Sunday, April 22, 2012

EARTH DAY 2012 - Planting Seeds

April 22, 2012
"God spoke, 'Earth, green up!  Grow all varieties of seed - bearing plants, every sort of fruit bearing tree!  And there it was."
 (Genesis 1:11   The Message)
     It's Earth Day and time to think Creation, Growth, Nature, Beauty, AND taking care of it all!  I love to "play God" at this time of year: to plant seeds, or impatiently watch for the first emergence of last fall's bulbs.  Winter is over!  Excitement!  Beauty! A rainbow of colors and textures!  Rainbows of God!  The artistry of God...the artist in each of us.
     God has planted seeds also, not just the seeds of Creation in Mother Earth which we celebrate today, but also seeds of faith in each of us.  Does God share the same excitement when those seeds take root, emerge, and begin to blossom?  I think...yes.   I think God celebrates with each new "shoot" or "leaf" just as we do when the crocus emerge.  God gets excited when his seeds grow!
     What seeds do we need to tend today in our personal gardens of faith?  What seeds will grow a faith that will erupt in beauty and purpose?  Seeds that will multiply and share God with those around us?
     Do I need to find the hose and do a little watering this morning?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Black Mt. Ramble

     This morning Rick and I headed up to the recreation area parking below Mason Dam (Phillips Lake) and explored  a blocked off road toward Black Mt.    Rick had been up this road last fall - finding a nicely graded uphill climb with a great view of the Elkhorns from the top of the ridge.  Sounded perfect for this spring day for a short hike.
First buttercups of the spring!
     After a steep initial climb and a deep trench designed to stop motorized vehicles, the road leveled out to a gentle climb through a thick Ponderosa pine forest.  We heard a few birds (saw a pileated woodpecker) and a chorus of bullfrogs right at the trail beginning.  Otherwise....peaceful and quiet!  Annalea Kauth had told us the buttercups were out on the north side of Phillips Lake - and we hadn't traveled far before we spied ONE solitary buttercup in the middle of the road.  Later we found many open slopes covered with the little yellow flowers.  That is the ONLY flower we saw in bloom, however!
    Shortly after traveling under the powerline clearing and at a sharp left curve of the road, we left the road and headed up the ridge to the right to a large, very volcanic and rocky, clearing with views out to the Elklhorns.  Unfortunately, the clouds were starting to roll in and the blue sky that HAD been behind the range was now definitely growing whiter and whiter (and perhaps grayer also!)  [There was a good reason for leaving early this morning, according to the forecast!]  Still made for a beautiful spot to gaze out over the valley, although we couldn't see most of the lake from our vantage spot.   We did see a couple of fires burning and had passed a "Smoke Ahead" sign on the road driving up.
    Bushwhacked down the ridge and then angled back to meet up with the original road again.  The forest floor was so soft due to piles of pine needles.  Total time hiking was only about 2 hours - a great get away!!  Our timing was perfect - drops of rain started falling shortly after we returned to the car!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Wednesday, April 25
Luke 24:44-48  Mission Impossible
"You can see now how it is written....and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations - starting from here, from Jerusalem!  You're the first to hear and see it! ... So stay here in the city until he [my Father] arrives, until you're equipped with power from on high." (The Message)
     Richard Vinson of says it well when he writes this sounds like a job for Tom Cruise and Mission Impossible!  Your job, should you accept it, is to proclaim Christ to all the world!  To preach forgiveness and salvation to everyone, starting with your neighbors here in Jerusalem (or Baker City!)  Poorly equipped? Heavens no!  The disciples would be armed with the greatest "technology" available, better than the decoder rings and micro-glasses worn by Tom Cruise:  The disciples will be armed with the power of God through the Holy Spirit!  
     Our mission as well?  You bet, for the job hasn't been finished.  We are all "special agents" for God.  Agents with a really big job still ahead of us.  "Sometimes salvation feels like a really big challenge to undertake with others." (RV)  
     Accept the mission.  Accept the power to work together to fulfill God's purpose.  
     PS.  The Bible will NOT self-destruct in 30 seconds!  

