4/30/14

Sugar

I have been toying with the idea of giving up white sugar and meat this summer.

I think I would feel better, and it would be a healthier way of eating.

I haven't 100 percent committed.  Plus I need to get a little buy in from the rest of the family to make it work.

But I think it would be a fun challenge to try and eliminate those two things from my diet and see what happens.

I'm going to do a little research, and look at recipes and see what I think.

The tough part will be smelling the neighbors bbq....because meat on the bbq is very delicious.

Now, I wouldn't give up honey, or stevia...natural forms of sugar.  Just the processed stuff.

Can I do it?.....only time will tell.

4/29/14

Stress

At this point in a show, I should really be more stressed, but I'm not.

We have one more dress rehearsal to go, and we are in really good shape.

Oh, a few technical things here and there to get ironed out.  A few props to finish.  But other than that, I think we are ready for opening night, which is Thursday.

Things are coming together.  They are falling into place.

Praying for our "Sally" who was not feeling well.

Praying for our "Lucy" who feels a sore throat coming on.

Praying the cast and crew are feeling good.

Helping my husband direct "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" has been a really awesome experience.  I can't wait for people to come and see it.  These kids have put in a lot of work, and it shows.

So, I will calmly go through the next two days, and be ready to go for Thursday evening's opening.

4/28/14

Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!

The following clip is one of my favorites, and was filmed right down the road in Wallace, Idaho in the movie "Dante's Peak".
 
 
 
 

I really like to drink coffee.

But it is because I really like the taste of coffee.

Yes, sometimes I enjoy the burst of energy I get from the caffeine, but I drink coffee because I really like how it tastes.

The darker the better.  I love dark roast coffee. 

My brand of choice is Starbucks.  I like buying the Starbucks beans and grinding them myself.

No, that actually isn't true.  I like Paul to grind the beans and make the coffee in the morning.  I don't know why, but sometime in the last year, I started making coffee that didn't taste as good as the coffee Paul made in the morning.  So I don't make the coffee anymore, I let Paul make the coffee.  It may be all in my head, but I swear his coffee tastes better when he grinds the beans and starts our Mr. Coffee than if I do it.

And I drink my coffee black.  Occasionally I will add some creamer, especially if we get some of those special ones around the holidays, but usually I am content drinking my coffee black and strong.

When I go to Starbucks, I don't just order drip coffee.  I try different kind of drinks.  On our trip to Seattle this last weekend, my coffee drink of choice was a Mocha.  And I like mochas with lots of coffee flavor, and a bitter chocolate taste as opposed to a sweet chocolate taste.  Starbucks makes the kind of mocha I like.  And I pass on the whipped cream.

But I occasionally get a latte, or a cappuccino, or, a Frappuccino.  Now a Frappuccino is YUMMY!

In Coeur d'Alene, another favorite coffee place is Java on Sherman.  Calypsos in CDA is also very good.

Kellogg has their own coffee roaster now, and I just bought some coffee from there to try out.  I'm looking forward to seeing what it tastes like.

When I am home, I am rather particular about what coffee mug I drink my coffee out of in the morning.  I have my favorites.  My I Love Mommy mug, the New York mug, the Starbucks 16 oz mug, and the white Starbucks mug with the green logo is also one of my favorites.  I usually try to find one of these choices in the morning to drink my morning cup from.

Coffee is a thing I really enjoy.

4/27/14

Seattle

Every once in a while, it is fun to visit the city.

This past weekend, I spent my time in Seattle, Washington.

Seattle was the first big city I ever visited, when I was 16 years old.

I loved it then, and I continue to love it now.

I helped chaperone a trip for the Kellogg High School band.  They went to compete in a band competition, which they played in on Friday night at Auburn High School in the Performing Arts Center.  Both the Concert Band, and the Jazz Band competed.

On Saturday we started our day out at the Woodland Park Zoo, which I haven't visited since my honeymoon in 1986.  I loved seeing all the different kinds of animals at the zoo.







Then it was off to Pike Place Market.  I could have spent hours there!!

 I have always wanted to purchase a bouquet of fresh flowers from the market.  Well, I did this trip, and brought them home to brighten up my living room.

We also got to visit with our cousin Nicole Peoples who lives in Seattle.  She came to see us after she got off work.  It was so great to see her!!



Then we visited the Seattle Aquarium.  I loved the octopus, the harbor seals, and the otters.



