Posted in Rants Raves

My 2013 Christmas Present

After much whining and begging and repeated searches on Craigslist Keith said I could replace my/not mine but my grandmothers piano that was given to mom for me, but my brother got when mom died ,piano. I like to plink a bit, t and find some kind of peace wasting time trying to play piano. AND I saw some really cool upright antiques on Pinterest that were painted and looked soooo cute and would go so well on that wall…. Keith though is too practical and in his universe he see’s no use for a big hunk of heaviness for a bit of plinking. So his giving in to my impractical desires, was/is huge!! 

 I thought this would be easy and cheap, it seems someone I know is always giving away or getting free pianos. Pianos are  in craigslist for free and under $100. Advertising they sounded good, might need a little tuning. Heck, the one I had was not tuned in over 50 years and it sounded amazing. In this piano shopping I have found that “need tuning’ means missing keys, the wires that exist are tied up to each other, and antique of course mean beat up piece of crap. 

Last week we woke up early on Saturday, , so we decided to drive to Lubbock (just over 100 miles away)to check out a couple of the ‘need’s tuning’ pianos there.  Bust. What keys played, damaged our hearing.  While in town we searched some more, realizing we may have to up the amount spent.  We found a gorgeous looking piano on Craigslist, but at this point knew looks were usually deceiving. We contacted the guy, turned out he was in Plano, not returning for a couple of days.  We decided to do a bit of Christmas shopping, head home and then come back in a week.  All this time in Lubbock we are hauling the flatbed trailer to ‘get’ our piano.  We hauled it back home empty. Did not even get to go to Costco, cause they close at 6 on Saturday- Bummer

We talk to the pretty piano guy during the week and are pretty sure this is the piano, it is gorgeous. He describes that it was last tuned about 15 years ago and he does not play, just has the piano for the furniture piece that it is.  My logic goes back to the lack of tuning my old piano had and it playing good. I KNOW it will be right. Keith has his doubts.

Thursday night, Lee, our oldest says he has heard it is to rain in Lubbock on Friday, and maybe we should borrow a covered trailer from friends. Weird, our forecast has just said we would be in the 50-60 and dry and sunny until after Christmas. We checked out the Uhaul rentals in Lubbock, the Uhaul center confirms having covered trailers available, I ask Keith if we should reserve, he said “No, they will have them tomorrow, besides we were not sure we would get the piano.” He might not be, but I am sure.

Friday morning we get up and get ready to run to the Christmas play of two of the grandkids, and check the forecast which says Midland and Lubbock both have 90% chance of rain.  I call my friend with the covered trailer, her house is right next to the school . Her son borrowed the trailer this week and has not brought it back, but we could pick it up at his house. Keith says ” The rain is not suppose to come till late, maybe tonight, we can rent a covered one in Lubbock, we still don’t know if we are buying”   We go to the play- The weather is cold, but it does not look like rain at all, it will be fine.

We discuss how ‘we’ will move it, the now owner said he would help a bit, but he sounded a bit iffy on his ability to actually be of help. Keith said ” With the dolly and straps he was pretty sure we could get it, as long as we had not big steps to maneuver . And he had contacted a guy that would come help us move it for $100, but we are not sure we are getting it, we will call him when we decide.

We get to Lubbock for an early lunch and go to our favorite Pei Wei and have our favorite Gluten free shrimp sdkfss. The weather is dry and cold.  We come out and Keith is grumping, because we should have brought our flat bed trailer.  We call the guy and tell him we are a bit early, he says come on over. When we get to his place we see that he is moving, not just going to be out of town beginning in two days. The piano is what we hoped for, Keith tries to get him to come down, just for the game of bartering, he won’t budge. We tell him we are going to go get a trailer, and explain why we did not bring ours, though it does not look like rain, just cold overcast. We will be back within the hour. It is a deal.

As we drive over to the UHaul center, that had the list of available covered trailers for 71$, Keith says he just realized he left the phone # of the guy to help move in his other jeans. And that piano IS heavy. This guy had an option to deliver to Midland, maybe that would be about the same, since we were looking at renting a trailer. Keith searches his cell and finds one of the few movers he had checked with, calls and asks the guy how much to Midland. $800. Nope, we will be doing the moving.

Inside UHaul, the personnel, 2 women and a man greet us across the store and ask us our need, Keith is getting off the phone from one of the boys and I start to describe the need for a covered trailer, then Keith picks it up.  A woman named La Crissy (yes we are in West Texas) asks when, we say  “Now”.  She says ” Not gonna happen, there are none available, we should have reserved.