Wednesday, April 18
John 20:28-29   Doubting
"Jesus said, 'So, you believe because you've seen with your own eyes.  Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing'." (The Message)
     While Jesus praised those who believe without seeing, he met Thomas where he was at - he came and provided proof.  He gave Thomas what Thomas asked for and needed.  Jesus goes above and beyond to answer our questions and make a way to be in relationship to us.  We shouldn't be afraid to ask God for what we need, but we should try to live by faith - proof or not. 
     Thomas is not alone in his doubt.  We all have it at one time or another.  Doubt isn't the exception - it is often the rule.  Did the other disciples say, "I expected to see you?" or "Welcome back - what took you so long?"  Of course not.  No one really anticipated Jesus' return, even when he told them over and over he would rise again.  
     Is Jesus rebuking Thomas for his doubt, or really blessing those who have managed to believe without the benefit of direct experience? Who have managed to come to a faith EVEN while living with doubt; A way to believe in spite of and through the doubts.  
     Let's allow the Doubting Thomas in all of us to provide the basis for a life lived in faith.  

MISSIONAL POST Week #5  Wednesday, April 11
John 1:11-18  Grace and Gifts
"For out of his fullness (abundance) we all received - all had a share and were supplied with - one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift (heaped) upon gift."  (Verse 16, Amplified Bible)
     I went to the Amplified Bible where I found BOTH words used in the NIV (grace) and The Message (gifts). Out of who's fullness?  The fullness of God as witnessed through his son, Christ! Undeserved, unearned, unwarranted grace.  Blessings overflowing.  A Christmas of gift giving.  Party favor upon party favor.  All because God loves us and wants to be in relationship with us.  What bounty!  May we accept the gifts, let blessings shower down like rain, and share the grace with those around us.   When we do this, we will "see" God: "This one of a kind God-Expression [Jesus], who exists at the very heart of the Father, has made him plain as day." (The Message, vs. 18)
     Let the gifts multiply!  Share the gifts!  Share the grace!  Grace upon grace.

Lent Day 37 - Wednesday, April 4
Mark 14:12-16   Passover Preparations
"...his disciples asked him, 'Where do you want us to go and make preparations so you can eat the Passover meal?'....The disciples left, came to the city, found everything just as he had told them, and prepared the Passover meal."  (The Message vs. 12, 16)
     This is the second time that Jesus has sent his disciples out to make preparations, and they find everything EXACTLY as he said.  How did he know a donkey colt would be tied up? (Mark 11:1-11)  How did he know a man with a jar of water would walk past at just the right moment for the disciples to find an upper room for the Passover?  Lest we forget, these experiences remind the disciples, and us, of Jesus' divinity.  He is God, in human form.  He knows!  
    Passover was a major event in the Jewish tradition - a celebration and time to remember all the details of the Exodus, a period of history when God interceded on behalf of man in an extravagant manner.  Could we as Christians see Christmas and Easter in the same way today?  A time to remember God entering our world in a new way, in a life-changing manner?  For the Jews, Jesus, and the disciples, there was no question of whether or not to take the Passover meal.  For us today, there should be no doubt as to WHY we celebrate both seasons of Christ's life.  Why we remember.   
    Preparations are made for the events of Holy Week to unfold.  Good Friday and Easter are near.  How will we remember our Christ? 

LENT DAY 31: Wednesday, March 28
John 12:25-26   RECKLESS IN LOVE
"Anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life.  But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal.  If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me... The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me." (The Message)

     I love Eugene Peterson's choice of words here in The Message: be "reckless in love".  To follow Jesus, to serve the living God, is to be lavish in loving: to love the marginalized, the poor, the terrorists, those who believe differently from us, those who speak against us, those who have different skin tones from us.  To love ALL, not just in word, but in ACTION!  With this wild abandonment of loving, God will honor our actions.  What high praise to be criticized for or described as being "reckless in love"!  What am I doing to earn this label?  What should I be doing?  What is keeping me from it?  What about you?  What about our churches?  How reckless is our love?  

