2018 September 25 Thursday

2018 September 25 Thursday in Grimes and Urbandale Iowa

63° cloudy with a rain shower around five this morning. Not enough to truly test my new roof patch though.

Before breakfast we drove around Cutty’s Campground looking for a spot for this evening’s Hobo Dinner.* Having found a suitable site, I went to the office to register. (Normally this done at the fee booth. However we are “after the season” hours and the fee booth doesn’t open until 11:00) The office manager was alone in the office and didn’t know how to check me into a site. So, I got in her computer and registered it and left the payment. Then Ella and I went back to the site and set up a shelter and attached the site card to it. So it is legally occupied.

We drove through McDonald’s and ordered breakfast.

Then it was to the laundromat in Grimes. Normally we use the laundry at Cutty’s house. But today we needed larger washers for the bedding

After eating our breakfast and getting the laundry started, I went to Ace Hardware for some s hooks to attach the spring to the fifth wheel receiver.*

From the laundromat to the Grimes senior center was just a few blocks. We arrived about 10:45 which gave Joyce, Angie, Ella and I time to play a game and three quarters of Fast Track before lunch was served.

At the end of lunch, while some were still eating, I gave a little talk about how Ella and I use our smart phones. We use it for, phone, calculate, calendar (shared), lists such as groceries and medications, emails, texting, video chats, document scanning, Bible and books, TV and movies, alarm clock, stop watch, checking pulse rate, navigation, altimeter, latitude and longitude, health records, bookkeeping, document writing, and a little about some apps that I’ve found useful. And then I showed them how voice commands work by asking it to navigate to the nearest Pizza Hut. And how to ask where the bathroom is in Chinese.
I answered a few questions and showed a few people how to deal up some things on their phones.

Returning home, we took the remainder of the laundry to the clubhouse washers and dryers.

While Ella minded the washing, I loaded firewood into the truck and took some chairs up to the campsite for the Hobo Dinner.

People started arriving about 5:15. Fortunately I had already started the campfire.

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It was a beautiful night (though a little chilly).

And the sunset was worth waiting for

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G’nite y’all!

Visit my daily devotions blog https://musingsdevotions.wordpres mys.com/

/And my sermons blog http://thomasewilliams.blogspot.com/?m=1l
All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

*See September 24th post

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SOME PARABLES MAKE MY BRAIN HURT

MUSINGS – September 25 2018

SOME PARABLES MAKE MY BRAIN HURT

Mark 2:21-22
No one patches an old coat with a new piece of cloth that will shrink. Otherwise, the new patch will shrink and rip away some of the old cloth, and the tear will become worse. People don’t pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the wine will make the skins burst, and both the wine and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine is to be poured into fresh skins.”

This section of scripture has always been a mystery to me. It falls between stories of Jesus defending his disciples because of their unorthodox actions (not fasting and working on the Sabbath). Yet I’ve never seen how this section “fits” in the narrative.

It is a parable or an allegory designed to teach me something. But for years I have not understood what the teaching means.

In the natural or physically world it makes sense that you wouldn’t patch a thread bare piece of clothing with a new cloth that had not been preshrunk. And putting new wine (not finished fermenting and still off gassing) into an old wine skin that had already been stretched to it’s limits is asking for trouble.

But what is the spiritual application? And how does it relate to the scriptures around it?

In my quest for understanding, I’ve searched the writings of Luther, Wesley, Calvin, and others to no avail. It appears none of these great minds chose to untangle these verses for me.

So, prayerfully asking for the Spirit’s guidence, I once again consider what these verses are to mean to me on the spiritual level. Boiled down to their essences, they say that you can’t add new to old. “Can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” But that can’t be right! Because that is exactly what jesus’s ministry was about, bringing a new understanding of what it means to follow God. Maybe this wasn’t as much of a defense of his disciples as it was a condemnation if the Pharisees. That they could not receive this new thought. Maybe just maybe that is why Jesus chose followers who weren’t scholars of the law. Their understanding had not already been set in stone.

Lord, let me be made new each day that my cloth and wineskin may accept your new teachings, your new Spirit without tearing or bursting. Amen.

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And my sermons blog http://thomasewilliams.blogspot.com/?m=1

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

2018 September 24 Monday

2018 September 24 Monday in Grimes, Clive, Urbandale, and Des Moines Iowa

57° start and 79° high for the day.

Facebook this morning had a post from a young friend asking for prayer. She had multiple health and emotional situations that she had been dealing with. She is going in for an echocardiogram and is fearful of the results and what it may mean.

It occurs to me that we all have that thing in our life that we fear. It may be physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, relational, social, or some other “…al”. However, when that fear comes to the forefront of our lives it seems so huge that it overshadows and colors all our thoughts and actions.

It is a trick of perspective that a mountain in the distance appears small whereas a pebble, when viewed close up, appears gigantic. The evil one uses this trick to move that tiny thing that we fear closer in hopes that we will move our faith into the far distance.

However, we must keep our thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable.* Remember that the Creator and Sustainer of the universe is far greater than all our fears.

We were unable to get together with friends for coffee this morning because we had dentist appointments. Both of us have new fillings now.

Lunch was at a Chinese buffet which made Ella moan in pleasure at finding her favorite foods.

The last storm let us know the we had a leak … right over our bed.

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I also loaded the fifth wheel receiver hitch back into the truck. Every year that I grow older that thing gets heavier. One of these years I won’t be able to do this by myself anymore.

By the way, I KNOW that it is upside down. I have to replace a spring that keeps the Jaws tight on the fifth wheel. So it is upsidedown until the spring is replaced.

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It’s been a busy day.

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G’nite y’all!

