Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sunday_Part 2

Today I bought a few mysteries at a thrift shop. The woman who helped me looked at my books and said. "I'd like to read but I'm too tired at the end of the day to read...even a small one like this one."

I find it helps to listen because sometimes the person will tell you more and she did.
"I just can't say no," she said. "I say 'yes' so I don't have anytime. Only once in awhile will I allow myself a day off. That I really enjoy....but, she said, " that doesn't happen very often.

Rest seems to have gone out of style. But, that is not good for any of us. The woman before me although middle aged looked very tired and the truth is SHE CAUSED HERSELF TO BE OVERSCHEDULED.

One of the 10 commandments was to keep one day out of seven "holy" and set aside to rest with NO WORK. That was for everyone even mothers who prepared food the day before for this day.
Rest is good for us.

I discovered reading when I was in middle school. My mother drove us down to the old San Jose library downtown and we went up winding stairs to the children's area. At the top of the stairs was a large chart with names and stars. My mother told me that it was a contest and you got a star for each book you read. Now my mother was a teacher and a smart woman. She knew how important it was to get "reading" in as something you liked to do. Well, the summer reading program succeeded. I took tons of books out each week and sat and read and she could hardly get me to do anything else.

So when the woman at the thrift shop told me she didn't have time to read, I felt a wave of sorrow for her. How many things she was missing but also what was her family missing because she had scheduled herself to be so busy.

Sometimes we need to write REST on our program. I think we all would be a healthier, happier people if we would stop treating ourselves like machines and realized that rest is good for us and God knew that we needed a day of rest once a week. No work. No errands. No push.
Well, could you try it?

Sunday_Part 1

Sunday afternoon should be a good time. Growing up in San Jose, a long time ago there was hardly anything to do. No major stores were open. After church, which most people attended, it was just a time to kick back, play a game, read a book.

We all know what has happened now. You can barely tell Sunday from any other day. People have "to do" lists and children have activities and the same run around all the time happens. The only way to counter this is to reallize that having a day of rest is really good for us.

Jesus said. "The Sabbath Was Made For Man."

In those days the legalism of the sabbath was taken to extreme degrees. Jesus healed the paralytic and this man got in trouble because he took up his stretcher ON THE SABBATH DAY.

We don't want to be legalistic about rest but we sure do need to rest. Think about it. Stop running around in circles. Stop one day a week. We need to slow down and take time for ourselves and our God.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Event Cont:


Summer School

I haven't been in summer school since I was in junior high. My mother insisted that I learn to type and a girlfriend and I biked over to learn how. It was rather strange. The teacher set us up and disappeared to the back room. We had keys with covers and looked up at a chart and dutifully did the drills. In a few weeks I could type without looking at the keys. This has been a very useful class.

 This time I signed myself up at the Community Center here in San Jose to take classes in digital photography. I have used film and done hundreds of pictures for family and for Project Lost Sheep but going to digital and the camera with all its setttings made me realize that I needed to sit and learn.

It is strange to be sitting with 14 other adults and learning very slowly this whole new way of taking pictures. Those of you under 30 may not feel challenged by new technologies but I can assure you that the above 50 crowd definitely needs to have help.

 What a thrill to learn how to turn the flash off and then shoot some macro pictures. I am even reading the camera manual. (not that easy) From being a timid person with the camera I am becoming much more confident that I'll get the hang of it all and be able to produce better pictures.

The classroom situation is ideal because there are three adult helpers besides the instructor. I can stick my hand up and someone will come to my computer table and help me.

One reason children drop out of school is they get frustrated with learning because they don't get help with their homework and so are set up to fail. This is especially true in math.

In San Jose 40% of people from low income backgrounds WILL NOT GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL. This figure can and will be changed. We are going to offer tutoring and help down here. There are many different ways to address the problem of success but for sure IF YOU DON'T GET THE BASICS YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO MAKE IT LATER.

Let's get real. The school drop out rate here and elsewhere is a community problem. We are called by the Lord to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Let's look down and serve the children.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sweet Peas

As I write, a bunch of these old fashioned flowers are on the table. Sweet Peas remind me so much of my days here in San Jose growing up. Every fall we would get to plant the seed along  the fence in the back yard. In the spring they would come up and we would use string and thumb tacks to get them to train up on the fence.

Growing sweet peas was one of my first gardening experiences. It was rewarding. And one year my mother told me that I could do them all by myself. She showed me how to soak the very ugly seeds until they got puffed up. Then I had to go out and dig a small trench and put them in the ground. It was a long wait until they came up in the spring. Kind of plant and forget gardening.

The most outstanding thing about the sweet peas, of course, is their fragrance. Just a few will act like perfume in a room.

Well, we all know this but there is something we Christians need to know. According to scripture we are "the fragrance of Christ" to those that are being saved. We are also an odor of death..much like dead flowers to those who are not.

I hadn't really thought of myself as a sweet pea. Some people are going to like my fragrance and some just aren't. Explains a lot. Let us pay attention to those who are being drawn to us. These are the ones we want to give the nod to in our time and energy.

Think of yourself as a very special flower. Because the Lord really is inside you His fragrance reaches out to others.