Lent Day 25 - Wednesday, March 21
John 3:17    God Saves! 
"For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its Savior." (TEV)
     John 3:16 is the verse always seen on a placard at ball games and major events, but it shouldn't be separated from its companion verse 17.  To put them together gives you the FULL Gospel in a Nutshell: God loves us.  All of us.  God sent Jesus.  Not to judge, but to save.  
     Jesus didn't come to tell us how bad we were or to condemn us.  He came to show us, by example, a better way.  He came to make things right in our relationship with our Creator God.  He came to make our lives whole and filled with purpose.  In loving us, he saves us.  
     "Jesus is not judge or jury, but brother and friend." (PH  In the name of Christ, can we not treat each other in the same manner? 
Footnote:  At some point during the night, I realized I was composing this scribble in my mind.  I had thought I would make an additional John 3:16 drawing when I arose this morning.  Imagine my surprise when I found the parting line to today's devotional to read, "God came to save us."  I dreamed the scribble before I even knew the verse!  Is God at work?  Wow!

LENT DAY 19: Wednesday, March 14
John 2:18-22     "Temple Address"
"Jesus answered, 'Tear down this temple and in three days, I'll put it back together.' .... Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple."  (The Message, 19-20)
     We love to "put God" in his "place" - at church, a temple, a holy site.  But buildings can be destroyed in a moment of time - a fire, a flood, a tornado.  The Israelites considered the Temple and Mt. Zion as the abode of God.  But in this passage, Jesus is saying HE is the NEW temple, a temple that cannot be destroyed, lost, or taken away.  NOTHING can take the presence of God from us - it is about relationships, not buildings.  
     This made me think about God as having an "address" for the mail (our concerns & petitions?) to be delivered.   God can never be in the "dead letter" box, because we have an all-present, ever-current forwarding address.  Jesus is God's forwarding address.  
     What about our temples or churches today?  We need to remember the physical building isn't what is important - it's what we do inside and outside those building walls, in relationship and service to God, that matters.  Buildings are temporary, God is eternal.  Where is your temple?  Where is mine?  Is God's mail being delivered?  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Journey to the Cross - EASTER SUNDAY!

Easter Sunday - April 8
Mark 16:1-8   He Lives!
"They looked up, saw that the stone had been rolled back...and walked right in.  They saw a young man sitting on the right, dressed all in white.  They were completely taken aback, astonished.  He said, 'Don't be afraid...'He's been raised up; he's here no longer. ...  They got out as fast as they could, beside themselves, their heads swimming.  Stunned, they said nothing to anyone."
    In all four gospels, the women find the empty tomb.  The disciples have fear, in disappointment, in grief.  But the women go to finish preparing Jesus' body with spices.  Their hearts are empty, a black void from the events of the past few days.   Imagine their shock and disbelief to find the stone rolled back and an empty tomb!  Is our shock any less?  Where was Christ?
     Prior to the resurrection, our lives were empty as well, but we can now, with loud "Hallelujahs" proclaim "He Lives!"  Where?  In you and in me.  In everyone who believes and follows!
     Such news was beyond the understanding of the women.  In Mark's account, they tell no one.  In other gospels, they either saw the risen Lord or told the disciples.  Have we kept the news of the Resurrection quiet?  Or are we shouting and rejoicing, "Jesus is Alive!"  He is alive in us!  Alleluia!  Amen!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dooley Summit Snowshoe

     Rick and I felt the need for a quick get-away today to play in the snow.  Our destination: Dooley Summit, at which point we would decide whether to head east toward Dooley Mt. or west toward Bald Mt.  Once we got to the pass, we decided to go west, hoping the trees would protect us from the strong southwest wind.  It worked .... up to a point.
Bald Mt. from cattle guard area
     The heavy snowfall of last Wednesday has added to what was hiking conditions a month ago!  But the warmer days made for sticky snow which packed frequently on the bottom of my snowshoes.  Retracing our steps at the end, we couldn't even see the outline of my snowshoes in my tracks!  I felt like I was walking on little Japanese elevator shoes - the clump of snow on the bottom was so big!  But we just kept stopping and knocking it off.  For some reason, mine packed up and clumped much more than Rick's.  Must have been a design issue!
The abandoned road
     Once we hiked about a mile to the cattle gate (prior to heading south around the first big knoll) we decided to stay in the lee of the mountain and explore a very little used road that Rick was pretty sure would loop around the hill and back to the main road.  It was definitely limited in its definition of "road" (especially when covered with windswept snow), but it did provide some nice views of Bald Mt. and the Elkhorns, AND no wind!    Mostly we admired some gorgeous big Ponderosa pines and discovered a possible place for some Christmas trees - a few lodgepoles up there!
Elkhorn glory

     Not a long hike, but good to get out.  Skies were clouding up by the end.
Our route today. 