Visit my daily devotions blog https://musingsdevotions.wordpres mys.com/

/And my sermons blog http://thomasewilliams.blogspot.com/?m=1l
All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

*Philippians 4:8

TO FAST OR NOT TO FAST

MUSINGS – September 24 2018
TO FAST OR NOT TO FAST

Mark 2:18-20
“John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came to Jesus and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisees’ disciples fast, but your disciples don’t?” Jesus replied, “Can wedding guests fast while the groom is still with them? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them. Then they will fast.”

Only one Jewish holiday has the command to fast, Yom Kippur. But there were many days that were, by custom, considered fasting days. Fasting was only during the daylight hours and not on Fridays or Sabbaths.

These fasting days were to commentate some historical event in the lives of the Jewish people. Usually these were negative events such as sieges, the destruction of the 10 Commandments, et cetera. Fasting would not be done on a holiday it day of celebration, such as a wedding.

Every day in presence of the Messiah would be a day of celebration and therefore no fasting.

During the period of Lent many modern Christians do a symbol fast by “giving up” something for Lent. Along with temporarily depriving yourself you are to focus on becoming more in tune with our I in line with God’s will.

Because Christ the bridegroom is not with us, personal, private fasting can be practice as an act of contrition.

Have you ever practiced fasting as a way to strengthen your bound with God?

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And my sermons blog http://thomasewilliams.blogspot.com/?m=1

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

2018 September 23 Sunday

2018 September 23 Sunday in Grimes and Des Moines Iowa

50° and hazy start that reached a cloudless 76°.

Getting ready to move sure is messy.

Cutty’s Cafe was open again this morning so we once again had breakfast there. I ordered two breakfast burritos. When they came, I gave one to Ella and took a big bite out of the other one. Olps! I hadn’t told them not to put onions on mine. Ella gave her unopened burrito to Sue and I gave Ella my bitten burrito. I then ordered another without onions. I’ve had a scratchy sore throat all day.

From the cafe we went into Des Moines and church.

Here is a link to pastor Denny Coon’s sermon. https://youtu.be/0HBR6I8pbCg

After church we stopped at once Long John Silvers for fish, hushpuppies, cheese curds, coleslaw, and broccoli. When you add in the soft drinks, I think we’ve had our fill of fats, salts, and sugars the rest of the week.

Once we were home and changed into work clothes, I put the awning away. It makes the patio look kinda bare. It had been up since mid May.

After the awning was away, I went through the yard picking up sticks and leaves that have fallen from the trees. It all went into the outdoor fireplace. It’ll make good kindling someday.

After the yard was done, I worked on straightening up and cleaning the patio.

Our men’s group has a Hobo Dinner* every Fall. This year (this Tuesday) I will be hosting them at Cutty’s. When I set this up I’d forgotten that next weekend is the annual Spooktaculer weekend (think Halloween one month early). Spooktaculer it’s a BIG DEAL at Cutty’s. People come to camp and decorate their RVs, campsites, and themselves. The kids, in costumes, go from site to site collecting candies. That means, however, that the Hobo Dinner probably will not be at the spot where we’ve had the dinner in the past. I have to wait until Tuesday to reserve a spot. If I can’t get a good one, I’ll have them at our season site.

*Hobo Dinner is when we get a large pot (think witches cauldron) full of stew meat over a camp fire. Each man brings a can of vegetables and dumps it into the pot. Once everything is heated through we dip out the stew into the empty cans and that’s why we eat from. We also bring drinks (it’s a church group remember) chips and treats to share.

Late afternoon or early evening we invited the Stones over to play Fast Track on the patio. We played until it got too dark. My patio lights aren’t very bright.

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Ella captured the moonrise.

G’nite y’all!

Visit my daily devotions blog https://musingsdevotions.wordpres mys.com/

/And my sermons blog http://thomasewilliams.blogspot.com/?m=1l
All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

2018 June 11 Monday

2018 June 11 Monday in Grimes Iowa

65° and a gentle rain that started last evening and continued into late morning. It cleared enough for the temp to reach 80 humid degrees. Then the cloud cover came back. Intermittent rain and 74° at 9.

This is a work day for me. So I couldn’t join

I tried to get a photo of the rain on the glass door behind me, but it doesn’t show up well.

Ella wrote:

This has been a rough day for me. As a preacher’s daughter annual conference has always been a rather emotional time for me. It was the time when we learned if we are moving or not.
Those days are over but this year our pastor and good friend here in Iowa is retiring, so today was the day to say goodbye.

Since we’re considering spending more time in Texas it also means we may be leaving what had been our home church for almost 25 years.

Two of our pastors in Texas are leaving us this year also. One is retiring and the associate will be leaving us for a church of her own.

For all three pastors it is a good move and starting a new chapter in their lives. We wish them well as they move on.

Our church here in Iowa is rather in limbo at the moment the pastor that we are slated to get, is in Korea and hasn’t received his Visa yet. They are preparing for a new parsonage family but we don’t know when.

Here are photos from pastor Lee’s going away service at Union Park UMC.

In Texas, everything should be going a lot smoother and they’re planning for our new pastor’s first Sunday on July 1.

Yesterday our worship service at Cutty’s campground was small. Only four people including Ella and I. It is discouraging when so few arrive.

There is a new rule this year that prohibits putting signs out in the campground to advertise our services. I’m sure that the lack of signs has made an impact. However, people inviting people had always been the best advertising in the past anyway.

Six years ago, I felt led to begin these worship services. Now I’m beginning to wonder if maybe that time is over.

We have been discussing limiting our time here in the summer, instead of spending five months, making it a few weeks at a time throughout the year. Perhaps the dwindling attendance at the worship is another indication that it is time for a change.

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All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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