...and I am very happy there.

...and I am very happy there.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

I remember being a child and looking at the world as a world of limits.

As I grew, I realized my limits were not necessarily limits at all. That beyond the door was another world. Beyond my house were other homes. Beyond my family were not only other relatives but other people as well. It's amazing to me how we think we always have limits until we discover there is a world beyond.

I love that scientists are discovering each day new worlds beyond what we ever thought was possible. As I was reading through my grandson's anatomy textbook, I was amazed at how our perspectives have changed in just the short time that I have been out of school.

Who ever thought that each cell in our body carried DNA that was unique just to us?

Who ever realized the animal kingdoms in the sea would include microscopic creatures that never have seen the light of day?

Unfortunately as we age, we sometimes forget the world we may live in is very different across the globe. Even in our own communities we see differences of people groups, personalities, and perspectives. It is amazing to think that we all live in such a small world when you see it from the perspective of an astronaut in space or a satellite sailing through the galaxies.

We used to think the world was huge! Now we know better. Some think we can't make an impact on this world. We should know better now that we have a few experiences to look back on.

Now that we are older and hopefully wiser, I would think we realize we are a very small part of what is out there, we should, one would hope, want to work together to help each other. Not take away from each other. Not to abuse one another. Not to have and look down on the have nots. Not to criticize one for their own opinion and outlook, but to try to see from one another's shoes. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Everyone should respect each other's opinion. But today we seem to still want to be the one who shouts loudest. We still want to be right without hearing what the others are saying.

When will we learn that we all leave the same way we came in...with nothing.

We all live in the same small world. We need to learn to listen to each other and help each other to see the other's perspective. Then and only then will be able to work together to make a difference.

Reflections of a first time visit to the Apple Store.

This blog was written a long time ago, but for some reason never posted...never to waste a heartfelt story...

Image result for first iphone 3gSo my nephew hooked me up with my first IPhone...okay an older model (3GS) but still an IPHONE!!!...loved it and was still learning features...then while bike riding with my grandson over Christmas vacation it fell out of my pocket and I didn't notice until we were quite a ways down the road. Actually it was the moment I went to take a picture of some beautiful cattle down the road and around the corner from my grandson's home. I reached in my pocket and it no phone!

So Asher and I turned around and headed back over the road we had just come down. We kept thinking of where it might be. "It's probably in the road," Asher kept suggesting. I prayed it wasn't in the road as several cars had passed us on our ride. I didn't hold out much hope for a phone 'in the road'.

I suggested it was probably in the yard and fell out when I first got on the bike while trying to pedal uphill. That was the safer bet for the phone anyway.

So we rode carefully back towards home, keeping a vigilant eye out for the missing phone. Just as I was sure we either missed it on the shoulder or silently rejoiced that it MUST be in the yard, I spotted it. There it lay, right smack dab in the middle of the other lane looking lonely and forlorn. "There it is!" I shouted to Asher and we carefully crossed the road (I know his mom and dad will be reading this.) and I picked it up. Looking non the worse-for-wear, I stuffed it in my pocket, this time snuggly zipping the pocket it was in and we headed toward home. As we approached the house we decided to continue on our ride out in the other direction. After a fun ride down hill, encouraging Asher to keep pedaling hard to try to make it up the other hill, we stopped and rested at the top. At this point, with temperatures and sun starting to dip, we decided to turn around and head back to home.

Once home I realized I didn't check the phone to see if it worked. And to my dismay, it didn't. Surely a phone that hadn't cracked the screen...had no obvious damage that a car tire would inflict, must be just jostled enough to loosen the battery...Surely...one could hope!?!

Bryan (my son, Asher's dad) looked it over. This was an act of pure love at this point, because Bryan is clearly not a MAC man! He faithfully checked it over as best he could and suggested I take it to an Apple Store when we get home.

I was slowly losing hope...I wanted that phone FOR our trip home. But I had to put on my big girl pants and face the fact that we had traveled many times without cell phones and this would just be another one of those times.

So we did.

And we didn't miss it much.

Finally the day came when we were heading close enough to the closest Apple Store that we could take it in. In the meantime I was having thoughts of money wasted interspersed with thoughts that at least I hadn't paid $400 for it like I hear lots of people have done.

So we arrived at our first Apple Store at Crossgates Mall in Albany, NY. We were greeted by a happy go lucky fella with a bright red shirt and a calculator like badge hanging around his neck and earplugs. We said hi to each other and then I guess my confused looked clued him in that we needed help. To his request to help us, I told him this was our first time and I had no idea what to do. He chuckled and asked what our problem was. After asking if we had backed up the phone recently, I started to laugh. "I am still learning how to use this thing, I have hardly any contacts, pictures or anything else worth backing up." He politely smiled and pointed to another young fellow a few tables over and said that he would be able to help us, just wait in line. So we went over and two other people were ahead of us.

The fun thing about an Apple Store (of course this may be true of all electronics stores, but this was our FIRST experience with one and with Apple), Apple Store Crossgates Mall
 is that every gadget they sell is on display for anyone (and I do mean anyone) can play with. The other fun is watching the activity in such a store. There are islands of activity...the IPAD island, the IPHONE 5 Island, the laptop and the music islands...Then there is the Genius Bar. At some point we noticed the King of the islands walking through the store with purpose and occasionally talking to himself. Every once in a while, he was move other subjects around or ask his followers to assists those that seemed lost.