Journey to the Cross - Day 40

LENT DAY 40 - Saturday, April 7
Mark 15:42-47      Burial
"Late in the afternoon....Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the Jewish Council, came ... He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body....  Having already purchased a linen shroud, Joseph took him down, wrapped him in the shroud, placed him in a tomb that had been cut into the rock, and rolled a large stone across the opening." (The Message)
     The account of Joseph of Arimathea taking down the now dead body of Christ is found in all four of the gospels.  Joseph is a very rich, highly respected member of the Sanhedrin, and, like Nicodemus, a secret follower of Christ.  But, also like Nicodemus, perhaps yet unwilling to openly reveal  his allegiance.  Joseph shows courage in approaching Pilate for the body.
     Who was Joseph of Arimathea?  What thoughts were in his mind?  Was he chasticing himself for not speaking up? What was it like to take the body down from the cross?  I envision a slow, loving wrapping of the shroud.  Does Joseph have any grain of expectation in his heart that this isn't the end, but the beginning?
     We must bury the human Jesus to allow the divine Christ to rise again.  But have we buried Christ too deeply?  Have we rolled the stone too tightly, and failed to realize that God has rolled it away and is expectantly waiting for us to notice?

     I couldn't help but go to Google again today to ask my first question, Who was Joseph of Arimathea?  What a wealth of Biblical and historical fact, perhaps fiction, perhaps speculation of the life of this man.  Probable fact: He was Jesus' great uncle, the brother of Mary's father; he was a very rich merchant in metals, especially tin; he traveled extensively throughout the Mediterranean and as far as England; he was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, but a secretly a follower of Christ.  And then the speculation, some derived from historical sources, but....I would have to do a great more research.  It did make for very interesting reading:  Joseph established Christianity in the British Isles between 37 and 65 AD, long before the Roman Catholic Church was established.  Joseph was the guardian of the Holy Grail, the cup used in the Last Supper and reportedly used to collect the blood of Jesus during the crucifixion.  As I read through the last portions, parts of Indiana Jones and the DaVinci Code were running through my head!  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Journey to the Cross - Good Friday

LENT DAY 39 - Friday, April 6
Mark 15:33-39   "Good" Friday
"At three o'clock, Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' which means, 'My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?' ... But Jesus, with a loud cry, took his last breath. ... The Roman captain... said, 'this has to be the Son of God'."  (Message vs. 34, 37, 39) 
     Two different reflections come to mind today.  A human Jesus and what is "good" about "Good Friday?"
     Jesus cries out to God, "Why have you left me?"  Just as he voiced, "I thirst", Jesus reacts with the most human of responses to the crucifixion.  If the Son of God, God himself, can feel abandoned, we need not feel like we are spiritually lacking if we sometimes doubt or ask God the same question.  It is a human response!  David certainly pulled no punches with God in many of his psalms.  But God was and is present.  Crucifixion was usually a slow, painful, drawn-out death.  Pilate was surprised that Jesus died so quickly (v. 44).  Perhaps God was at work to make this unbearable situation a bit more tolerable.  Perhaps he is at work in hidden areas of our life today when we least expect it, or assume we have been abandoned.  
     And then, why is this day called "Good" Friday?  What's so good about a day of suffering and pain?  A day when we killed the Son of God?  When in doubt, Google it!  Here's what I learned:
1.  The term Good Friday is only used among English speaking Western Christians. 
2.  The day is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Mourning Friday among various other nations and faiths. 
3.  Good is an archaic form of the word for holy, sacred, or pious. 
4.  The greatest GOOD resulted from this day of suffering. 
5.  There is some speculation that, like the term 'goodbye' evolving from 'God be with you', that the day was originally known as "God's Friday".  
     This all makes sense.  But I think I like the term Holy Friday.  It is Holy Week.  We have crucified Christ.  But it is not the end.  We have not been abandoned.  Easter is coming.  