 
That evening we loaded on the Good Times II Argosy cruise boat and went to the Tillicum Village on Blake Island for a delicious Native American Salmon Dinner.  This is the award's ceremony and dinner for the band competition.

 Chris Cagle and Coco were the only two who were on our trip four years ago.

 Here are our Senior Band members, Curtis Briggs, Caroman Turner, Coco, Chris and Alex Galford. 
 The delicious Salmon being prepared.
Yummy dinner!!
 
 
Today we went to the Seattle Center, and spent some time at the Experience Music Project museum.  It was fascinating!!  I really enjoyed the whole thing.  They had to Sword Throne from "The Game of Thrones" show that you could sit in and get your photo taken.
 
Seattle is a city I would like to have the chance to linger in while visiting.  I told Paul we needed to plan a getaway this summer and go over and visit.  Then we can linger and take our time, and enjoy some of the things that The Emerald City has to offer.



4/26/14

Homeless

In my hometown of Kellogg, we do not deal with the homeless population in the same way as in an urban setting.  Our homeless usually find a couch to sleep on, or a camper to live in.

It is not that way in the city.  Here, people live on the streets, or in "tent cities" in and around a city, and are often much more visible.

I am in the city this weekend.  I am in Seattle, Washington helping chaperone my daughter Coco's high school band on a trip.  Today we went to the waterfront, and saw a few people asking for money.

It was in Seattle two years ago that my heart started going out to the homeless people.

I was in Seattle with some friends, and we were down by the waterfront.  We were on the pier where you get on and off the ferry to Bainbridge Island, and there happened to be quite a few people in this area who were asking for money.  One was a young lady not much older than my own daughters.  And I didn't do anything.  I think I made eye contact then walked right by with my friends.

Later that summer, Paul and I traveled to Washington D.C.  We saw a large amount of homeless people on the streets on this visit.  This was much different than when I had been in this city a few years before.

I had also been in New York City two years ago, and was also affected by the homeless population who we saw on the streets in the middle of February.

It was frustrating, because I wanted to help them all, but I can't.

I felt hopeless.

It was these encounters with homeless people that motivated me to organize a trip to New York City last July to celebrate my 50th birthday by helping serve people in New York City.

And this desire still burns within me.

In the Bible, Luke tells the story in Chapter 24 verse 32, about the disciples walking with Jesus after He had been resurrected, and they asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

That is what I feel like.  Scripture has been opened to me about helping the poor, loving my neighbor, and living my life just the way Jesus lived His life.  And for me, part of that is helping homeless people.

I want to go to a city and provide them comfort and joy, and eye contact, and a soft touch, and two ears to listen.  Right now, my desire is for this city to be New York City.

Last summer just gave me a taste of what servant living is all about.  And the desire to help these people is not going away.  In fact, being in Seattle this weekend has made this desire even stronger.

So now to take the next step.  How can I help others who have no home, lack food and/or shelter, and require ears to listen? 

Pray for the right timing.  Pray for guidance.  Pray for love and understanding.

Pray to be more like Jesus.

4/25/14

Sorority Living

This weekend the sorority I lived in at the University of Idaho is celebrating their 85th anniversary on the U of I campus.

I am not there.

I chose, instead, to accompany my youngest daughter on a trip to Seattle as part of her last band trip before she graduates from high school next month.

But all the Facebook posts from sorority sisters anticipating the reunion, and running into sorority sisters at Vandal Friday has recently got me thinking about my time living in the Delta Delta Delta sorority.

My sister was a member of this sorority, and I visited her one spring break and spent a few days there when I was in grade school.

When I decided to attend the University of Idaho, I followed in my sister's footsteps and went through sorority rush.  And I ended up in the Tri-Delt house.

I had a really great pledge class, and made some life long friends that I am missing seeing this weekend.  But I know our paths will cross in the future, and, for that I am very thankful.

Living in a house with 60 different girls with 60 different personalities can be a challenge.  Sorority life it certainly not for everyone.  And there were times when things happened, and I questioned my decision to stay in the house.

But, in the end, I am glad I stuck it out, and stayed all four years.  And I am glad I still keep in touch with many of my sorority sisters.  And even those I don't see that often, when you do run into one another, it is like you just pick up where you left off from when you saw them before.

Being a Tri-Delt helped shape me into who I am today.  The Tri-Delta motto is "Let Us Steadfastly Love On Another", and I don't think you truly understand the motto until you are older. 



