Monday, November 15, 2010

Our dryer story

Do your appliances go on the fritz in three's? It seems like ours often do. All in one week the dishwasher started depositing dirt on the dishes after it washed the food off, the motor in our wonderfully good vacuum burned up, and the old dryer stopped producing warm air.

Dennis will clean the dishwasher squirter-outer places of hard water deposits so that hopefully will take care of that one. The vacuum salesman promised the brand new one he sold us would suck up dirt even better than our faithful but extinct Sharp. As for the dryer, on Saturday we drove by a place that services appliances and sells used ones so we checked with the owner about getting a new element.

He said it would cost a minimum of $90 to fix it and we'd still have an old dryer, so why not buy a newer, used one, "like new" for a little more? So we did. We loaded it in our van, borrowed the furniture dolly from work and moved the old one out and onto our pick-up. Then we brought the new one into our laundry room.

We discovered that the the pigtail on the newer dryer was for a dryer plug, while our receptacle (being in an older house) was made for ranges. So Dennis switched the pigtails and we plugged it in. No light came on in the dryer. Dennis pushed the start button and nothing happened. Then he switched the wires on the pigtail as shown in the diagram on the dryer. Nothing. We were disappointed but praised the Lord for the unknown He was accomplishing through this!

On Sunday afternoon, I washed four loads of laundry and took them to dry at the laundromat. Dennis and Arthur initiated the new vacuum in Arthur's room, played some basketball and watched the Seahawks win a game!

On Monday at lunchtime, Dennis came home from work. We put the new used dryer back on the dolly, out the back door, over the cement and up onto the pickup bed along with the old used dryer and drove them both down to the shop in Pasco.

The owner helped Dennis get our recent purchase back into his store, where he plugged it in. He turned the timer dial to 70 minutes, something we had failed to do, and then turned the 'start" knob. Presto! it worked! Come to find out, the dryer doesn't have a light in it. We laughed and smiled out of the store with our dryer. The shop owner and Dennis pulled the old dryer out of the pick-up and put the newer one up in it's place.

Sure enough, when we got the newer dryer into our house the second time, it worked! Dialing those minutes made all the difference! I opened some scrumptious new white sheets I'd been waiting to wash and had Dennis feel of their smoothness. He, trying to keep from soiling them with his dirty fingers, rubbed the back of his hand over them. Connecting the dryer exhaust he'd unknowingly gotten a little cut so we were both shocked to see two lines of scarlet suddenly appear on the snowy white sheet! Of course, it washed right out with cold water, then into the washer went the sheets, getting ready to initiate the dryer.

Perhaps we'll know some day this side of heaven what this was all about, maybe not. It's good to have a dryer now and it was good not have gotten all bent out of shape at any point in the story!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Teaching cats to get along

Shasta is our silky orange and white 10 year old female cat displaying what we jokingly refer to as "hormone problems". She loves hard petting, all the while insatiably demanding, "More!" with sharp meows, interspersed with loud purring. But then, she will sometimes suddenly bite the hand that is petting her! She sticks very close to home and fancies herself the queen of the place.

When Shasta was a tiny kitten, our old Rita cat did not affectionately approve of her presence. However, Rita dealt with Shasta's intrusion by ignoring Shasta, thus remaining secure in her queen hood in our home until her death at 18.

George wandered in 2 years ago half starved as a 4-6 month old kitten with beautiful long black, white and brown fur. He has the air of an ephemeral waif who may not be long for this world. He doesn't have a lot of sense, being fearless, standing down huge dogs who wander in our back yard. He's killed many birds and mice, always presenting them to us on the porch. He wanders all around the neighborhood accepting love and attention from whoever offers it. He's already lost a couple of his nine lives, one to the squirrel who lives in our tree (we think) who sunk his teeth deep into George's flesh under one front leg. That took weeks to heal!

For these two years, Shasta has picked fights with George whenever he did anything she did not like, George's existence being the thing she dislikes most! She hisses and shoots out her paw and they go at it, chasing, caterwauling, wrestling. (Maybe it was Shasta's teeth in George's flesh!)

And for two years we've been making comments out loud about how Shasta is jealous of and threatened by George, etc., etc. Two days ago, I decided it was time Shasta learned to accept that she has a brother. So I told her that George was her brother and she needed to be nice to him. I told her several different times, while I petted and held her. Today I haven't observed any altercations. The most amazing thing, though, is they both slept on the same bed all morning! We'll see if the truce holds up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sears will be open Thanksgiving Day

I was surprised to hear that Sears will be open Thanksgiving morning this year for the first time. I won't be shopping there that day since I'll be getting ready for the family to gather here at 1:00 pm. But I am thankful I live in a country where the owners of their businesses have the freedom to open their doors any day they desire to. Or close them. Or pay their employees for the holiday or not.

I tried to leave a comment on the site where I read the article but was unsuccessful. Every comment I read was down on Sears for daring to do it. "Is nothing sacred?" to "You can be sure the bigwigs will be enjoying their families while their employees are having to give up family time just to keep their jobs."

Being business owners ourselves, we are sensitive about incessant attacks on "The Man" which business in general has come to represent in the eyes of many of our citizens. Seems any business owner is fair game to be considered greedy because they may possibly earn more than they need to stay alive. The fact that their profits enable them to grow, invest, employ others, and so become the chief job creators in our economy, is overlooked or disdained.

