Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday's Fave Five, 9/23/16

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

1. Just got back from Myrtle Beach and the biannual convention for the Association of Christian Schools from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.  We got to hear Al Mohler and John Rosemond as two of the keynote speakers - both were great, and that is #1 for the Fave Five.

2. I saw a lot of old friends and acquaintances.  This lovely lady did her student teaching with me back in 1987.  It was a privilege to have a long talk with her this morning.  The pic isn't that great but it is worth it to post it.  :-)
 3. We stayed at the Sheraton that is attached to the Convention Center.  The convenience was wonderful, and the Sheraton has the nicest beds and pillows I've slept on for a long, long time.

4. Last Saturday I went to the Carolina football game with these lovely ladies.  We had a great time and we won the game also!

5. I got home about an hour ago from the convention, and sometimes getting home is the best part of any event!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday's Fave Five, 9/16/16

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

1. After running a fever and having a mild cold, and also Mike being sick with a cold for several days, we're both back on our feet, and he happened to be off when he was sick.  That's always nice--hard to be sick when you've got to work.

2. A feeling of success in the classroom this week.  I have a very enthusiastic group of sophomores - they love learning.  That's a delight to begin with.  This week we finished the literature of the ancient Greeks - the Odyssey, Antigone, etc. - and they were disappointed!!  But they know the Romans and Julius Caesar are next, and they can't wait until we finish the grammar unit, get through the teachers' convention next week, and then come back to read that lit.  They've already got plans to have a lunch after finishing that unit - they want to order Little Caesar's Pizza and eat Caesar salad!  It's really a challenge, a good one, to teach a group like that.

And my junior class is covering Objectionable Elements in Literature.  I love to see a group think seriously, and hopefully get something useful for life, from a discussion like that.

The seniors are doing Great Expectations, and appear to be enjoying it.  They're following closely and staying with me as we make progress each day.  And my eighth and ninth grades--both bright groups, both hard-working groups, and have been great to teach so far.

Sometimes I think it's time to hang it up - and then weeks like this make me think, Stay at it!!

3. Gratitude for a hard-working husband.  He works so hard at his job and has been a great provider.  But when he's off and I'm working, I come home to hear things like "The sheets are back on the bed - I washed them today" and "I went to the dump today, so the smelly trash is gone."  I appreciate him so much.

4. The computer crash that wasn't.  My school computer died yesterday in the middle of the day.  (Fortunately, I had just backed it up last week.)  I thought it was gone.  The computer guy figured out it was only the battery.  Easily fixed!

5. And finally - this.  We went to get something to eat at our favorite place yesterday, where the manager is our neighbor.  At the end of our meal, the server told us that the pumpkin cake was really good - but we resisted. And then - our friend and neighbor, the manager --  brought us a piece on the house.  So what do you do?!! This is not our piece, but is a picture of the actual cake, pulled off the website of queencitypastry.com, which is the bakery where the restaurant purchased it from.  Oh, it was so good.  Just what I didn't need, but worth it!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Just Some Thoughts On Pneumonia

I've had pneumonia three times. Though the symptoms below represent my personal experience, I'm fairly certain that they are reasonably typical of most pneumonia patients. The middle time of those three, about four years ago, was the least serious of the three, and the diagnosis was almost identical to Hillary Clinton's: a small spot in one lung.

And even with only a small spot in one lung, I was sick.  Very sick.  Fever.  Strong and painful deep cough.  Hard to breathe.  Very weak.  My doctor, who usually is very lenient about things, was unequivocal:  Bed rest for five days (that time - the next episode it was for a week).  And after all that it was still several weeks before I was really back to myself.

The point is:  She doesn't act like someone with pneumonia.  A pneumonia patient diagnosed just two days before wouldn't have been able to even attend that 9/11 memorial.  She wouldn't have been able to walk out from her daughter's apartment, waving and smiling; and out of regard for the possibilities of contagion, even if remote, she certainly wouldn't have hugged that small child.  She would still be in bed, weak and unable to campaign.

