Sunday Morning Coffee: Late!


I went back to bed, hoping to get my back pain under control. Not working. So I got back up, and have tried to distract myself catching up with other things. And then it occurred to me that I haven’t written my Sunday post, so here I am.

I hate missing church. Never missed so much church in my life as I have this past year. Seems like the work week leaves me useless for the weekend, and I work only three days. What a wimp.

But then, last night we went to a Valentine gathering with a bunch of old friends. I sat on a metal folding chair, the kind that has no lumbar support, for a couple of hours. Found a padded bench with a padded back for the next couple of hours, but was still really stiff and uncomfortable.

The hostess of the party broke her ankle some years ago, and one thing leading to another, she’s now in a wheelchair most of the time., She’s 76, still running a huge piano studio, and has no plans to stop. She had a mild heart attack back in December, but is doing well.

There were others there last night that I know have physical aches and pains and conditions. Diabetes, hearing loss, arthritic pain, injury pain like my husband. But we had a great time, laughing together and enjoying each other’s company. Old people having fun at a party. Awesome.

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Anyway, I’ve made the decision to retire. I’ll be 72 this summer; we’ll also be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. Time is catching up with me, sapping my energy because of the pain, and I think I need to take myself out of the job before I really can’t do it any more. So I’ve asked the secretaries not to give me any new clients, and hoping that by mid- November I’ll have finished with all my present clients.

This is a very big deal, a tough decision to make. A major life event that I did not anticipate even five years ago. I thought I’d work until I could no longer sit upright in my chair. That time has come sooner than I expected.

This isn’t a particularly cheerful post, but then I’m not in a particularly cheerful mood. And here comes Terry, home from church.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Words are so Cool!

It’s actually Saturday night. I like to do this post early when I can so I don’t have to rush through it.

I love words. The etymology of words always fascinates me. I picked up a new one today. I’ve heard it before, but never looked up the definition and history (etymology), and I’m glad I took the time to do so today.

Terry was reading a book by Arno C. Gaebelein on the Gospel of Matthew. The author had commented that the word wisdom was an accurate adumbration of Jesus. We looked it up in a dictionary, and the best choice for this particular use is that wisdom, in the passage, is a foreshadowing  of Jesus.

Proverbs 9:10 tells us that the fear (respect, reverence) of God is the beginning of wisdom. He is wisdom. Therefore, His Son, Jesus, is wisdom.

But I was still curious about that big word that I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone else use, so I looked up the etymology. It is, quite literally, to cast a shadow:

Assorted-color Straight Umbrella Hanging on Black Wire

late 16th century: from Latin adumbrat- ‘shaded’, from the verb adumbrare, from ad- ‘to’ (as an intensifier) + umbrare ‘cast a shadow’ (from umbra‘shade’). (Wikipedia)

And here’s more, from my online dictionary:


Dictionary result for umbra


  1. the fully shaded inner region of a shadow cast by an opaque object, especially the area on the earth or moon experiencing the total phase of an eclipse.

There’s more, about the penumbra and the antenumbra, but I’ll let you look that up if you’re interested.

And I finally know now where the word umbrella  comes from.

See? Words are SO interesting!

Sunday Morning Coffee: Hard Questions

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24.

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BUT! I’ve prayed and prayed, and I believe God answers prayers. I believe He hears me! So why is THIS prayer not being answered? Why, sometimes, when we pray, does it seem that God isn’t paying attention?

We’ve all asked God for things He seems to withhold. We’ve all prayed, and felt our prayers are being swallowed into a dark void. We all know someone who has a fatal diagnosis, or has been severely injured; worst case, someone who was murdered, or lost a child in some horrible way.

Where was God when all that was going on? Why were those prayers not answered? Why doesn’t God answer my prayer for peace in my own country, where the level of hatred and division has reached the point of what seems like no return? Where a newly-elected woman in the House of Representatives can prance around on the floor of the chamber, shouting “We’re going to impeach the *********,” and her fellow legislators laugh and smile at her disgraceful antics? God, please! I’ve prayed daily for years that You would bring this nation back to You!

