What a Friend We Have…

Posted September 4, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: Music

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This week’s hymn for our senior Bible study meeting this week will be “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” written by Joseph M Scriven as a poem in 1855. He wrote it as part of a letter to his mother who was ill at home in Ireland. It was later put to music by Charles Crozat Converse in 1866.

“What a Friend” continues to be an extremely popular hymn. Indeed, I have played it at our Bible study meeting at least  half a dozen times over the past few years. It has been translated into many different languages, including French, Spanish, Japanese, and many more.

So the money quote for “What a Friend” can be found at John 15:13-15.

John 15:13-15 ESV

[13] Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. [14] You are my friends if you do what I command you. [15] No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Here are the lyrics,

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
And what a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer

Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer

Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer

 

There have been many recordings done by recording artists across a wide range of musical styles. Here are a few samples:

Rhythm and Blues/Gospel – Aretha Franklin

Gospel/Choir – Mississippi Mass Choir

Country – Alan Jackson

Country – Alabama

Welsh Morriston Choir

 

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The Good Samaritan

Posted September 3, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: Rants

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Here is the story of the “Good Samaritan”. So do you think Joel Osteen fits this description?

Luke 10:29-37 ESV[29] But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” [30] Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. [31] Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. [32] So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. [33] But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. [34] He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. [35] And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ [36] Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” [37] He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”


I think not. This is where Jesus asks you to help. 

And finally, here is a video by Sarah Wood on Osteen

And You Call Yourself a Christian

Posted August 28, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: Rants

Tags: , ,

So I was reading the news today about hurricane Harvey in Texas. (How can you not read about the hurricane). So in addition to all of the misery that people were experiencing, I came across an article about a Christian megachurch run by one Joel Osteen in the Houston area.  So Osteen rakes in millions of dollars, but all he can offer is prayers for the people of Houston. Here’s a piece on Huffington Post about Osteen not opening his church building to those in need.

2017-08-28

Nothing bugs me more than someone who professes to be a Christian but refuses to reach out to his neighbors who are in need. I am sure Osteen is quite dry and comfortable in his $10.5 million mansion.

Here’s an article in the New York Post, with pictures that shows that his church is not flooded.

So what would Jesus do? I haven’t found an appropriate Bible verse, but a quotation that comes to mind is:

God comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable

It doesn’t seem like God is doing a very good job of doing that in Texas these days.

By the way, if you would like to donate to help the recovery in Houston, click here to go to the Red Cross site.

Mary

Posted August 25, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: Mary

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Time for an update on Mary. Sometimes, it feels to me that she is going to live forever.

There hasn’t been a lot of change since that last time that I reported here. Perhaps, she is a little bit weaker and a little bit slower. But those things are hard to measure. That being said, here are a couple of stories that I need to get off my chest.

One of the things that is painfully clear is that Mary is not the person that she was say five or ten years ago. Her personality has been changed by the dementia. She has no consideration for anyone else but herself.  Here are a couple of stories from the last couple of days.

Friday is the day that she usually gets her hair done. Oftentimes, people bring tasty goodies to share. So Mary comes home with a couple of pieces of blueberry cake. Are you going to eat those pieces? I ask. No, probably not. She pushes it aside and picks up the OES newsletter that Paula had just put down on the left hand side of her seat at the table to read. I ask Mary, did you not see that Paula was going to read that? I get the stupid look.

We are constantly trying to get Mary to finish the serving of meat that we serve on her plate. Last night, I tried to have her serve herself. The meal was pot roast with potatoes and carrots. My idea was to have her to control the portion size. Not going to work. She asks Paula to serve her some. So again, she doesn’t finish the meat but takes seconds on the vegetables.

I tell her that I had an uncle who was in the US Navy in WW2. He told me when I was young lad that the Navy always told him to “Take all you want and eat all you take”. That’s what I want Mary to do.

And she has room for dessert (watermelon). No matter how much (or how little) I put on her plate she won’t finish the meat. She always has room for watermelon.

Sometimes her complaint is that the meat is too tough to chew. Not the case last night, the pot roast was soft and pliant. She is worse than a three year old who won’t eat his peas. Sometimes, I think she does it just to annoy me.

And another thing, we continue try to figure out is why she won’t go to church on Sunday or Bible study on Wednesdays. She usually says that she is too dizzy. But she is never too dizzy to go get her hair done on Friday. She NEVER misses a hair appointment. NEVER!!