One example of this was a year ago, when I met with three of my pledge sisters at a restaurant for dinner in Sun Valley, Idaho.  I was there for a conference, and had made plans to meet with two of my friends who lived in the area to have dinner.  That day, I ran into another pledge sister at the same conference , and asked her to come along and surprise the other two.  What a lovely time, and we all truly shared our love and friendship with one another.  Living together in the sorority gives us a connection that will always be there, no matter how many years pass between visits.

Happy 85th Anniversary Theta Tau Chapter of Delta Delta Delta.  I have never regretted becoming one of your members.



4/24/14

Broadway

One of my secret dreams growing up was being a Broadway Musical star.

I loved listening to the albums we had at home that were the soundtrack from Broadway musicals.

I would sing and dance upstairs in my home, and create my own productions in my head.

I enjoyed going to Spokane while growing up and seeing musicals on stage.

I also enjoyed watching movie musicals.

Two years ago, I finally made it to Broadway.  Well, at least watching a musical on Broadway, and walking down the actual street named Broadway.

Last summer, I returned and visited a few other Broadway stages.

And I have had the opportunity of performing Broadway musicals.

I have performed in "Oklahoma" on the Morrison Center Stage in Boise, Idaho, and performed "Godspell" and "I Do! I Do!" at the Sixth Street stage in Wallace, Idaho.

But the first musical I performed in that had been performed on Broadway was my senior year at Kellogg High School. It was "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown".  It was one of the biggest highlights of my senior year in high school.  I played Lucy, and I had a ball!!

Well, Charlie Brown has now come full circle.  Now I am in the midst of directing "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown" with my husband Paul who is the KHS Drama teacher.  And, instead of me playing the role of Lucy, my daughter Cosette is playing Lucy in her senior year at KHS.  (She is also wearing the same dress I wore when I was Lucy, back in 1981!)

There are actually two versions of this musical.  When I was in high school, there was only one version, and so we did the original one.

We decided to do the updated version.  The original had a character names Violet.  This version has Sally instead.  There are all of the original numbers in the updated one, but they also added some new songs as well.

It has been so wonderful seeing each person become their character.



Wyatt Sepa-Newell is Charlie Brown.  Wyatt was born to be on Broadway, and he just might do it.  I have worked with him for many years in the Sixth Street Theater, and have watched him grow up on the stage. 

Cosette Roberts is Lucy.  She is making her mama so proud.  She belts out her songs just like I did 33 years ago on that same stage.  I can't tell you what a joy it is to have her a part of this production, and a fun way to spend part of her senior year in high school working on this together.


Crystal Chambliss is Snoopy.  Crystal is such a hard worker, and has put a lot of effort in developing a fun Snoopy character.  And you get to see her tap dance, too!!


Ryan Klette is Schroeder.  Ryan had a great voice, and had really relaxed into the character of Schroeder.  He is doing a great job for his first time being on stage.


Heather Bermel is Sally.  She has the right amount of feistiness for this role, and has a great singing voice, too.  She has wanted to be in a musical for her senior year for that last two years, so I'm glad she was able to do this one.


Bruce Allred is Linus.  Bruce has learned a lot about performing on stage, and singing and projecting his voice, and has come such a long ways from when rehearsals began.  He is doing such a good job, and is having a really good time. 



 Tonight at rehearsal we had some Sunnyside Elementary students come and watch rehearsal, and were a great audience for your young performers.

I am so thankful to Paul for giving me the opportunity to help direct this production, and I am so thankful to have the privilege of working with this wonderful group of students.

If you have a chance, and are in the neighborhood, come watch them perform "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown" at 7 p.m. on May 1, 2, 5 and 6 on the KHS stage.  The cost is $5.00.

4/23/14

Fear of Failure

I wish I was motivated most of the time by kindness, or goodwill to others, or looking out for my fellow man.

But if I'm honest, one of my biggest motivators in my life is FEAR OF FAILURE.

Not the noblest of motivators, but, if I am honest, that is what keeps me going sometimes.

Yesterday I was in charge of organizing an assembly at Kellogg High School.

I didn't want to fail....I wanted it to be a good assembly...and the fear of failing helped me put in a good effort to get it organized.

And I think this fear often helps me determine choices I make in my life.  I weigh trying something on whether I will fail or not. 

It isn't that failure just devastates me.  I do feel like I learn from failing.

But I like accomplishing things, rather than failing at them. 

