Thursday, January 30, 2014

My First Scam Call

Yesterday I got my first ever Scam call. The phone woke me up at 7AM. I ran to the phone and picked it up just as the "leave a message" recording kicked in.
"Hello"
"Hello. You know who this is, right?"
"No."
"It's your grandson."
"Stephen?"
"Yeah."
This didn't exactly sound like Stephen so I commented to which he said he had a bit of a cold.
...
"Grandma, I'm on a trip. Did you hear about it?"
"No."
"Well, I'm in  Mexico."
"On a mission trip?"
"What? You're cutting out. Are you still there?
"Yes."
"Grandma, (He kept calling me Grandma. Stephen doesn't call me Grandma.) What did you say about a trip?"
"Are you on a mission trip? What kind of trip are you on?"
I'm on a vacation with my friend, Michael."
Here I started to laugh.
"We're just down here visiting to see the ruins. You know about the ruins, right?"
"Of course."
Stephen isn't this forward. There is no school vacation that I know of. Stephen wouldn't have gone to Mexico without his parents, and most likely wouldn't have called me from there. Besides he's coming to see me in a week and a half.
"Michael's dad works for American Airlines and he gives Michael free trips once a year. That's the  only reason I would have came down here."
Whoops! Stephen doesn't make grammatical errors in his speech like that. Who is this?
"Stephen, when are you coming to see me?"
"Well the trip ends Sunday so we should be back Sunday night or Monday. When are you available?"
"Any time."
"OK I'll probably see you then. Grandma, I have something to talk to you about. Do you have a minute?"
"Yes."
"It's very important so you have to keep it a secret. I want to tell everyone face to face, so you have to promise to keep it a secret."
"OK."
"You promise?"
"Of course."
"I  got arrested this morning."
Silence.
"For what?"
"During our layover we were hungry so we stopped to get a bite to eat and some souvenirs."
At that point, my recorder went off with a beep.
"Everything went bad from that point on. What was that sound?"
"Oh that was just my recorder going off."
I think that spooked him but he kept going.
When he finally paused, I said, "Stephen, what is your last name?"
(Sounded like) "Eye width. Why?"
"Because you're not my grandson."
Click.

It pays to know your grandson!
Insightfully yours,
Paulita


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve

Christmas is over and we've been blessed beyond measure. We are old and don't need or want "things" any more. So our family tends more toward consumable gifts or passing on family treasures  or remembrances to the next generation. It's all good, but my heart turns to some children we know who don't have reliable parents and need foster care, to homeless people who sleep near noisy railroad tracks or under a bridge, to the man who wraps himself in black plastic bags to keep warm in the winter.

Mother Teresa said, "If I look at the masses, I won't act, but if I look at one, I can."

Proverbs 14:31 says, "He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God."

Throughout the year I've collected quotes on little pieces of paper, but New Year's Eve is the time to let go of the old year and prepare for the new. Before I tear and toss, I'll share a few:

"Christ distributes courage through community; he dissipates doubts through fellowship. He never deposits all knowledge in one person but distributes pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to many." Max Lucado

"I want to develop whatever gifts God has given me, but gift development almost never happens for me if I let my schedule drift." John Ortberg

Here are two invaders:
1. We are too busy - we feel we must accomplish things. God wants us to just be with Him. Ps. 46:10
2. Technology lures us away from relationships, away from intimacy.

Meth dehumanizes
Bullying dehumanizes
Pornography dehumanizes
Alcoholism dehumanizes

We see Jesus not as a Savior,but as a Supplement.

Relationships will change. What is there in your life that won't give way?

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you, I lift up my soul" Ps.143:8

The last little scrap of paper I saved says, 1 C peanut butter, 1 C sugar, 3 eggs. I have no idea what it becomes, but it is gluten free.
Insightfully yours,
Paulita

Monday, August 19, 2013

Starting My Day

As I was making my bed this morning, I was reminded of a children's story. In the story a wizard told a couple he would grant them a wish: whatever they started doing the first thing in the morning, they would continue to do the rest of the day.

The man and his wife couldn't decide what to do first and didn't want to waste their wish, so until they could agree on an activity, the wife decided to fill her time by cleaning up the yard. Unfortunately, since that was the first thing she did, she continued to do it the rest of the day.

What do you do for your first activity of the day? Eat breakfast? Have your newspaper and coffee? Exercise? Make your bed? Read the Bible? Spend time with God?
Insightfully yours,
Paulita

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Only for Children?

Some 40 years ago we had a company Christmas party at our home. I sat down at the piano and began playing Christmas carols. A couple of guests came over and said, "I remember those. We sang those songs when we were kids."