There are answers, but they aren’t easy, and they aren’t always what we like to hear. Stay with me for the next two or three weeks while I try to shed some biblical light on this topic.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Not So Smart

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I had decided to start UNdecorating yesterday. Plus just one load of laundry, iron a skirt to be ready for church today, and maybe a little dusting. When I take Christmas down, I always clean the trimmings before they go back in the boxes. Also, whatever I put away to make room for Christmas gets a thorough cleaning before it goes back to its own place. So no big deal, right? Take it slow and easy, rest a bit every now and then, and I’ll be fine.

Oh well. Apparently, I should have planned about half that much, and done less than that. By supper time last night I could hardly walk upright, and no one to blame but myself.

Terry sympathized, but let me know I shouldn’t have taken on so much. He was completely absorbed in his own project; he wasn’t paying much attention to what I was doing. Fine with me. For a while.

Long story short, I doped myself up with pain medication and had a rather uncomfortable night. Very stiff this morning, regretting every move I made yesterday that I KNEW wasn’t good for me. It’s just that sometimes I get so frustrated with not being able to do everything I’ve always done. I detest being helpless. Absolutely detest it.

Well, I’m not quite as helpless as I was. Terry got me an iRoomba before Christmas, and we love it. Since I can’t sweep or mop without pain, this is a wonderful gift. He also got me a very light-weight hand vacuum to help with cleaning the upholstery, and the dusting as well. It has attachments that will help with that. Just as long as I don’t bend. We also have a better reacher/grabber tool that actually pick up the pills I manage to drop regularly. It’s really amazing what tools are out there to help people with various disabilities. I think my next item will be a tool for putting my socks on without bending or twisting.

In the meantime, Terry keeps pegging away at the remodel of our big bathroom. He was working on the plumbing for the sink in the new vanity yesterday. That meant, of course, that the water had to be turned off for while. You have to plan for these things. It was a good thing the one load of laundry I started was finished before the big Water Turn-Off took place 🙂

So–I didn’t need the freshly-ironed skirt this morning. At least it will still be fresh when I go back to work on the the 2nd. Today and two more days of rest should have me walking upright again by then 🙂

Sunday Morning Coffee: Jesus

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Luke 2: 1-20.

[1] And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
[2] (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
[3] And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
[4] And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
[5] To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
[6] And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
[7] And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
[8] And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
[9] And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
[10] And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
[11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
[12] And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
[13] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
[14] Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
[15] And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
[16] And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
[17] And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
[18] And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
[19] But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
[20] And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Teeth

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I was at the dentist this week for a routine cleaning.  I mentioned to him that my granddaughter is getting her braces off soon, and that  she had the same gap between her two front teeth that I’ve always had.  Never really gave it much thought before–it’s just part of me. 

But my dentist said, “Would you like to fix that?”  Uhhhhhh, well, what would that take?  

And he told me that it’s not just cosmetic.  My bottom front teeth are all chipped and  eroded because my top front teeth meet them almost perfectly, which is really not perfect at all. Top teeth are chipped, too.  I’ve had them ground off a couple of times because I looked like Snaggletooth. 

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Well, maybe not that bad, but I love the piano keys 🙂

So he can fix my bite so my front teeth don’t chip each other, and he can close the gap.  And when that’s all done,  he says maybe we can repair the broken  places to help stop further erosion. 

At my age.  For goodness sake.  I thought Terry would think it was just silly, but he’s actually all for it. So we’re going to do it.  We’ve already taken molds of my uppers and lowers, and we’ll start the process as soon as the first set comes back. Oh, we’re doing this with Invisalign, not braces.  I don’t think I’d have gone for the braces.  I don’t know.  Maybe. 

