Saturday, February 27, 2010


About two weeks ago, I got up planning  a good day with company coming and found that I could not walk
without a great deal of pain in my "good" right leg.  The pain affected all the muscles from groin to ankle.  Beause arthritis is getting the best of my body, one would think it the cause--but no.  After X-rays at the offices of 2 doctors, my knee was found to have good cartilege although there was arthritis under the knee cap. 

Using the cane has brought some relief, and the pain has gotten better with time, but no one seems to know the cause of my affliction.  I am going off my cholesterol medicine for a while to see if it is the culprit.  I start therapy on the leg next Tuesday to see if that will help. 

Meanwhile the difference in my gait is making my arthritic left knee more painful than usual and my feet are really hurting as well.  What a bummer.  This is cramping my lifestyle!

I have a new appreciation for folks who don't walk well--for one thing, balancing the cane while trying to pick up something or while  going  up the stairs is a trial.  And it takes me twice as long to do anything.  I cannot stand more than 10 minutes in the kitchen to cook nor  can I walk briskly beside others (not that I walked briskly in the past).

So ends the painful saga of the past two weeks.  I'll write when things change which I hope will be soon!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jenny Bizallion

My heart is breaking today for the Ross and Bizallion families because of Jenny's death. 

How do we explain this?  Why does this happen to families like them?  We don't know, and I do not understand.    All I know is that God is crying too and that he holds them all in his arms.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A New year

I know, it's February--after all, it is my birthday.  In fact, my 72nd birthday--seems unbelievable--my 50th was only yesterday.

The kids took me to Cantina Laredo last night for some real Mexican food--Yum!  We had a good time.  Gifts were fun too (I always have fun with gifts whether giving or getting).  Maddie gave me a Jackson Pollock-type painting she had done herself with a tie-dye technique and a card she had bought with her own money which highlighted some of the cursive writing she is learning.  Ella made me a red bowl because she knew I like red. and a funky elephant paper weight.  She also included a dollar bill in her card for me to use as a tip the next time I eat out!  And along the way, they and Sam gave me some earrings which I had requested.  Brandon and Sheryl gave me a lovely green bowl, some beautiful napkins which matched and a
candle lush with Italian Orange fragrance.A very special gift was the flowers Sheryl arranged and gave me--I love all of these expressions of love for me.  Makes a body feel good!

I am so thankful for the life I lead here in Nashville  with friends and family--Coming from a 3lb baby born at home on a snowy Feb. night to 72 years here has been a long journey.  I am increasingly aware of the brevity of life and the importance of celebrating the days we live.  Thank you God for your love and mercy and for bringing me this far.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Cafeteria Line

One of  positive things about the recent snows  was getting to watch the birds at the bird feeder. (I know, some of you are sayiing, get a life).  One can do worse than sitting quietly watching some of God's creations.
Funny thing was, they  all seemed to line up like people at Furr's Cafeteria--waiting in line patiently for their little seed.

There were beautiful red, fat cardinals and their mates (female birds less showy--wonder why God did that?)
The pigeons came in droves, bluejays and woodpeckers with red heads, starlings, and others I do not know.

One daredevil seemed to hang off the feeder by one foot, others flew in for a nosedive to get one, and still others just took what fell on the ground.  They reminded me of people I have watched.

Thank you God for all parts of your creation.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Words Again

These days we are drowning in words of information:  Google, Wikipedia, E-Help, and other web sites all supply us with more than we really wanted to know.

However, in my opinion, good writing is in decline.  Who knows the name of the  Pulitzer or Nobel novel anymore?  Can you give the name of one good modern poet or even the name of the Poet Laureate of your state? Even children's literature has declined  to themes dealing with bathroom habits and dressing fancily.  Thanks to rap and hip hop, the lyrics to songs are no longer intelligible or singable.

In an article about the decline of good sportswriting, Gary Cartwright wrote, "The world of perspiring arts has lost its voice and maybe its soul." (Texas Monthly, June, 2009).  He goes on to describe some of the current columns as "an inch deep and a mile wide." (my aside--perhaps the same could be said of many of the sermons preached in churches on Sunday morning.) We are blessed at Otter Creek to have a much different kind of preaching.

We are so sated by information and poor writing, that we have quit looking for and valuing really good writing, profitable for the mind and soul.  I wonder what will be in the anthologies of world and American literature 20 years from now.  There doesn't seem much literature out there worth anthologizing.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Words about holy things

Jane Fahey wrote, "Words are such fragile instruments for bearing the weight of the holy."  Yet words are all we have for hearing what God wants us to know.  In saying this, I am not in any way discounting inspired writers like Philip Yancey, N. T. Wright, and Eugene Peterson.  They too are messengers  as they help me interpret and apply what I read.

Yet, it seems to me that words in religious settings often have their shallowest meanings and purposes.  Picture this greeting at the church door:  "How are you?"  "Fine, how are you?"  Often said as each person is  striding forward into worship.  Compare this with Paul's greetings in various books:  "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."  How long has it been since you wished someone grace and peace?  Maybe the Spirit needs to help us expand our vocabulary.  Warmer and more personal--yes.  I have a friend who asks me, "How is it with your spirit today?"  As a member of the "greeting team" at Otter, I struggle with what to say to each person who passes me.  Maybe just

Grace and peace.