I say ” The site says you have them available.”

LaCrissy ” That site ain’t right.”

Keith is now asking about lifts/dollies and such

The man asks what we are moving.

La Crissy is explaining Tech students are moving mid term.  ” There is nutting to rent, we should have reserved.”

“A Piano.”

I am getting miffed at the LaCrissy spouting unhelpful things.

The guy begins to explain we really would want a trailer with a ramp,  and the un covered short one may work.

We are talking to him and out loud about the weather and if it going to actually rain, and we have flatbed at home,….

La Crissy interrupts the guy trying to help us solve our delimma and says to him “Don’t talk to them, I am taking care of this.”

My head screams “SERIOUSLY??” I bite my tongue and growl instead of saying “what the F chick?” I turn around and mumble obscenities as I leave the store and Keith and start searching out other rental places in town.  I find another UHaul with the uncovered trailer, that has a fold down back/ramp and it still does not look like rain, we have a tarp just in case.  I text the guy and say it will be more like 3 before we can get things worked out. I go in and tell Keith I have found a trailer. He has just finished a second attempt with La Crissy, and been put on a list for them to find him one. Keith says he got a call from Lee, it is raining in Midland.  Lee found a covered trailer at U Haul in Levelland and Brownfield. Keith calls about door height, decides the piano won’t fit, with dolly underneath, per measurement he remembered that the piano dude told him. Keith grumps about getting a flat bed when we have one at home… It starts to sprinkle.

We drive across town,they have a covered like we just gave up, in the lot, already rented. The door is taller than me, the piano would fit. We try to convince them to rent the already rented one to us and we will bring it back before it is needed in AM.  No luck.  We hook up to trailer and pull out of lot. It starts to rain.

We stop at Sutherlands to buy another tarp. I text the piano dude, ‘ 3:10’.  We come out with tarp and bungie cords, it is raining more, and it has dropped about 20 degrees. It is now 35 degrees.  We arrive at the house, the piano dude asks ” Where is the help?”

“We’re it.”

We strap the piano onto the floor dollies we brought. The men tilt and I push under. I did not get it centered the first try- Keiths foot had been in the way. They push it out. I am told as they get to the door I get to lift on back as they lift on front across threshold and down little brick step off at walk. I took off my coat and throw it back in house- Once we get to trailer, the wheels and expanded metal don’t cooperate, then the metal floor ridges hamper more pushing. As we struggle one of the guys who are repairing the fence for the new buyer of the house runs over to help. He is Navajo,from Denver, he has been in Lubbock 2 weeks, he  reeks of alcohol. The 20$ Keith gave him probably helped him stay that way.

It is raining. We are wrap and strap the piano- It a steady soft rain.  I ask Keith if we should cancel our trip to the new Costco? He said he wanted to go and the piano was covered and running down road or sitting would not be any different.

Costco was great! Found giant loaves of Udi’s Gluten free bread, and lots more goodies. As we are inside we realize that noise is the pouring rain outside.  When we get out it is still pouring.  Keith said we are eating at West Crust, to have there gluten free pizza.  I am nervous about the piano being out in all this rain and cold. Keith says it is wrapped, nothing more can be done. Have faith.  The pizza was great.

We remember we needed to pick up tamales at Pedro’s for our Christmas eve dinner, so start heading out to catch them before they close.  It is now 7 pm raining raining raining and cold. We stop for gas and Keith sends me to Auto Zone next door for a tarp. Either 5×10 or 6×12– I tell the clerk that when he asks what I need. He hands me the tarp I pay and leave.  A guy standing in the rain between AZ and the gas station asks me for money. I tell him maybe but my hands are full now. I get to Keith is under the awning, he unwraps the tarp and throws it out, it is about 5×4. The guy pulled the wrong size, no wonder it was so cheap. We cover the front half of the trailer. We give the begging guy $7 as we drive out.

The right lane of the roads are running rivers, the rain is pouring, each car that passes throws water so we can’t see till the wipers swipe twice. This is in drought stricken West Texas, on the day we are hauling a 1900 sawn oak piano 115 miles. We start reasoning on the rain letting up once we start towards home, since it moved in from south, it won’t be raining there anymore.  We pick up the tamales on the way out.  It starts to rain harder. The short tarp is flapping, in the wind that has started to blow much stronger now that we are on the highway.