Have to edit this and add this cartoon I just found posted on Facebook.  It was too appropriate.  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Journey to the Cross - Maundy Thursday

Mark 14:22-25
"While they were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples.  'Take it,' he said, 'this is my body.'  Then he took a cup, gave thanks to God, and handed it to them and they all drank from it.  Jesus said, 'This is my blood which is poured out for many, my blood which seals God's covenant."  (TEV 22-24)
    Do you remember the first time you took part in this sacred meal?  I do.  It was on a day just as this, a Maundy Thursday, when I was 12 years old.  I remember a special feeling of warmth and presence - of being wrapped in God's arms of love.  What has happened to that feeling over the years?  It has been trivialized through routine.  
    Ritual should NOT become routine.  It need not become ordinary and lose its sense of awe.  We have the opportunity to regularly remember Christ's continuing presence in our lives - to remember he died for us, body and blood.  How can I better remember?  First, to give thanks!  To come to the table with thanksgiving and praise! (And not agonizing at the LENGTH of the "Great Prayer of Thanksgiving"!) And second, to ask myself, what am I bringing to Christ's table?  Am I bringing an open heart every time, free of details and lists, free of criticism, free of preoccupation?  I need to come to Communion with a heart free to receive the love of God.  Then the sacred ritual will again infuse me with the Holy Spirit. Then I will better be able to REMEMBER.   

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Journey to the Cross - Day 37

Lent Day 37 - Wednesday, April 4
Mark 14:12-16   Passover Preparations
"...his disciples asked him, 'Where do you want us to go and make preparations so you can eat the Passover meal?'....The disciples left, came to the city, found everything just as he had told them, and prepared the Passover meal."  (The Message vs. 12, 16)
     This is the second time that Jesus has sent his disciples out to make preparations, and they find everything EXACTLY as he said.  How did he know a donkey colt would be tied up? (Mark 11:1-11)  How did he know a man with a jar of water would walk past at just the right moment for the disciples to find an upper room for the Passover?  Lest we forget, these experiences remind the disciples, and us, of Jesus' divinity.  He is God, in human form.  He knows!  
    Passover was a major event in the Jewish tradition - a celebration and time to remember all the details of the Exodus, a period of history when God interceded on behalf of man in an extravagant manner.  Could we as Christians see Christmas and Easter in the same way today?  A time to remember God entering our world in a new way, in a life-changing manner?  For the Jews, Jesus, and the disciples, there was no question of whether or not to take the Passover meal.  For us today, there should be no doubt as to WHY we celebrate both seasons of Christ's life.  Why we remember.   
    Preparations are made for the events of Holy Week to unfold.  Good Friday and Easter are near.  How will we remember our Christ? 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Journey to the Cross - Day 36

LENT DAY 36 - Tuesday, April 3
Mark 14:10-11    Betrayal
"Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the cabal of high priests, determined to betray him.  They couldn't believe their ears, and promised to pay him well.  He started looking for just the right moment to hand him over."  (The Message) 
     Today we would call Judas a mole - someone in the inner circle working against the group.  What drove Judas to this point?  Did he feel unappreciated?  Was he tired of living on a disciples' budget?  Why does Mark include this verse right after the expensive perfume story?  Was that "waste" the last straw for Judas?  Was Judas really looking out for the poor?  We don't know the answers.  We just know that he too was making preparations....for betrayal. 
     Is there a bit of Judas in each of us?  We are all human - it's HARD to live as Christ demanded day in and day out.  Our betrayals may not be the high price Christ paid, but the impact can be just as painful.  A sharp, hurtful word, failure to get involved, averting eye contact with a homeless soul - these are all betrayals of Christ.  Failures to act and serve as Christ called.  May God help us recognize our Judas moments and then reject the silver coins.  

Monday, April 2, 2012


     I finished a project tonight for the Crossroads Art Center "Across the Creative Divide" Show.  We were given a random object in January.  Mine was a bright red plastic baseball bat.  You could do ANYTHING with it or to it.  I decided I wanted to do something that would incorporate my Scripture Scribbles.  Naturally, the creative process is a great deal of thinking ....for three months....and then DOING in five days.  Deadline is tomorrow.  Eleven pm Monday night.  I'm done!    Here is the "write-up" that I will include:  

Artist:  Ginger Rembold
Original Object:  Red plastic baseball bat
Multimedia: Fabric, Craft foam, Tire tube, Plastic grocery bags, Bamboo skewers