And I do like taking risks in certain things, but, again, I weigh the risk to determine how much it will make me look like a failure.

Is this just really weird?

I wonder.

4/22/14

Summer in California

The summer of 1984 was spent in California.

It was a very significant summer for many reasons.

I was 20 years old, and turned 21 while in California that summer.

I went to California to go on a Summer Project for Campus Crusade for Christ, a Christian group I was involved in at the University of Idaho.  Their International Headquarters at that time were located in Arrowhead Springs, California.  That is where I lived.

I also used this summer as an internship for college.  I worked in the Mass Media department, and worked in San Bernardino, California.  I helped write publicity fliers, and then ended up doing some Customer Service.  In fact, I ended up training the staff person who came to work in that position at the end of the summer.

There were 16 of us living at Arrowhead Springs that summer.  And we were from all over the United States.  My roommates were from Texas, Iowa and Virginia.  Chris, my roommate from Iowa, married one of the other guys on the project, and they are still happily married and living in Iowa. 

Laura, my roommate from Texas, still lives in Texas, and married the friend of one of the other guys on the project.  Sharon was from Virginia, and, as far as I know, she still lives in Virginia.  I have lost tough with Sharon over the years.

I still keep in touch with Laura and Chris through Facebook and Christmas cards. 

We had many adventures that summer.  We visited Disneyland, went to a Dodgers Baseball game and an Angels baseball game.  We spent some time at Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and a beach in San Diego.  We traveled to Arrowhead Lake.

But another thing that was big in the Los Angeles area in the summer of 1984 was the Summer Olympics.  Because some of the countries boycotted the Olympics that summer, there were tickets available to attend some of the events.  I attended a basketball game in the Forum, and saw Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing play.  (They were the only two names I recognized at the time).  But just being in Los Angeles during that time was a spectacle in itself.

A very significant thing happened that summer.  I was able to pray and meditate about Paul, and about how I felt about him.  Throughout the summer, I came to the conclusion that, if he asked, that he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.  Personally, I needed that time of searching that question while away from Paul and all of life's distractions to really listen to God's voice and hear what He was telling me regarding our relationship.

And it sure paid off, because my decision to marry Paul was the best decision I made in my life.

I learned a lot about myself that summer, and spent time with some incredible people.

But that summer in California will most be remembered as the summer I decided to say "I Do" to Paul, and commit myself to him for the rest of my life.

Now, Paul had already made this decision.  He told my best friend at the time, Carolyn, in April of 1984 that he was going to ask me to marry him, and he wanted her help.  This was the evening of the annual U of I talent show, and I was one of the contestants.  It was when I was up on stage that he told Carolyn of his plans.  And I was so proud of Carolyn, because keeping secrets was not easy for her.  But she kept the secret all the way until December of 1984 when Paul asked me to marry him.

The one thing I learned through all of this is, when it comes to making that decision to marry someone, make sure you are making the right decision.  If there is any apprehension, please wait.  Think it over.  You have time.  You never have to jump into marriage.  Make sure you are listening, and that you are at peace with your decision.

I am often in awe that God shared Paul with me.  I am thankful each and every day. 

I know I made the right decision to marry Paul.

It is one decision I have never regretted.

4/21/14

NYC

I have really been missing New York City.



But not for the reasons most people want to return.

I miss New York City because of the different ways we helped people.

I miss the Manhattan Citadel Salvation Army in Harlem.  Each time I see Lt. Steve's Facebook or Twitter post about something happening there, I long to return. 

When I see Captain Antonio tweet a Bible verse, I remember he and his beautiful family, and singing with him and Brother Oliver on the street, sharing Hope with the passers by.



Last month when there was the gas explosion in Harlem, the Manhattan Citadel was one of the places that stepped up and helped those people, providing them with food and shelter and comfort.  Oh, how I longed to be there, working alongside them during that time.


When I see posts on Facebook and Twitter about City Harvest, I remember our time in the pouring rain, gathering thousands of pounds of fresh produce to help feed the people in New York City.



I remember the afternoon spent at the NYC Common Pantry, filling bags full of food for those in need, to help them make it through another week.

And I remember sitting with people clicking through the food choices on the Ipad, and being able to communicate with the Hispanic population, since the choices were displayed both in English and Spanish.

I miss sitting in the park across from the Jackie Robinson Projects to watch the children play during Kid's Club, and I got to visit with one of the mothers for an hour or so, and I heard the story of her life growing up in Harlem.