I'm not convinced that pneumonia was the cause of her collapse last Sunday morning.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday's Fave Five, 9/9/16

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

1. Excellent appointment at a pain management specialist today.  I've had lower back pain for over 15 years - not debilitating but still there.  This summer I had two episodes that indicated it has gone to a new level.  It took six weeks to get in to see this doctor, and since the pain has somewhat subsided, I almost canceled the appointment, but decided to go anyway.  It was well worth it.  This doctor really knows what he is talking about.  He explained a lot of things to me that I really hadn't understood; he told me about something I can get at Walgreens for a very reasonable price that should help; he is changing my anti-inflammatory to another one that may be better; and he is going to do an in-office procedure in three weeks to see if it will help for up to a year.  It was one of those appointments where you walk out and feel like you've seen some light at the end of a tunnel.

2. Last Sunday we went to the church where our son and his wife are helping with the music and teens.  It's about a little over an hour away, and is a great little church.  Andrew and I did our "Be Still My Soul" number for the service.  His in-laws were there also,  my parents came too, and we all went to a little restaurant nearby for lunch after church.  The food was good and so was the generosity of the person who paid.  :-)

3. Labor Day and a four-day work week!!  Always a pleasure.

4. Tonight, since I feel kind of flu-ish (not sure if it's from catching Mike's cold or from taking a flu shot yesterday) Mike went over to a little sandwich shop near here and brought back supper.  Sometimes, when you don't feel real great, it doesn't get much better than a sandwich and fries from a styrofoam box at your own kitchen counter.

5. Finally - this was last Saturday.  My dove hunters.  I love this picture.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Chance in the World

A teacher friend of mine who now teaches in public elementary school (and coincidentally worked with my new daughter-in-law last year) recommended this book, A Chance in the World, by Steve Pemberton.  The subtitle says: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home.  She said I wouldn't be able to put it down.  She was right.  I picked it up about 5:30 last Friday night, and put it down, finally, several hours later.

A young boy named Steve Klakowicz (notice that that name is different from the name of the author, though they are the same person.  And it's not because he was adopted.) has a first memory of being taken from his home, along with a young girl, and then to a large building, where the girl disappeared.  (We find out later who she is.) He is then taken to a couple of other places, one of which he was kept in as a foster child-slave for the next dozen or so years.  There is no need to say much more about that, except to say they were terrible years.  His wits and God's grace and protection got him out.  The reader finds this section to be very painful reading.

Eventually Steve does find out more about his family.  The story is a great example of the long-lasting effects of throwing off God-given restraints in moral behavior; of generational sin; of the confusion and despair that plague the many children in foster care; of the terrible behavior of mankind to other people.  The book, however, is also a great example of how one generation can change things around.  Though this book is not written from an overtly Christian viewpoint, Steve Pemberton appears to have found Christ and has embraced the change that only He can bring.  His own children are headed for a far different destiny in their family life than he had.

I highly recommend this book.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Romans & My Sin

Over the last few months I have been thinking about sin and the depths of it in my life and all of human nature.

It is so easy for me, having been reared in a Christian home and being a "good" girl my entire life, to rest on the laurels of that "goodness" and not really consider the depths of sin actually present in my life.  Any "goodness" in my life, or anyone else's life, is only the Holy Spirit holding back the effects of sin.  It is not due to any inherent righteousness within me.

Paul makes that so clear in Romans.  After narrowing to his thesis in chapter 1, verse 17, he lets us know that vile sin separates us from God.

In chapter 2, he then makes it clear that no one is exempt, not even those whose sins may not be so "vile."

In the third chapter he lets the Jews know that they are not exempt either unless they are walking by faith in Jesus Christ.

In the fourth chapter, he lets us know that Abraham was not justified by being the father of Israel, but only by his faith.