This entire project was made from on-hand materials.  Nothing was purchased.
          For the past two years I have been artistically involved in producing “Scripture Scribbles” – Books illustrating sermons and scripture in a fun, somewhat primitive manner in the fashion of New York subway artist Keith Haring.  When I received my baseball bat, my first thought was to imagine what kind of “Scribble” I could make incorporating the bat into the drawing.  It soon became apparent the project was going to be larger than I wanted to make if the bat was actually a part of the design.  So….the bat became the hanger!   
          My second challenge was to see if I could create the entire project using materials already on hand in my basement workroom AND to use a variety of media.  Fabric seemed to be a logical choice as I had buckets from which to choose, plus an odd assortment of other materials collected over the years. 
          I transferred a new technique for folding paper to the fabric for the grass and applied a process I learned from a relative for bonding grocery bags together for the bat and home plate.  And then I debated over and over WHAT to put in the speech balloon to convey the theological message I wanted to share.  My final creative boundary to cross was the use of social media to solicit ideas for the speech balloon. After the response of over 15 friends and family, my final decision came through consultation with my husband!  Take the speech balloon out of Jesus’ mouth and give it to God!  Hence, God is given voice over the stadium speakers announcing his clean-up hitter….Jesus pinch-hitting for us….to clean up the sins of the world.  Now there’s a little baseball theology!
          Anyone interested in Sermon Scribbles, The Books of Acts, or Make a Joyful Scribble Unto the Lord, please contact me!    

Journey to the Cross - Day 35

LENT DAY 35 - Monday, April 2
Mark 14: 4-7    Caring for the Poor
"Some of the guests became furious among themselves.  'That's criminal!  A sheer waste!  This perfume could have been sold for well over a year's wages and handed to the poor.' ... But Jesus said, 'Let her alone. ...  You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives....Not so with me. ... She did what she could when she could. ... What she just did is going to be talked about admiringly." (Portions from The Message)
     This was one of those special moments in time - what she could when she could - a unique situation of overflowing love.  Jesus knew he would soon be buried.  Did the woman know?  Was her love so in tune with Jesus that she had truly internalized his message and realized the events to come also?  A reckless act of love?  A sheer waste?  Perhaps.  But an act that we can remember and act upon ourselves.  How?  The poor are still with us!  We can now be reckless and extravagant, perhaps even wasteful, in our love for them in Christ's name.  Our unique moment in time might just be today - with what we have now.  What act of love can you perform for the marginalized in your community?  What perfume can you throw out in love?  What can I do today among MY community?  It will be an act of holiness, remembering Christ.  

Footnote:  I love to add little signs of God at work!  Today I COULD NOT remember the word "internalized".  I knew what I wanted, and I knew there was a word for it.  I picked up the dictionary to go through the multiple pages of IN- words and said, "Please God, don't make me go through ALL of these."  I read about one column, and then glanced to where my right hand was holding the section of pages.  Right there at the top was INTERNALIZE.  That's it!!  Thank you, God!  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bandon Spring Break Part B

Tuesday evening, March 27:
     Weather forecast for today was 100% chance of rain, high winds.  Guess what?  The weatherman was RIGHT!  It rained off and on all day, at times with gusto!  The wind blew off and on all day, at times with even more gusto!  At one point, the sun was trying to break through the clouds out over the ocean, and it was pouring down rain here at the house.  
     We drove today into Coos Bay for a grand day of shopping!  Mom had lists for several different places, but the main point of the trip was for a new washing machine.  Her 30 year old GE is on its last legs.  It sounds horrible.  So....$500 later, she will have a new Whirlpool washer delivered on Saturday and installed.  
     We tried out the EZ Thai Restaurant in Coos Bay for lunch.  Tuesday is Pad Thai specials for lunch day - only $5!!  However, business was brisk so the wait was a little long.  Mom and I ordered the special - Mild.  Rick had Pad Kee something Medium hot.  Well, when we finally got our order, I took one bite and said, "Rick, taste this, it is really hot and there are little red flecks everywhere! He took a couple bites and agreed, it was NOT mild.  In the meantime, Mom was across the table choking and coughing from her one bite!  We sent the meals back to the kitchen with a request for NOTHING - not even mild.  They had made a mistake.  Rick was finished by the time our meal came, but the second time around it was delicious!  Good thing!
     Otherwise, stops at BiMart, Dollar Tree, Fred Meyers, Office Supply, and Sears took up our day! Back to Bandon around 4:30. 
     Clam chowder and salad for dinner, plus the cherry pie Mom made this morning!  Tonight Mom and I worked downstairs in the basement on her quilt and my Crossroads art project.  Rick had a long talk with Jed on the phone while he was out filming.    No pictures today!  