Times Square was electrifying.  Broadway was unbelievable.  Madison Avenue was another world.  Central Park was beautiful.

But the places in NYC that touched my heart the most were the times we were reaching out, and helping others, talking with other, listening to others, and hearing their stories.  Sharing our faith with others.

If I could, I would spend my whole summer, sleeping on the floor of a Salvation Army building and spending my time serving others.

This would be my ultimate summer vacation.






4/20/14

Sleeping

Sleeping is a welcome thing in our house.

I am fortunate that I sleep well at night.

Maybe it rubs off from the other inhabitants I am surrounded by here.



 
It is nice to live in such a relaxed environment. 
 
We have all got a "Peaceful, easy feelin'".
 
 
 

4/19/14

Sin

Sin is not the most popular topic in the world.

But I thought it was an appropriate topic to talk about today.

The day between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.

This is the day between "My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me" and "He is Risen".

Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection is all about sin.

Sin is what keeps us from having a right relationship with God, the Creator of all things.

Before Jesus died, animals were sacrificed for people's sins, and this helped restore the relationship with God.

Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice.  He was the final sacrifice.  He was perfect, without sin, and Jesus took on all the sins of the world, so that we might have that right relationship with God once again.

Yesterday, I wrote about Tony Campolo.  Another message I have heard him share two different times, is about what was going on when Jesus was being crucified on the cross.  He died for our sins.  But those sins were not just the sins that had already happened.  They were the sins that were going to happen. 

Campolo explained it much better than I am about to, but what happens every time we sin....every time we take our choice over what God wants us to do....Jesus feels that on the cross.  He feels the pain of our sin...and did while He was hanging on the cross. 

That message has stayed with me since the first time I heard it, almost 20 years ago.

I never thought of it that way before, that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, but He experienced those sins, even though they were in the future.....but that is my future, not God's.

Tomorrow we celebrate what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross.

Today, I meditate on the fact that my sins were a part of the burden that Jesus was experiencing when He was hanging on the cross.

4/18/14

Tony Campolo

Tony Campolo is one of my favorite Christian authors and speakers.

I have had the pleasure of hearing him speak two different times.  One was sometime around 1996 or so when he was at a conference in Boise, Idaho.

The second time was last November when Paul and I traveled to Denver and attended the "Simply Jesus" gathering.

Campolo started the "Red Letter Christians", a movement that focuses on living our lives the way Jesus says in the red letters of the Bible.

One of the famous sermons that Tony Campolo is well known for is called "It's Friday but Sunday's Coming."  If you want to listen to the whole sermon, you can listen to it here.

This message is Tony’s trademark. He endeavors to show how surrendering to Christ enables individuals to have their personal, spiritual and psychological needs met. It goes on to point out that being yielded to Christ is to be part of a movement to change the world into the world that ought to be. This sermon picks up on the personal and social dimensions of the gospel.

This sermon is quite timely for today.  Here is a part of it toward the end.

Remember, “It’s only Friday… but Sunday is coming!”
“It’s Friday… Jesus was nailed dead on a cross.
 
                                                                        But it’s only Friday; Sunday is coming!
 
It’s Friday… Mary’s crying her eyes out ‘cause her Jesus is dead.
 
                                                                        But it’s only Friday; Sunday is coming!
 
It’s Friday… The disciples are running around like sheep without a shepherd.
 
                                                                        But it’s only Friday; Sunday is coming!
 
It’s Friday… Pilate’s strutting around washing his hands ‘cause he thinks he’s got all the power and victory.
                                                                        But it’s only Friday; Sunday is coming!
 
It’s Friday… People are saying “as things have been so they shall be – you can’t change anything in this world.”        
                                                                        But it’s only Friday; Sunday is coming!
 
It’s Friday… Satan’s doing a jig saying, “I control the whole world.”
 
                                                                        But it’s only Friday; Sunday is coming!
 
It’s Friday… The temple veil ripped from top to bottom -the earth shook- the rocks split and tombs opened. The centurion screamed in fear, “Truly, He is the Son of God!” 
                                                                        But it’s only Friday; Sunday is coming!
 
It’s Sunday- “The angel, like dazzling lightening, rolled the stone away exclaiming, “He is not here! He is risen!    
               
It’s Sunday! It’s Sunday! It is Sunday!”                - Dr. Anthony Campolo

4/17/14

Faithful

I did not want to go to church tonight.