Just outside  Lamesa, our halfway point stop, the tarp is only held by one front corner and is flapping like a sail. Keith slows down from the below limit of 50 to way below of 40.  He does not want to stop in the rain, the piano is still wrapped in two tarps, the top one was just extra. We will drive on to a gas station with an awning.  At the station, 2 other vehicles are tying down their cargo. It reminds me of the Grinch and his over loaded sleigh.  It is about 35 degrees and the wind is blowing now. As I stand on the wheel well and catch the rope that Keith throws me from the other side, my legs start to shake, my butt cheeks too.

We are back on the road, it has taken us an hour and a half on what normally takes minutes to drive.  It is still pouring rain. Evan calls to say he is off work and is very excited because we are finally getting some more rain in Midland. Grrrrrr.

Another hour and a half and we are finally home. Our roads are soup from all the rain, the mud squashes over the top of my boots as I open the gate. I get my car out of the garage and we back the trailer into the garage. We can’t call the boys over to help us unload after 10 PM.  We take off the short tarp, which is now much shorter and shredded. Then unhook the next extra large tarp, the tarp wrapped piano underneath is completely dry.

We prayed on the way to Lubbock. Prayed in Pei Wei. Prayed on way to mans house. Prayed in parking lot of U Haul. Prayed as we left Costco. Prayed when we ate at West Crust. Prayed as we left Lubbock. I prayed silently every time I looked back at flapping tarps.

God is amazing. In the midst of our storm He kept the piano dry. Just as the Isrealites crossed the Red Sea bed without getting mud on their feet.

My Christmas present is a gorgeous piano, something Keith had sworn he would not have. My Christmas present is God  knowing my concerns, my wants  providing just what I needed.  He did not dry up the rain, nor the roads. He did not remove the obstacles. The La Crissy’s of the world. Yet the results are exactly what I needed. IMG_0084

God does not remove all the sins, all the obstacles of this world.  He did provide a way  for us, to prosper and not be ashamed. He provided a Salvation in the midst of a storm.   One way, Jesus Christ, His one and only Son, born as a babe laying in a manger.

 

Posted in Rants Raves

The Masterpiece

Yes He is THE Masterpiece. Don’t wait for better, there is no better. Don’t wait. There may be no tomorrow.

iChristian

The Masterpiece

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

There is a story about a wealthy man and his only son who travelled the world together collecting priceless paintings by Van Gogh, Monet and many other masters. Tragically, the son died at war while rescuing others. Distraught and lonely, the old man dreaded the upcoming Christmas day.

Christmas morning, a young soldier knocked on his door and said, “I’m a friend of your son. I’m one of the ones he rescued.” Then the soldier presented a picture he had painted of the son. Though the picture lacked genius, the brokenhearted father saw the features of his precious son and immediately valued this painting above all the masterpieces in his home. Every day, the father gazed at the portrait and told his housekeeper of his great love for it.

When the father died, the art world buzzed with excitement over the sale of his…

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Posted in 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 16 -DONE

I am getting er done!! Obviously I am the only one that enjoyed this study, since only I participated, it really was fun! 

This all began with Paul having to straighten out the WRONG WRONG WRONG thinking of the Corinthians, now he is closing the letter, taking care of the regular business as if they were not screwing up.  16 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. 4 But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.   Take up offerings now so we don’t have to do it when I get there. 5 Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia). 6 And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.  Travel plans 8 But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. 9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.10 And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do.11 Therefore let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren.  Be nice to Timothy, don’t run him off. 12 Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brethren, but he was quite unwilling to come at this time; however, he will come when he has a convenient time. Apollos won’t come visit, and I assume he does not want to associate with such a messed up group of people, his choice, and seems Paul agrees with him. 

13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love.15 I urge you, brethren—you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints— 16 that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us.  I think Paul is telling them yet again BE NICE because they have a tendency not to be. 17 I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied. Lacking on your part seems to be pointing out that where they are failing spiritually to build up and help these others did so. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.20 All the brethren greet you.Greet one another with a holy kiss.21 The salutation with my own hand—Paul’s.22 If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed.O Lord, come! Pretty black and white. 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Gods Word is alive today, it pertains to today.  Hebrews 4:1212 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.The Corinthians were full of pride and had changed the Word of God to meet their needs and to dismiss those they did not approve of. I do not know if all the Corinthians were believers. I don’t think so. I do not think all who ‘practice’ Christianity are believers.   Today is not different than the day Paul wrote the letter. Ecc. 1:19 That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.   It would do us all well to abide to God’s Word, lest we be accursed. 