Anyway. There’s nothing deeply spiritual about my post this morning.  Teeth are teeth, and compared to some of the pictures I saw while I was looking for one to post, I’m really quite fortunate. 

And that makes me consider.  Adam and Eve had perfect teeth, no overbite or underbite or any other problem. Pearly whites, even, perfect. Did you ever wonder when those beautiful, attractive teeth started to fall apart?  No dentists, orthodontia, novocaine, or false teeth. 

But I assure you, those teeth did eventually decay.  After all, they lived a few hundred years!   Tooth decay is another manifestation of this fallen world we live in.  As are crooked teeth, misaligned  teeth,  teeth too widely spaced. Time was, the local barber would agree to pull out a rotten or broken tooth. That’s why they have those swirly red and white posts at barber shops.   Do they still do that? 

I think I’m coming to a point here.  Maybe not.  Maybe I’ve already made my point. Decay and death are a result of the sin nature passed down to us from that perfect first couple.  The whole world was changed by sin. 

The good news, of course, is that God provided a way of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, Whose birth we celebrate this month. See, it always comes back to sin, salvation, God’s plan,  and His Son. 

You can get a spiritual lesson even from misaligned teeth 🙂

Christ, the Lord!

Luke 2:9.  “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.”

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I’m taking, perhaps, a somewhat whimsical approach this morning.  I didn’t have anything in mind to write about, really, except that it’s the Christmas season, so I chose to write about the Christmas story in Luke 2, verse 9 because today is December 9.

I was delighted to see that it was one of my favorite parts in the story.

The  “they” in verse 9 refers to the shepherds who were camping out in the fields, protecting their flocks of sheep during the night.

These were not the educated elite of Israel who wore fine garments and held themselves away from the rabble so they would not be made unclean.  They were men of the earth, of hard work, of sometimes long cold nights watching over a bunch of smelly sheep. Of course, they were used to the smell, so I’m sure it didn’t bother them.

So all was normal.  The sky was star-filled, and I’m sure some of the shepherds were wrapped up in their cloaks trying to get some sleep while the others kept watch for predators or thieves. Just sitting there, perhaps warming themselves at a fire, wishing the long night weren’t quite so long as they knew it would be.

If those who study these things are right, it was much more likely that Christ was born in the spring, more around the time of the passover. Our tradition is a combination of pagan celebrations and church tradition, but let’s put all that aside for now.  It is true that we do not know the exact date, and I believe God arranged that we would not.  The main thing is not the date, but the event.

The event changed the history of the world, and was the beginning of the earthly life of Jesus, Messiah, The Holy One of Israel, Yaweh, Elohim, Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords, King of Kings!

And who got the message directly from the Angel of the Lord that night?  Poor shepherds, that’s who.  Of course we know the Magi were on their way from their lands in the Orient, but  the shepherds had no knowledge of that. And they would not see the Magi by the manger.  That incredible privilege was reserved for the poor, hard-working shepherds, who would be in company with Joseph the Carpenter, his young wife Mary,  an amazing infant, and  whatever animals were there to help warm the air.

But before they went to Bethlehem, they experienced the awesome, unearthly, holy light that accompanied the angel, and was the glory of the Lord. This overwhelming light “shone round about them,” illuminating the fields in a way I can’t even imagine.

Think about it.  How often do you suppose they had seen a real, gorgeous, brilliant angel?  Never!  I think they were struck speechless.  And, the Bible says, they were sore afraid.

Yes. They were terrified.  I don’t blame them.  I can’t imagine what they must have thought about during those moments.  Maybe they were too terrified to think.

Dipping into the next two verses, the angel said “Fear not.”  Right.  I wonder if they immediately stopped being afraid.

But then they heard the wonderful news that all Israel had waited to hear for centuries:  “Unto you is born this day, in the City of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” And the angel made it clear that this was not just for the Jews, but for ALL PEOPLE!.

Christ, the Savior, is born!