It had been a long day, lots going on emotionally and physically at work, and I was tired.

Mom graciously made us dinner tonight. 

Tonight is Maundy Thursday.  If you wonder what Maundy is, it is a name for the ceremony of washing feet that Jesus did to His disciples in the Upper Room, the night of the Last Supper.

Sometimes going to church when you feel tired and exhausted is often the best time to be in church.

I think I understood things a little better tonight.

As I listened to the story of Jesus' last days on this earth, and meditated on their meaning, I was touched. 

I was touched thinking about those who are faithful.  Of Bob, sitting two pews behind me.  Bob had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, and there he was, flushed from his treatment, dealing with a nagging cough, but he was there at our Maundy Thursday service.

Lee, who finds it hard to stand, but is in our choir, singing the soprano part that she has sang for over 50 years.

I think we are blessed by being faithful.  Blessed sometimes in ways we don't realize.  Tonight I was blessed by being in the presence of those attending the service.

Tonight I was blessed by listening the verses in the book of Luke sharing the story of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, of Peter betraying Jesus, and his last moments with His disciples in the Upper Room, and they all boldly declared that they would never betray Him. 

I'm glad we have people in our church who are faithful.

They remind me of a song Steve Green used to sing, called "Find Us Faithful".  Here are the lyrics:

We're pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who've gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

CHORUS:
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find

REPEAT CHORUS

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

4/16/14

Bad at Math

I have always told people I am bad at Math.

I'm not sure that was ever really the case.  I think in school I was impatient with Math.  I think I didn't want to take the time to be precise enough to make sure my work was done correctly.

Interestingly enough, I have been in a variety of Math conversations recently.

I was asked to find out some information on my Algebra I teacher from junior high, so I have been getting emails back from people saying what a wonderful math teacher she was, and how much they learned.

Unfortunately, that was not my experience.  And believe me, it had nothing to do with her ability as a teacher.  It was definitely my inability as a student.

You know what I remember most about Algebra I class?  (And this may be part of the problem of me not "getting" Algebra.)  My most vivid memory is of one of my male classmates having maggots in his lip to warm them up, then making a race track on the back of a spiral notebook, and putting the maggots on the "race track" and racing the maggots.  Then I think flicking the maggots at other students was also happening as well.

You are probably think, my gosh, what kind of red neck, hick junior high did you attend?

Granted, this probably only happened once or twice, but it is what I remember from class.

Tonight I was in a conversation with a Math teacher, and we started talking about "getting" Math, how you do eventually come to understand what is going on, if you keep doing the process.

In church on Sunday, I was talking to a student who is a freshman in college, and she had taken Pre-Calculus last year during her senior year.  She said she struggled with the class a bit, and didn't quite "get it" while in the class.  But now, in college, she is taking a Calculus class, and she said it is almost just like her class from last year, and she now "gets it", and is doing quite well in the class.

I think I didn't want to take the time to "get it".  I was too impatient.  Reading and writing, it came easy to me.  Math didn't.  I was slow at learning my times tables.  I was not careful carrying numbers, so I would make mistakes. 

The last Math class I ever took was Algebra II/Geometry II my senior year in high school.  I don't think I needed to take this class to graduate, but was told it would probably be good to take it to get ready for college.  Actually, I always enjoyed taking Geometry better than Algebra.  And I think I did okay in this class.  But I never had to take another Math class after my senior year in high school.  The course of study I took at the University of Idaho required you to take 9 credits of Math or Science.  You could take 9 credits of Science, and that fulfilled my requirement.  So I took 4 credits of Biology, 3 credits of Geology, and 2 credits of Mushroom Identification.  No Math.  (Yes, I got a degree in college by taking a class that taught me how to identify mushrooms!!)

I think Math got a bad rap in my life.  If I would have been a bit more methodical, paid a bit more attention, and practiced more, Math probably would have been fine.

But it wasn't, and I blame it all on the maggots!!!

4/15/14

Freedom

I have been reading a book called "The Invention of Wings" by Sue Monk Kidd.



It based on the story of Sarah Grimke, and woman who was the daughter of a plantation owner in South Carolina, who grew up abhorring slavery and eventually speaking out against it, and being a proponent of women's rights.

I have read many books about slavery.  They are never easy to read.  But they do make me realize I take freedom for granted.

