofy screen when I pay by credit card. Honestly, that doesn’t look a thing like my John Hancock. How can that possibly prove it’s really mine? Even I wouldn’t claim it because I probably couldn’t read it.

9. I fondly remember the ability to do two things at once.  Seeing as how I used to do about 5 things at the same time, I don’t think I’m overstepping by asking for two. This request also includes holding more than 2 things at once without one of them jumping out of my hands on its own. Get a grip takes on a whole new meaning.

10. And for my last request, I’d like the ability to recall a person’s name while they are standing in front of me and not two days later when I’m at the refrigerator trying to decide if the milk has gone bad. What makes it even worse is that it’s very evident that they know me and my family, because they know all of our names.

So that’s it for the first 63 years. I’ll let you know my new requests after I’ve lived the next 63.

Beg as Loud as you can for good common sense.
Proverbs 2:3

Saturday, January 24, 2015

After Acts

We all love a good mystery, don’t we? What happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen?

All of those questions and more are addressed in After Acts, Exploring the Lives and Legends of the Apostles by Dr. Bryan M. Litfin.

Over the years, I have heard many versions of the lives of these giants of the early church, but many stories were contradictory and some just didn’t make sense. 

It’s all very confusing to a layperson, but Dr. Litfin does a masterful job by researching and interpreting all the various writings through the centuries to come to some pretty solid conclusions.

I especially appreciated the “Report Card” at the end of each chapter, listing each tradition or story and then grading each one on its merits.  For example, in the chapter on Mark, the author gives an A to the tradition that Mark used Peter’s memories for the gospel that bears his name.  But the information that Mark was the first bishop of Alexandria earns a D for lack of solid evidence.

I enjoyed this journey through ancient manuscripts and each explanation of the stories and traditions they represent.  This book would be enjoyed by anyone wanting reliable evidence of what happened after Acts.

Moody Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dr. Who?

I was minding my own business, fast asleep in my bed in the Condo-Camper, when I woke up and realized it was hotter than Hades in there, and I was sweating to beat the band.

Now, before you pin all of that on my hormonal lifestyle, there’s something you ought to know:  I went to an endocrinologist who declared me free of any hormonal imbalance, vitamin deficiency or anything else abnormal.  In other words, I’m normal.  His words, not mine.  So I don’t know why I get hot, have mood swings, gain extremely unwanted weight and/or lose my hair.

As I lay there sweating, I remembered the above declaration by my fancy specialist doctor.  If I had had his home phone number, I would have called him to report an emergency hot flash and ask for an emergency hormone level.

Luckily, instead of dreaming of harassing my doctor, I remembered I have a small fan in my bedroom.  It’s just a cheap, plastic fan with two speeds, but boy howdy, it sure helps when I need it.

I switched it on.  Nothing happened.  In case you missed that:  NOTHING HAPPENED.
In my non-hormonal state of hot flashes, I now added mood swings.  In other words, my mood suddenly and violently swung to a very dark, sweaty place.

Because of our crazy sleep problems, David and I haven’t shared a bed in years.  We don’t want to wake the other while we’re prowling around, so we haven’t even shared a bedroom in years.  We individually try to get through the night as best we can. 

So David is sound asleep on the pull-out sofa in the living area of our 32-foot camper.  I’m “upstairs” (two steps) in the bedroom.  There are no walls between us.  The air conditioner is not on, so it is very quiet.  I don’t want to wake David and ruin a good night’s sleep for him, so I decide I’ll figure this out myself.

I started by turning the light on that’s just above my head.  The fan just sat there, staring at me, mocking my incompetence.  I stared back.  I was going to win this battle.  I mean, how hard can it be to get a fan to work properly?
Being married to a maintenance man for 44 years has taught me a few things. I know the first thing David would say would be, “Did you check the plug?”

Easy peasy, right?  Ha ha. 

I’m on one side of a queen sized bed that has been stuffed into the over-the-truck part of a 5th wheel camper.  There is a tiny bedside table on one side, which is not the side I sleep on.  But that’s where the wall receptacle is.  And I have a multi-plug thingy plugged in there, and then, plugged into that, I have 2 strips that have extremely important things plugged in, such as the boom box for my iPod, my phone, my Kindle, a small vacuum cleaner, and my computer.
Some of these plug thingies have little lights that are on when the thing is working.  As I continued my investigation, I noticed that those lights were not on.  The only way to get to that wall receptacle to check it out was to scoot along the wall in the tiny space between the bed and the wall, or crawl across the bed.

Ah, yes, the bed.  Since only one side is used for sleeping, the other side holds very important things, such as all that stuff listed above that is supposed to be charging, a tray holding essentials such as Kleenex, the TV remote and a few books, and tote bags with other important items like magazines and newspapers I need to read eventually. It’s pretty well covered and I would not be able to quietly unload it. Plus, I can’t kneel or crawl on my right knee because it is very painful since my knee replacement way back in December 2012.

So that left scooting between the bed and the wall.  Ah, yes, the bed and the wall.  You’d think it was wasted space because it’s so small, but we have found that it is one of the most convenient places to store things. Stuff like my computer case, which is as big as a piece of luggage, and the small vacuum cleaner. And a tote bag or two that has slipped off the bed.

Still sweating and muttering a few choice words, I pulled the computer case out which made the small vacuum cleaner noisily slide down the wall and onto the top of my head.  My choice words were getting a more choice.

By now, I’m sweating enough for an entire football team but I finally make my way to the receptacle.  The first thing I did was identify where the fan was plugged in.  Standing kind of sideways and bent over, I gently pulled one of the cords and managed to knock the fan over.

As I said before, this is a cheap, plastic fan.  As it clattered down to the tray, it sounded like marbles being thrown into an old washtub.  I froze and listened.  David was still asleep!

I pulled the multiplug out, looked at it, and put it back into the wall receptacle.  Nothing!  Why won’t that work?

Aha! I had a great idea.  I would plug the fan into the wall receptacle that I had just remembered was under my side of the bed.   I knew that one worked because I use it for my heating pad.

Again, trying to be quiet, I slowly unplugged the fan from the strip thingy, which yanked on the cord which noisily pulled the fan over on the tray.  This time it sounded like throwing tin cans down metal steps.

I froze again – David was still asleep!  I backed out of the spot between the bed and the wall and slowly made my way around the foot of the bed while untangling the cord from the rest of the mess.

When I finally got the plug to the outlet under the bed, I couldn’t see where to plug it in because it’s pitch dark down there.  Even with the heating pad plug to guide me, I still couldn’t get it plugged in.

I finally used the flashlight app on my phone.  I triumphantly plugged the fan in. Nothing happened.  In case you missed that:  NOTHING HAPPENED.  I couldn’t believe it!  I knew that plug worked.  I turned the heating pad on to prove it.  Except the light didn’t come on.  This plug wasn’t working either.

Why in the world would these outlets suddenly be out of commission?  As I started contemplating this profound question, I heard two beeps from somewhere followed by the air conditioner and all aforementioned lights turning on.

The power had been off.  But why were some lights working and some not?  I did not have the energy to think any more profound thoughts.  I plugged the fan into the outlet next to the heating pad, got back into bed and surprisingly went right back to sleep.

As I was telling this to David the next day, he started smiling early in the story.  It seems that some of the lights run on 120 amps while other things, like the air conditioner and some of the outlets, run on 150 amps.  He started to explain the difference, but I stopped him.  I don’t want that information.  You know what I want, don’t you, my favorite reader?  I want a certain doctor’s home phone number, just in case I experience a sudden loss of amps again.

Beg As Loud As You Can For Good Common Sense
Proverbs 2:3