Maybe Sears had a tough year in our recession economy. Maybe they need an edge to stay alive in 2011 to keep employing the many people they do employ right now. All I know is that continued attacks on our capitalistic economic system do not help us recover. Such thinking does encourage our slide into socialism, however.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Before the Frost

These geraniums are what I feast on and drink in each time I look out my kitchen window. Any night now, a hard frost could come and leave them brown and wilting. Since my camera has now recorded their fall splendor I won't mind so much when they are gone from view. They were Annie's Mother's Day gift this year. The Eiffel Tower in the back is an unfired remnant of her high school ceramic projects.

Doing the Will of the Father

Jesus came into the world to do the will of his Father. (see Hebrews 10:7-9). His words, "Not my will, but Thine be done" were not just in the Garden before he gave himself over to death in obedience to his Father's will. He lived his entire existence seeking and doing the will of his Father who sent him. "I can of mine own self do nothing." John 5:30. "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." John 6:38. "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me." John 8:28-29.

Why is this a big deal? Because, as a man here on earth like the rest of us, though he was also fully God, Jesus did have a will of his own. He could have looked out over the heart-wrenching needs of the people around him and decided to take things into his own hands. He could have called thousands of angels to defeat the ungodly men who held whole nations in cruel bondage. He could have organized teams to go throughout the earth healing all the sick, broken people. He could have caused all the wealthy people on the earth to share everything they had with the poor people so everything would be fair and equal. You may remember that the Jews were very upset that he did not throw off the yoke of the Romans as they thought the Messiah would.

But he did not do any of those things. He only did what he saw his Father doing. He did everything he did do in obedience to and out of love for his Father. All in obedience to his Father's will, he healed some and raised some from the dead, he preached the Kingdom of God, he laid down his life, was resurrected, ascended and now sits at the right hand of his Father in Heaven making intercession for all those his Father has given him.

Why didn't he do more about all the needs he saw? Because he was here to do his Father's will, not his own. Doing more or less than his Father asked would have been sin. His Father's will was that he would live a sinless life of obedience here. In that way, when Jesus laid down his sinless life, his obedient death would pay in full for all of the sin that had caused all the wreckage in the world. His resurrected life would then empower all those the Father had given him to live the same lives of dependence on and obedience to his Father. In this way, his everlasting Kingdom over all the kingdoms of the world would be built and reigned over by all those he redeemed along with him.

God is the only one who has the power to build his Kingdom. He saves us and fills us with his Spirit not so that we can go around doing all the good we decide needs to be done. (It is true that if we follow him as his children we will do good and exhibit all the fruits of his Spirit, but not by following our own wills.) He makes us able to commune with him, as he made Adam and Eve before they chose to follow their own wills. He has chosen to build his Kingdom through those who will obey him and do his will.

After our new birth into his family, when we are given his Life abiding within us, we are no longer our own to follow our own ideas of what we think needs to be done. "You are not your own, you have been bought with a price." We have been given the power of his Spirit to bring every thought captive (our own ideas and imagination as well as the goadings of the devil) so that we may be given over, as Jesus was, to do the will of our Father.

We have missed our purpose in life if we think our job is only to do what we have learned is right and good and pleasing. Nothing short of his will done on earth as it is in heaven is our purpose. We have not been given his new life to be good people. Doing good deeds is not our purpose, any more than it was Jesus' purpose. There are scads of people doing good deeds all around us who do not know God through Jesus Christ and who are not building his kingdom. They look good and others think well of them. But on the last Day, Jesus will say to them, "Depart from me, I never knew you, workers of iniquity!" If we content ourselves with doing what we think is good, we will fall short of bringing God glory, which is sin. And we haven't been given new life to keep on sinning!

We have been made like Jesus, children of God, to do as he did, to do the will of our Father. And the truth of the matter is anyone who does the will of the Father on earth will be hated as Jesus was hated. The earth is full of people doing their own will who, by so doing, hate God and all his children. Now it is true there is no law against the fruit of the Spirit but that fact hasn't prevented Christians from being martyred by those who hated them throughout the ages.

Now this is a very difficult thing. Naturally, no one wants to incur the wrath of his fellow man. It is natural to think that if what you are doing is causing a bunch of people to despise, resent and mock you, you must be doing something wrong. (Unless you are Rush Limbaugh!) We naturally think that anything God requires of us will produce peace, prosperity and a good name respected by others. We also naturally tend to forget about the cruel deaths that Jesus and all the apostles all faced.

However, our new birth into the family of God and our new citizenship in the Kingdom of God has translated us from natural into supernatural. We will fall short of becoming like Jesus if we cling to the old natural ways of thinking after we have become supernatural. His Spirit is hard at work within us to transform us into the the image of Jesus. So let us let him have his way with us. Whether we are to die martyr's deaths or not is all in his hands. Our job is not to worry about that or anything else, but to follow where he leads in obedience, to walk in his Spirit, to do the will of our Father in heaven. May we no longer disobey our Father by doing our own will, however righteous it may seem. That which looks good, sounds right or is commonly accepted is no longer our guide. He is.