I am free to do many things.  I have freedom.  I live in a country that is home of the free.  We have a Bill of Rights.  We have a constitution.  We have been given freedom.

Intellectually I know that slavery was a big part of our country in the early years, spiritually is saddens me.  It saddens me to think that there was a time when people in this country treated others the way they did.  And thought of them as property.  As only part of a person.

As part of the book I'm reading, Grimke knew at a fairly early age that slavery was wrong, and was very conflicted about it her whole life.

It made me wonder how others (and I know there were others) who also thought slavery was wrong year owned slaves, dealt with the problem.

Grimke also spoke out for women's rights.  This is another area where I feel like many women before me paved the way, and that I am allowed many of the privileges I have as a women because of the women who came before me.

But often I didn't realize how much had changed during my early lifetime.

Such as girls playing sports in school.  When I was in junior high and high school, girls could play basketball, volleyball and run track.  But Title IX just came into being in 1972.  Title IX was part of the Educational Amendments of 1972, and it states, in part, that:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

When my sister was in high school, the had GAA, Girls Athletic Association.  It was not organized team sports.  They did run track, but that was it.  She graduated in 1973.

By the time I was in 7th grade at Kellogg Junior High School, in the fall of 1975, there was basketball, volleyball and track available for girls to participate in at KJHS.  And I didn't realize it at the time, but this was due on large part to my high school P.E. teacher, Mary Jean Hinkemeyer, who had a large part in bringing about Title IX in the state of Idaho, and especially to Kellogg High School.  I didn't realize this until she was a guest speaker on an Idaho Public Television program over 15 years ago, that interviewed her about the part she played in advancing Title IX in this area.

I look at my daughters, and the freedoms they have.  Because of the women who have gone before her, by daughters had the choices to run cross country, play volleyball, soccer, basketball, track, softball and golf at Kellogg High School. 

They can vote, which, again, hasn't always been the case for women in this country.

Recently my oldest daughter attended an event where Lily Ledbetter spoke.  Ledbetter is who the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 is named after.  This is a federal statute in the United States that was the first bill signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 29, 2009. The Act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The new act states that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new paycheck affected by that discriminatory action. The law directly addressed Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.,a U.S. Supreme Court decision that the statute of limitations for presenting an equal-pay lawsuit begins on the date that the employer makes the initial discriminatory wage decision, not at the date of the most recent paycheck.

When she was sharing with me about listening to this woman speak, she was amazed at the inequality that still exists with paying men and women different amounts of money for the same job.

Things are better.....but there is still lots of work to be done.  And, fortunately, many of them are happening.

But we do need to be grateful for the freedoms we have, and not take them for granted.

4/14/14

Easter

I knew I had Easter as one of my topics, and figured I would be writing about Easter next Sunday.

But Easter came alive to me tonight, so I want to share about my experience.

Tonight Paul, Molly, Mom and I attended the Passover Seder dinner at Silver Valley Worship Center, one of our local churches.  It takes you through the traditional Jewish Passover Meal, but also ties in a lot what the different things mean in relation to Jesus as well.



Each table had a designated "Father" who served the meal.  The "Mother" at the table was the one who lit the candles at the beginning.

The Seder is a ritual performed by a community or by multiple generations of a family, involving a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. This story is in the Book of Exodus (Shemot) in the Hebrew Bible. The Seder itself is based on the Biblical verse commanding Jews to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt: "You shall tell your child on that day, saying, 'It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'" (Exodus 13:8)

Traditionally, families and friends gather in the evening to read the text of the Haggadah, an ancient work derived from the Mishnah.   The Haggadah contains the narrative of the Israelite exodus from Egypt, special blessings and rituals, commentaries from the Talmud, and special Passover songs.
Seder customs include telling the story, discussing the story, drinking four cups of wine, eating matza, partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder Plate, and reclining in celebration of freedom.  The Seder is performed in much the same way by Jews all over the world.

The meal took about three hours to go through, with all the traditions and rituals involved in the evening.  But they were not empty traditions or rituals.  Each food we ate, each time we drank from the cup, each time we washed our hands,,,,it all had a meaning.

And the meaning always pointed to Jesus Christ.  Jesus was the ultimate sacrificial lamb.  Jesus' blood was shed to take away our sins.  It continued through everything we did tonight, showing how Jesus is a part of this Exodus story that the Jewish people tell every year to remember the story of the Exodus from Eqypt.

There was singing.  There were blessings.  There was the blowing of the Shofar. 