The only way I can truly understand the huge sacrifice that Christ made for me is by first seeing the depths of my human depravity and the totality of my inability to come to him.  And then I can start to see just how much His gift did to rescue me.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday's Fave Five, 8/12/16

LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

--Tuesday, the last day of summer vacation, I was out shopping and went near our local Kohl's store.  Since two students had given me a gift card for Kohl's last spring, and since I did need a couple of new tops to start the school year, it seemed like the right time to stop in there.  Well - they have a wonderful clearance rack.  I found NINE pieces (for all seasons, not all to wear now), and after using the money on the gift card, which was not a particularly huge amount, the final tally was $63.00.  What made it even nicer was, when after the clerk gave me the total, she then looked around to see if anyone was close by, and then whispered, "Get out your iPhone and go to Kohls.com - there's a 15% off coupon on there you can use."  Now that is a great sales clerk.

--My daughter, who knows I love birds, gave me this lovely cup to take to school this year!


--Not sure how I found out about this - I think just by googling "The Hawaiians," but I found the address of someone who sells these long-out-of-production CDs by this couple whose music I really loved during early college days.  The gentleman took Paypal, so after ordering, in three days this CD was in my hand.  It really brought back memories.


--Yesterday was a long day of getting ready for school.  Mike knew that, and by the time I got home, he was making BLTs for supper - and insisted on cleaning up also.  He is such a good man--

--School is getting underway.  I have a good schedule, a good homeroom, and my last class of the day will only have nine students.  Nice!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Last Day of Summer

This poem, titled "When I Am Old" (the basis for the Red Hat Clubs), tells how a woman, now that she is old, is going to do what she is going to do no matter what anyone thinks.

Well, I have no intentions of being in a red hat club, and though I'm definitely headed in the "older" direction, this isn't about that.  But this afternoon fits in the category of "no matter what anyone thinks."

It's the last day before I have to go back to school.  I spent the morning grocery shopping, getting a few items of clothing and school supplies, going to the gym, doing laundry, and in general finishing up a lot of odds and ends.

So, this afternoon, I will sit in my lazy-boy, reading the paper and my book in progress, playing on the computer, crocheting, watching "Chopped" and the Olympics, eating something I shouldn't be eating, and forgetting about the time.

Happy last day of vacation.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Monday Misc. 8/8/16

--I've been doing a lot of selling on eBay this summer, and am amazed at how some people want you to sell them something for nothing.  I put several auctions on "Make an offer" in addition to the price that was listed, and had more than one person want to offer about (can't remember exactly about the various auctions) $5 for a book that was listed for $15.  That's more than a low offer - it's an insult.  Needless to say, I turned down offers that low.  That kind of offer doesn't even begin to cover the costs involved.  What are people thinking?

--And from the other side:  Yesterday I ventured out to a couple of sales (not many due to back issues) - there was a big estate sale at a home near me.  I noticed people coming and going - but not buying a whole lot.  And when I went inside, it was clear why.  Things were overpriced.  $10 for a set of kitchen glasses.  $5 for each pair of shoes (some of which were nice, but some were not even worth giving to charity stores).  $100 for a chair.  Etc.  The premise of yard sales is to get rid of things.  A seller doesn't have to give stuff away, but if things are priced too high, he/she will still have their stuff at the end of the day.  

--My house is clean.  Nice to go back to work next week knowing that it is clean.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

True Faith

I love the John MacArthur commentary series.  It's work to use it, but at the same time its truths are accessible even to a common mind like mine.

This is a paraphrase from his Romans 1-8 book, pp. 221-226:

THINGS THAT NEITHER PROVE NOR DISPROVE TRUE FAITH:

  1. Visible morality
  2. Intellectual knowledge of God's word
  3. Religious involvement
  4. Active ministry in Christ's name
  5. Conviction of sin and sense of guilt
  6. Assurance of salvation (because that depends on what the "assurance" is in)
  7. Experience of a past decision (if there is no evidence of Godly living since then)
RELIABLE PROOFS OF SAVING FAITH:

  1. Love for God
  2. Repentance of, and hatred for, sin
  3. Genuine humility
  4. Devotion to God's glory
  5. Prayer
  6. Selfless love
  7. Separation from the world
  8. Spiritual growth
  9. Obedient living