Last Sunday we sat around one of the tables at Adult Sunday School and discussed how we could become the persons God meant for us to be. Our table was a truly intergenerational table: 2 couples in their 80's, one couple probably late 60's and one couple in their 30's. The outline before us suggested that we could become what God meant us to be by knowing Him and His word. I suggested that we are never too old to memorize Scripture so we can use it to thwart Satan's attacks on our minds. I mentioned the 23rd Psalm which I presumed they all knew. I was astounded when they tried to piece together parts of it they had memorized as children - "He leads me beside still waters," "walk through the valley of the shadow of death," "anoints my head with oil." Finally they all agreed it ended with "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

My question is what happens to these Christmas carols and memorized verses of Scripture when we are adults? Do we dismiss them with "When I was a child I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man I put childish ways behind me." (I Corinthians 13:11) Or do we hide them in our hearts (Psalm 119:11) so we can bring them out as treasures old and new (Matthew 13:52) to comfort and encourage our daily walk?
Insightfully yours,
Paulita

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Change

What does the verb "change" mean to you? I react negatively to it. It means disrupting my schedule, my thinking, and perhaps, my values. I don't want to change.

In Bible Study Fellowship, we are often asked, "How has this Bible passage changed your thinking?" or "How will you change because of this insight?" For some reason, my hackles go up. I've already changed. I've chosen to follow Jesus Christ - that's settled. I'm not going to change my mind. I've decided these changes must have to do with  my sanctification - the process that continually makes me more like Christ - nothing big, just tweaking, some major and some minor.

I remember a long time ago when I played Marion, the Librarian in the Music Man, my counterpart who played Harold Hill remarked, "You say your lines the same way every time." Wasn't I supposed to do that? I'd practiced them until I figured out the inflections and  nuances that sounded right and then delivered them.They were right. Why would I change them every time? Wasn't that an indication of insecurity, let alone fickleness or wishy-washyness? One must know what one thinks, feels, believes, and then move forward.

But I don't want to be what Christ called stiff-necked. I want to be open to His whispers: "Veer right. Edge to the left. Apply brakes. Don't look back." How about "Stop and rest a while." "Look. What do you see?"  "Listen. Hear Me above the chatter. I will speak to you in thoughts, plant songs in your subconscious, and help you retrieve Scripture when you need it most. Don't be afraid of change. I will not deceive you. I love You."

God told Isaac, " Do not go to Egypt. Live in the land I gave you." The situation was a famine. God told Isaac's son Jacob, "Don't be afraid to go to Egypt." God was moving the entire family out of Canaan temporarily.

Am I close enough to God to hear His changes as He directs my life?
Insightfully yours,
Paulita


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Feed My sheep

Do you mean to tell me that I didn't have a single insight during January?
OK so I'll start again  now.

It was late in the afternoon and Jesus was teaching people. The disciples came to Him and said, "Let the people go home to get something to eat." Jesus said, "You feed them." Then follows the familiar story of the five loaves and two fish - the lunch of a little boy. Jesus miraculously multiplied the lunch and the disciples used it to feed not only all who were there, but to provide left-overs.

Similarly, there have been several times in my life when I have prayed for Jesus to send someone along side to care for a friend of mine and the Lord has said, "You care for her."

During my mother's last two months of life in a convalescent hospital, she had a roommate named Dora. Although I was there to care for my mother, I did form a relationship with Dora. When Mother died, I prayed that God would send someone to minister to Dora. He clearly impressed on my mind, "You minister to her."

Mother died in December. Dora died in late spring. During those few months Dora and I talked, took rides together to get ice cream cones, and read the Bible which she loved. I was with Dora when she left this life to meet her Savior in heaven.

Jesus said to Peter, "Do you love me?" Peter answered, "You know I love you, Lord." And Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."

Insightfully yours,
Paulita

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Day

Tomorrow will be Christmas Day and for sure I won't have time to write what I want to say, so I'll do it today. I made several discoveries this year when I sat to read the words to all the Christmas songs and Scriptures included in my hymnal. Some were not the familiar first verses, but the obscure third, or the last.


"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:1-7)

"How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given. So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven. No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.
"O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray. Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels, the great glad tidings tell. O come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel." (O Little Town of Bethlehem)

"Break forth O beauteous heavenly light to herald our salvation. He stoops to earth, the God of might, our hope and expectation. He comes in human flesh to dwell, our God with us, Immanuel. The night of darkness ending, our fallen race befriending." (Break Forth O Beauteous Heavenly Light)

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in  heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:5-11)

"For lo the days are hastening on by prophets seen of old, when with the encircling years shall come the time foretold, when the new heaven and earth shall own the Prince of Peace, their King, and the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing." (It Came Upon the Midnight Clear)

Insightfully yours,
Paulita