There was delicious food.

A time to meditate on the true meaning of Easter, and how Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.

As a Christian, it helped me understand the Jewish heritage of my faith even more.

As a Christian, it made this week even more meaningful.....this holiest of weeks leading up to the celebration of Christ's resurrection, which we will do on Sunday.

There is so much more that touched me tonight, but it is more than I can write at one setting.

Thank you to the people who provided this special meal tonight, and the many Christian brothers and sister who came and ate this meal with us all.

See you in Jerusalem again!!

4/13/14

Palm Sunday

Today at church we celebrated Palm Sunday, the beginning of what Christians celebrate as Holy Week.

On Palm Sunday, we wave palm branches, and sing "Hosanna to the King of Kings", just like they did over 2000 years ago in Jerusalem when Jesus rode through town on the back of a donkey.

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]
“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

But then things changed.  This morning in church, Pastor Dave talked about how the crowd was praising Jesus one day, and saying "Hosanna to the Son of David!"

But a few days later, the crowd mentality has changed, and then they are yelling, "Crucify Him!!"

This is a few chapters later, in Matthew 27:

20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”
26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.


One of the original examples of mob mentality.  Following the crowd. 

One day, they all loved Jesus.

A few days later, the crowd was swayed....and Jesus became a worse criminal than Barabbas, who was a notoriously bad criminal at the time. 

I know I try not to do that, to get caught up in mob mentality.  But sometimes it is hard.  Sometimes people start talking, and you just get caught up, and usually it is in a negative way.

One example that comes to mind is being with a group of people who may not particularly like someone, and the more negatively you talk about that person, the worse and worse you begin to feel about them.  Not a great things to do, because often the things you hear from others may not be true anyway.  And kind of takes away from the "Love your neighbor", thing, too.

When you work around teenagers all day, like I do, a phrase you often here is, "There is so much DRAMA!!"

Drama is kind of a mob mentality thing.  The more people talk about a certain situation, and the more they get others involved and spread the news, the more DRAMATIC it becomes.  If have heard many students say they are ready to graduate from high school, so they can leave the drama.

What we say is important.  How we say things is important.  We need to think for ourselves, not just follow the crowd.  If there is an important cause you believe in, and you are passionate about it, by all means, stick up for your beliefs and speak out.

But don't just follow the crowd or say things, because everyone else is doing it.

Make sure you say what you do, and believe what you do, and say and do it because it is what your heart says it right.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a lot to say about doing what is right.  Here is one quote of his I like:


Never be afraid to do what is right....we all want to have healthy souls.

4/12/14

Comfort and Joy

Today I spent the day being surrounded with comfort and joy.

The comfort and joy I am referring to are my three friends, Tina, Brenda and April.

We all gathered at Tina's house with the hopes of eating some lunch and then going for a walk to enjoy some sunshine.

Instead, our afternoon turned into a wonderful day of talking and visiting about a variety of topics.  We did eat, but by the time we thought about going out for a walk, the sun had disappeared behind some rather stormy looking clouds.

We arrived at Tina's house at about 11:30 a.m.

We departed Tina's house at about 7:30 p.m.

For eight hours I was surrounded by comfort.  Comfort from lifelong friends.

Tina and I have been friends since we were four years old.  Her mother babysat me the year I attended kindergarten.  We have been friends for about 47 years.

Brenda and I were in school for the first time in kindergarten.  We attended school together off and on through grade school to high school. 

April and I met when April was in third grade, and she started attending Sunnyside Elementary.  We were the very best of friends for many years, and in the past few years have rekindled our lifelong friendship.

I am so grateful for the chance to spend a whole day talking to people who have known me almost my entire life, and who I trust, and who are comfortable to be around.  There is nothing we can do that would jeopardize these friendships. We have seen each other through many different times in our lives, and have accepted it all.  We are a comfort to each other.

And the joy comes from talking about our lives.  We shared about people in our past, raising kids, the trials of parenthood, and looked at old photographs that brought back a flood of memories.

An old high school yearbook created more laughter and memories, and reminded us of classmates from the past.

We all agreed that the last twenty years have gone by way too fast. 

I cherish these times with lifelong friends.  What a blessing to sit for hours and hours, visiting and talking, and sharing comfort and joy with one another.

April and I got some fortune cookies when we stopped and grabbed dinner at Panda Express before heading back to Kellogg.  My fortune was very appropriate for what happened today: