Monday, July 30, 2018

My Pharisee Meter

 This Jimmy Stewart clip reminds me of when my Pharisee meter goes off.  Ha!




It usually starts at the store or something like that.   It could happen on twitter, it could be a liberal or a conservative ...Pharisee.

It can be a liberal pastor's wife who blocks us for say, challenging her support of all things liberal although she throws a little Christianese in.  Yes, she blocked me and I was being nice.  It's nice to be nice right?   Well, apparently she is only tolerant of her brand.

It can happen in the grocery store.  Maybe it's someone from a very insider smalltown church.  Yes, unfortunately, they are there.  Baptist, Pentecostal.   They are there.



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  (EDIT) 7.31 8:34am  I feel the need to clarify that these people I am describing below are married to leaders in the church and have attended these places for years.  One of the churches, a fundamental church, that contains two of the offending women actually put a young woman out in the cold to wait for her parents to pick her up at a youth party because her skirt was too short.  The young girl was one of the youth picked up by the bus ministry.  People in that community who would send their children and youth on the church buses to the church heard and would not allow their children and youth to attend there any longer.  Who would blame them?  That's just...so sad to me, the entire situation. 

I not only have my father's sensitivity but also his sense of humor you will read here in small glimpses in this entry.

And as my cousin once had written on her facebook description...'Beware I speak the truth'.

*big smile*
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BOO

I actually had had enough once after more then several times on different occasions, coming across a reserved woman's path and she behaved as I was invisible. She cruised past me on the dish towel aisle at the dime store ...I felt very much like Jimmy Stewart above...  What did you do Mrs. Amelia?   I said  BOO as she circled around the cap of the aisle to the other side ...I did.  ....and then I smiled to myself as I was most surprised at myself!  I almost started laughing out loud!  (Think Mrs. Ingalls in one of those situations)


Yes, I know people can be rather shy and on the introverted side but can't we be a bit giving in that respect and politely say hello?  Is it that far out of our comfort zones?  Isn't it the Jesus way to say...Hello?  Many of us have had some serious stuff going on and the last thing we need is the dedicated longtime churchies to treat us as an outcast.  And trust me, I am an Anne of Green Gables i.n.f.p. personality type...I love my quiet and my imagination, but can't we say hello?  (Shrugs shoulders).

It could be the Methodist.  It can be perhaps you brought up the wrong relative's name, you know, that pharmacist cousin of yours?   You saw his wife's name (who you haven't even met for Pete's sake!) on the roll so you thought it would connect you somehow, so after that, they look at you like mean-spirited chickens staring at the new hen coming in.  (Sorry chickens, don't mean to insult you, little creatures.)  Apparently, they didn't like my cousin's wife!  Wow.


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The Gospel is summed up by loving our neighbor.  If we say we have Christ and act as we hate our neighbor how do we love God?   There are so many scriptures on showing love.  I don't understand the disconnect just as I don't understand the disconnect when people don't spend time with God who they say they love.  Maybe that is why they act in these ways?  They don't understand the character of God or know God, they are not spending time with Him, ... They just attend church?

1 John 4:20


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Years ago...

  Mike

Mike was quite a guy. Years ago, my Realtor husband would help him with his real estate needs and Jem always said...If Mike ever gives his life to God he is going to be dangerous.  (in a good way).  You would have had to know Mike.  The man was older and has gone to be with God, but he was a stereotype Italian type city guy, a wheeler-dealer.  He was Ukrainian but reminded me of a big-city Italian guy.

What happened?  One day Mike gave his life to God.  Fully.

Jem and I had always talked to him off and on, I remember gently debating him on pro-life issues as I was pregnant with our third little baby.

Sure enough, Mike was true-blue.  He was very sold out to God.  The only way right?  He told Jem then in his New York accent on visiting churches...I can tell the churches that are real.  One thing can tell me.  If they have love.

I think of Mike often.  The year before last I made sure to send him a Christmas card first, instead of answering his.  He sent one back to us with a precious message to us and words reminding to always seek God the Father.

He passed away shortly after.

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I really felt I needed to write this Friends, I think most of those if not all who read this so understand and if not?  I grimace because it could be that they may be an offender or they are very comfortable for various reasons.




Just last week my meter was going off at the store once again, the grocery store.  I purposely made direct eye contact with one of the ladies I'd met in a smalltown church after noticing her repeated disengagement in the garden of produce and approaching the valley of chilled eggs....  ; )    I said hello.  She grabbed the bar of her cart and said by rote, Hello, how are you, as she strode off hurriedly.

My meter went off...I said...Fine.  Thanks for asking.  Heh.  The lady was already quite a bit a way from me by the time I said Thanks for asking!  Lea, our oldest daughter was with me.  I told Lea ...See what I mean?  

I'm so sorry Lea said.  Lea knows I'm very done with this type of thing.  Just very done.  I've gotten used to certain circles behaving this way.  I remember when I was a little thing in ballet, the other moms, the catty ones...  Jem always reminds...Proverbs says Jealousy who can stand against it?


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  The past several years were so very difficult with my dad, I was feeling so estranged from him, when I did speak with him he would hurt me with his words and then he would call Lea behaving as if he was dying, Lea begging him to push the emergency button. I remember once leaving for church so distraught.  The people he was trusting and calling friends were taking advantage of him and turning his heart against us.  It was a horrible situation and I will be writing more so others will be warned.


That morning the people in the USO town church wouldn't even shake our hands at the greeting time (it was that hen effect).  When I needed the Church. (uppercase 'C')   I would usually leave a church (lower case 'c') in tears feeling like an outsider.  The only church that has ministered to me in the last several years was in downtown where my parents were married, you could feel Christ in that century-old cathedral, but sadly it now has a rather liberal group of leaders.  So grievous to me, it's another loss for me in this horrible culture.  I will be back there one day though.  They are in my prayers as are all the churches in our country.


Back to God's Children, the little sparrows looking through the window...

Cliques, insider-outsider mentality can be a very ugly thing.  People who may be new are staring through the windows.  It can be a church, it can be a family a new person married into.  It can be schools and *gasp* homeschool groups.  Sometimes we think the kids are behaving rudely and all we have to do is look at the mothers or fathers many times.

I told Lea, I'm not bitter at all, that doesn't do any good at all, bitterness only hurts us... But I do have their number.  (It's a good thing I grew up as an only child and am used to standing and discerning on my own.) : )  It is refreshing to stand alone at times in Christ.  We know He sends fellowship as He sees fit! : )


Pharisee Meter

*a smile*


I'll close with some sweet photos.

This is my precious sparrow friend.  I call him little Muffie like one of my little schitzu rescue dogs.  Isn't he sweet?  I met him on the Mississippi River in New Orleans.





This is our little deer friend.  Lea took her photo as she was standing beautifully on our road as we came back from the store... she casually walks into the forest as she is not afraid of us.  So sweet.




My short morning walk this morning...  I love this view.  Can you imagine what Ann of Green Gables would have said about this?




Well, that's the wrap for this fine evening.  The good thing?  There are some great people to always get to know, they are usually where we least expect it.  : )


All is well, I have my Grandma Oddo's Eggplant recipe in the oven, Italian fragrance is wafting through the air.

Lea shared with her singles adult Sunday school class that eggplant was her comfort food.  They thought that was funny!  Ha!

I think most of them have never had an eggplant sandwich even?  Bless their hearts...

*big smile*


I appreciate all of you,    Amelia in the Forest

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Bits of Life


Hello Dear Ones, Just busy with Life these days.  Our little elderly fur angel, Guiseppe has kept me extra engaged lately.  Jem and I have been to the vet several times in the past couple of months, for Guiseppe has a tumor behind his ear and it's requiring quite a bit of care.  As you probably already know he is almost completely blind.  He's a sweet little thing and we are so thanking God for our vet, he obviously takes care of animals out of pleasure not for monetary gain.  It's so nice to meet Christians who behave so much as a Christian we know it by their actions and care.  There really is something to that song I used to sing,  They Will Know we Are Christians by Our Love.



So please pray for little Guiseppe, our vet does not want to remove the tumor at Guiseppe's age.  So I will care for our angel the best way I can.

The hits of little Guiseppe's day and evening are stumbling little walks around the kitchen island sniffing for crumbs, he feels like a big boy when he does that or in the evening he loves sitting next to Jem resting his head on Jem's hand.


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I think I'll include a few pics to show life here in the Forest.

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An evening walk in the Forest.

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A Sunday afternoon here on our screened in back porch.  I love it there on the back porch, it's my element and I'm thinking when the fall arrives, perhaps I will take some of my sewing projects there.



I like to cook quietly... sometimes I turn on conservative radio, sometimes oldtime Christian radio or sometimes a pretty classical music cd I have or...sometimes 40s music.  I enjoy 40s music.  The 40s is my thing...It brings joy to my heart as in my household I try to keep a 40s vibe in ways, the good ways.

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Homegrown tomatoes, a cake stand that was my Grandma Oddo's, green glass salt and pepper shakers from an antique store that Jem bought me because he knew I liked them.  They remind of the old Andy Griffith show.  The natural bunnies are from Marianna and James for Mother's Day.


This tells the tale, Grandma Oddo would be proud.   I always think of my Grandma when I'm cooking.



These fellas were adorable!  Jem and I were having lunch at a sandwich shop in smalltown and these guys were there, they were darling.  I suspect either WWII or Korean War vets..  or both.   After they ate I was so amused to see them hop on a motorcycle like it was nothing....Just an everyday thing to go home after enjoying a satisfying healthy lunch.  Very good attitudes!  One thing I've noticed when we go into smalltown, and that is the elderly there have very good attitudes.





Little Dresses for Africa.  I enjoy sewing, designing simple but cute clothes, so I try to make one Little Dress for Africa for every piece of clothing I make for myself.   These particular ones are made with pure cotton tshirts cut in half and adding a cotton gathered bottom.  I embellish with the daisy to make them extra special.  When I get a huge envelope full, I mail them in.  I try to make the bigger girls' sizes, they need those many times for the older girls.  If you are interested in using your sewing talents, you may go to the Little Dresses for Africa site.



During a big rainstorm, this fella came in through our dog door.  I named him Barnaby, but Barnaby moved on when the next storm hit a few days later..He was a sweetie.  Jem said he saw him the other day cutting through our property.  I think Barnaby is a wanderer bless his heart.



Jem's music room through the window.



Jem and I just celebrated our 38th wedding anni and we enjoy New Orleans, I have history there, some may say, it's in my blood.  I love Jackson square with the St. Louis Cathedral.  My Grandma Oddo attended here when she was a little girl.  Her family came from Naples, Italy when she was a baby.  The Italian family had an ice cream shop across from Jax brewery where they also made their own ice cream cones.  The family moved out of New Orleans when her little brothers became older.



I think of this song:


It's a sweet song.  Jem and I have this one on our playlist and listen to it when we go places together.


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Love the river boats going down the Mississippi River in New Orleans...  Totally another element of mine.  My father attended Gulfport Military school not far from here.  I still remember his stories of crossing the Mississippi to the all-girls school for dance socials.


Gulf Coast Military Academy


Once, (he was a captain)  he had picked up a small grenade type of thing and put it in his hat.  A fellow student who was a little off was throwing them out of the upstairs window on room inspection day.  My dad had quickly put it into his hat for safe keeping.

At the girls' school social he had forgotten and when greeting the older lady heading up the school with the walk and look of an overweight top heavy red-breasted robin, hair piled high on head, I'm thinking one of those ruffled numbers around her neck, brooch and all.... Daddy bowed as Southerner's do (did) and took his hat off.

The little grenade type of thing fell out of his hat and.... exploded.

His entire school was on detention until the story was told.

Oh that's just the brief version.  *Eh hem*

Oh the stories I have and the stories that left with my dad...





Speaking of my Dad, I found the above photo in my jewelry box a few weeks ago.  This was taken five days before I was born.   I think of my dad every day.  That simple sentence is full of thoughts and memories and feelings and on and on.....


June 17, was the one year mark since he passed away.




Today was a solitary day for the mostpart, I was here with Guiseppe and our other fur angels and I was thinking as I walked outside, went on our back screen porch and noticing how close to God I felt...He is the only fulfillment for any of us.  I came back in and realized I needed to chat with God more so today, aside from my morning quiet time...and use this solitairy time wisely.   I turned off the radio etc.

It was nice, singing songs to God and speaking with Him about any troubles.  I think God wants our full attention in a loving way, just as we want full attention from loved ones, if we are talking to them and they are dis-engaged perhaps on a screen of some kind, it can be hurtful and I'm sure this is how our Father feels at times.


Well that's the wrap.  I know I've been a bad little blogger lately. *big smile*

Well, *happy sigh*  I have blogged and gotten back in touch.  I'm not going to be a perfectionist, just get this journal up by George.

I hope you enjoy this buffet of Life here.  I want to just enjoy blogging and get these little bits of Life up, perhaps to encourage, perhaps to share, just share my heart...



God bless you dear ones, I appreciate you.

amelia