Just as I was about to pack up and head out. It was our turn! One of the King's Soldiers carrying his shield and wearing a badge calculator thingy, came over to us and asked what we needed. I shared my story and he tapped on his shield and then another subject came over and asked more questions, took my phone and pressed some of the same buttons I had pressed (but in a different sequence) and waited...and waited. Then, he said he would have to take it in the back and asked us to sign something on his shield with my finger and off he went into one of two doors that led to no man's land.

It was eerily like taking one of our kids to the hospital when they were little...doc asks questions, looks the baby over, brings in some paperwork to sign, then goes off to do whatever is needed. However when he returned he did not have good news. The baby died. But unlike our kids, he was willing to replace it with another twin! So we did more finger signing (is this what signing in blood was like in the dark ages???) and waited and waited and waited...similar to emergency rooms in the US right?

Image result for first iphone 4However, the two 'doctors' came out of the back room --- never a good sign. The bad news was...the twin was dead too. What!?! But the good news was that they could replace it with a new and improved big brother! Imagine if this kind of stuff went on in our hospitals...So after signing even more shields with our fingers. We held in our arms a beautiful new older model, but newer than our old cell phone...the IPhone 4!!!

We were surprised and happy with our new addition and raced right upstairs to get his brain working with the ATT gods and now our new little one sits happily watching us as he charges up on desk.

All in all a great experience...as we walked away with what appears to be a new Iphone 4 or maybe ever slightly used and refurbished to look new and it didn't cost a penny! When did that ever happen at the hospital?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Church Time

If anyone had ever told me that I would one day spend hours in church and actually enjoy it, I would have said they were NUTS!
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When I was a kid I was forced to go to Catholic church, pretty much every Sunday. Boring! Was all I remember of the early years. I would stare at the statues, be transfixed by the candle flames, wonder how the people knew when to stand up, sit down, kneel, stand, sit!!! Then there was communion, what was the priest drinking and why didn't he share? All the rules, no fish on Friday, getting dressed up for Easter, confession, memorizing prayer and praying the rosary....so much to remember!
Image result for catholicThen in elementary school it was a Godsend to get to leave school to attend church classes at the church near the school during 'Release Time'. But that was the ONLY thing good about church as far as I was concerned.

In my teen years, things changed, the rules change but church became a little more exciting. New priest, young priest, good-looking priest that played and guitar and could sing!!! In English!!! But still it was boring to sit there and wait for it all to end.

Then in my 20's I was invited to another church -- was it a cult?!? It was Jim's cousin that invited me. So I decided it couldn't be all bad. It was around the corner from where we lived and I wanted so desperately to meet people. I was home with a baby at the time and felt so isolated. So I went. As soon as I heard they needed help in the Nursery, I signed up. Anything had to be better than sitting through boring sermons. I remember my first Sunday, in the sanctuary, a lady sang a song during communion. Out of tune does not begin to describe it...so that with what I expected of another boring service pushed me to look elsewhere in the church to 'participate.' After a few weeks in the nursery, a very wise mom suggested I should go upstairs to hear the teaching rather than taking care of children. "After all you are home all day with your baby, you should get to meet some other adults." So grudgingly I went back to the sanctuary.

After a few weeks there, I started to wonder...how does this guy (the Pastor) know this stuff about me? How does he know what I did this week, yesterday, what my thoughts were! HOW? As I started to really listen, I started to really hear. Little did I know the Holy Spirit was using this man to reach out to me. Slowly I began to hear not only what Christ did, but why he did it and how it related to me! How his blood shed on the cross was graciously given for me. How being the Perfect Sacrifice, his death and resurrection provided the way for me to access heaven and Father God!
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As the years went by I learned more and more. I went to church services, Bible studies, women's ministries, then women's retreats and on and on. I began to study the Bible on my own and in different Bible studies. Soon I was remembering parts of scripture and began sharing it with others. I became disillusioned by many churches because they seemed in competition with each other. The pastors criticized other pastors, and numbers seemed more important than peoples souls. So I visited many churches and struggled to find one I could grow in and do ministry in. Some were too far away, some were too basic, some were way too weird. Others were too Catholic-like and steeped in rituals, others were not teaching the Bible at all!! So I continued to study on my own and was actually being fed by two or three churches on television. These pastors were teaching the same things I was reading in the Bible. They answered a lot of questions that most pastors I met, could not answer. So I settled into watching them, attending Bible study with friends and reading and praying on my own.

Image result for child of godThen through a new ministry, I found myself visiting churches again. As God has a sense of humor. I walked through the doors of the church building I attended back in my 20's. A church that I accepted Christ as my Savior and Lord. And the place I worked at for 11 years.

This 'new to me' church was lively. Praise and worship was just that. The teaching was solid and totally biblical, no heavy reliance on commentaries and other books. They had basic Bible teaching with some strong lessons on Grace, God's love, God's sacrifice, God's forgiveness and His plan for our lives. It has been several years now and while I continue to go to outside Bible studies and read the Word on my own (as I suggest EVERYONE does), I love being the Grand Ma, the Great Aunt, the quiet observer and helper at this 'new' church. It is a blessing to me to bless the next generation.