 
Posted in 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 15

This Bible ‘study’ has not progressed as I intended. I have not stuck with it weekly as I intended. I am sorry.  And I had  hoped there would be more (some)discussion between myself and my followers, but  nooooooooo. I have had a few likes and some follows, following each Corinthians post, so maybe my hopes don’t align with God’s plan.  After 15, there is just one more book of 1 Corinthians, so this will end this ‘study’.  I do have another in plan, but more on that when it comes! Thanks for hanging with me here!!

In 14 Paul was explaining to the ‘believers’ ‘church goers’ how to have productive services. The service is not about them and how much they know or think they know. Chapter 15 he seems to be telling specifically what the purpose of church meetings is. 

15 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  There is no need to discuss whose gift is better, if someone more important than another, when you have The Gospel of Christ to discuss.  Paul never runs out of ‘material to teach on, it is THE GOSPEL. That is what believing is about, that is why believers gather together . Christ. His life. His Death. His Resurrection. His purpose.  IF this is not why you gather, you believe then you missed the point, and possibly the boat 😉 T

3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.  A quick Gospel, reminder of what it is they should be focusing on.  What they should be sharing with ALL others.

9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.  Paul is not one of the 12 apostles that walked with Jesus in the flesh. Yet he does the work of the apostles and Jesus, bringing all the Good News, transforming lives. Paul admits he is not the same as one of the 12, that he actually has little right to call himself that because of his own persecution of Christians. (He held the cloaks of those who stoned Stephen). Paul proclaims the miracle of God’s grace, the intervention that turned Paul into a possibly ‘louder’ voice than any of the 12 ever were for Christ. 

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  Some Sadducees must have infiltrated the Corinthians. 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.  15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. Paul is arguing that they can not have both beliefs, dead not resurrected and Christ resurrected because it is not logical. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Mans false doctrine is interfering with the Truth.  18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. Christ’s resurrection is a necessary of Gods plan for us

20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, all man dies physically and spiritually because of sin. even so in Christ all shall be made alive. In the resurrection of Christ, His ‘making’ it happen, allows for those that believe in that to ‘BE’ that.

 

CONFUSING!!! : The ‘But’ belongs to all(believers) shall be made alive23 But each one in his own order:  I think this is a list of the ‘order’.

1)Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 

2) 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 

3 )2 For He must reign  till He has put all enemies under His feet. A5ll those that are against Him/God are enemies, unbelievers, demons, Satan.

4)  26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. Physical death and eternal separation from God

27 For “He has put all things under His feet.”But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself Jesus will also be subject to Him God who put all things under Him Jesus, that God may be all in all.

29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? I think he is pointing out the inconsistency of their beliefs/doctrine. IF there is no resurrection, then Christ can’t be salvation. And if dead don’t resurrect why are you doing this ritual of being baptized for those who have died and were not baptized before death. If you believe no resurrection it does dead not good.   30 And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” This is a bit like my argument against the new(old) universalist thinking, IF everyone eventually believes and is reunited with God, even after physical death, what is the point of telling Gospel and living a righteous life? “Eat drink be merry, die and get a bit burned in hell but you get out so go for it”….

33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.  Don’t listen to the lies!! Don’t associate with those who are false teachers, elders included. You don’t become like those you don’t hang around with. 

35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” What if someone is cremated? 36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. The seed of an apple is basically from a ‘dead’ fruit, and it produces a massive tree. 38 But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.  What I become after physical death will be what ever God makes me to be- I will be awesome!

39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.  Biology, spiritology, science. God created all, in their own form

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.  Man is flawed by sin of this world, our ‘new’ selves will be glorious 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being Human/Man the top of the family tree.” The last Adam Christ became a life-giving spirit.

46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man Adam was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man Jesus is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Our sinful selves don’t get to ‘be’.  51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  Those who believe in Christ, His birth, His death His resurrection His purpose. Get to ‘BE” made new and continue with God. At the second coming those believers will not experience physical death

55 “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Our spirits/souls exist forever. It is where that forever is spent that we must decide. Do we go our own way, choose our own path, ignore the truth or change it to fit our comfort zone? Deny Christ and His resurrection and be stung by Death and reside in Hades? Or do we choose God, His Way, His Light, knowing that Jesus’ victory over death is ours for eternity with Him.