I don’t know whether even she knows why or understands. She just doesn’t want to go. My suspicion is that she has given up on God or that God has given up on her. We’ll never know. She also doesn’t ask that Pastor Jacques come to visit her.

So when I get frustrated with her, I either grab a cigar and go out on the patio or into the office to login to my computer.

At any rate, it’s time to start cooking. Our son and his family are coming over for dinner this evening. Paula says she will be doing a peach cobbler. I suggest to her that means we need some whipped cream. No, she says, vanilla ice cream. We got both.

A Few More Hours…

Posted August 14, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: Family, Mary

Tags: , , ,

img_5185Time to pack up. We are first going to hit the breakfast buffet, then finish packing. Check out time is noon. We get back into our condo at 5 pm, so we have a few hours to kill before we get home.

Paula will be working at the Asst League gift shop. We will probably get Mary a couch upstairs in one of the offices. I will find an office to do computer stuff.

Well, we got checked out of the hotel. Junior manager came to our room to load up all our belongings and we headed out to the parking lot. Nice guy, he wouldn’t take a tip.

Now hanging at the Asst League. Found out the WiFi password so I can go online. Got Mary settled down on the couch in the president’s office. Now to wait until 5 pm to get back into our condo unit.

Overall, the Double Tree in SP was very nice. Only down side was the WiFi was a little bit dicey. Everything else was 5 stars (out of 5). If anyone is looking for a place to stay when you visit San Pedro, this would be a good choice.

So tomorrow, we need to do grocery shopping and arrange for someone to look at our dryer.

TTFN

Joe

 

At the Double Tree

Posted August 13, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: Family

Tags: ,

My day is going much better than yesterday. Mary is feeling better. We decided to skip the OES fashion show and just hang out here at the Double Tree in San Pedro.

We try to not overload Mary with activities. So today we went to the hotel restaurant for a late breakfast. Mary and Paula shared an English muffin and a fruit plate. I had bacon and eggs. Very tasty.

The picture is the view from the rear of the hotel lobby. Some of the rooms have this view, unfortunately ours does not. I once owned a boat, a lot smaller than these yachts. Rich man toys. Not me. 

We all had naps this afternoon which makes us all much more pleasant to be around.

The service at the Double Tree is so much better than our stay at the Best Western in Roseville. We have been to parties and functions at this Double Tree before but this is the first time that we have actually stayed here.

I watched the end of the Red Sox-Yankees game on my iPad. Red Sox won 10-5. Woohoo!

Sunday

Paula is off to church. Mary laying in bed. As soon as house keeping stops by, I will get her up and head to the cafe for breakfast. The hotel has loaned us a wheelchair but last time we went to lobby she managed to walk up and back again. Waiting for the morning fog to burn off.

TTFN

Joe

The Adventure continues…

Posted August 12, 2017 by joebowker
Categories: Family

Tags:

Had our first night at the luxurious DoubleTree in San Pedro. Everyone slept pretty good. Hotel loaned us a wheel chair for Mary so she didn’t have to walk all the way to the room.

Last night was a problem. We decided to have dinner at the Green Onion Mexican Restaurant in San Pedro. Been a while since we’ve had Mexican fare. I dropped Paula and Mary at the door then parked the car. Had to wait for 10 minutes for a table. Got seated then ordered drinks, marguerites all around. Very tasty.

At this point Mary decides that she needs to go to the ladies’. I was told what to order for them. I delayed as long as I could than ordered (including a second marguerite for me.)

10 minutes later food arrives at our table. No sign of Mary and Paula. Another 10-15 minutes go by before they get back from the loo. Mary looking pale and out of it. She had trouble standing up straight. You could blow her over with a breath. Mary not hungry, hardly eats any of her meal. I tell her we can’t take it with us, no place to store.

After the meal completed, get in the car. We ask her “Do you want us to take you to the hospital?” (Just what we need a Friday night at the ER.) Tell us what your symptoms are? So eventually we decided to not do ER and back to the hotel. 

Got her into PJ’s and into bed. Left the bathroom light on for her. She slept through the night. Got her up this morning, made her some instant oatmeal. Reading yesterday’s newspaper.

Today, Paula will be taking her to a fashion show sponsored by one of the local OES chapters. I am free. Woo-Hoo!