Wednesday, March 28:  
     Wind and rain!  We squeezed a few outside chores in-between, but overall, today was a day to curl up inside and play games or complete inside jobs!  The storm rattled the windows and watered everything!  Rick took a walk down Beach Loop to the south (in one of the rare breaks) and was stopped by "high water" on the road about a mile south.  
     Mom and I worked much of the day on my Crossroads arts project, some cards, etc.  We enjoyed another salmon dinner (the choices at the fish market were not great, as long as we refused to purchase the halibut at 23 dollars a pound!)  But the salmon was just as tasty tonight!  
     No pictures from the past two days as the weather wasn't highly conducive to photography.  Unless you need countless pictures of Mom and me playing Spite and Malice and Quiddler.  (Note: Mom has killed me in S&M this week.  I am losing dismally.  But at least my scores in Quiddler have been overall victorious.)

Thursday am, March 29: 
     We are leaving today for Newport, and a short visit with Luke and Kady tonight before heading east tomorrow morning.  It promises to be a stormy and wild drive up the coast, but at least we will get good mileage - the wind is all from the south!  
     In spite of my worries, we traverse the Newport bridge just fine (I closed my eyes and was on the phone with Luke the whole time).  I hate that bridge in high winds.  We stopped to send a quick fax to the Honda people (struck out when we tried upon leaving Bandon at their library) and then to Luke's around 2:45.  
     Nice time visiting for a couple hours while Kady and I made some cards, and then we brave the wind and rain to head down to Nye Beach area and a new restaurant they wanted to try.  Fun time at a Hawaiian theme pizzeria, that also served food from all over.  I had black bean soup, Kady tacos, Luke a fish sandwich, and Rick some shrimp spicy stir fry.  Mostly we just chatted. 
     Back to the house and then Kady and I took off for her "office" to do her taxes!  Earlier I realized they would be easy to do and I could help her get them finished up.  She had never done them before.  Gave us a good visit while Rick and Luke had a good time to talk at the house (and watch basketball games!)  
    After a round of Quiddler, all in bed by 11.  We have a 7:30 departure time set!  

Friday, March 30: 
     Not much to say about the trip home.  Rick drove from Newport to Sisters in a steady hard downpour!  Heard later that Newport received 2 inches of rain on Friday!  We can believe it.  Rivers are swollen and angry.  
     I did manage to snap one picture going over Santiam, that shows the black spikes of trees on the snow - through the rain soaked windshield!  
     I drove from Sisters to Prairie City in a light rain or clear skies, mostly the latter!  We even saw some sunshine around Mitchell!  
     Hope around 4, in time to pick up our mail first!  

Sadly, I don't even have a picture of Mom Mac, Luke or Kady to add to this post!  Ouch!   


Journey to the Cross - Sixth Sunday

Mark 14:1-3        Expensive Perfume
"While he was eating dinner, a woman came up carrying a bottle of very expensive perfume.  Opening the bottle, she poured it on Jesus' head."  (The Message, verse 3)
     Preparations are being made for the God-ordained events of Holy Week.  In verses 1 and 2, the Jewish religious leaders are scheming on ways to do away with Jesus without creating a riot.  And in Bethany, Jesus dines with friends.  An unnamed woman prepares Jesus for burial using a first century sign of honor and respect: to anoint with oil.  It is an act of great love, extravagant in nature, perhaps "reckless love" to use the term from last week. 
     What signs, what rituals, what practices do we perform today to honor Christ? To prepare for the Christ in our lives?  Are we willing to use our most expensive "perfume" to show our respect, to reveal his holiness?  How do we prepare to honor the relationship we have with God?  Every act of service, every gift, every uplifting or supportive word, when done in the name of Christ, honors him and makes the action holy.  We can anoint Christ daily.  Let's all take the time to deliberately perform a holy action this week, to open the expensive parts of our lives, and demonstrate our love for Christ in a tangible act of service. How reckless can we be?